3 Foolproof Ways To Alleviate Stress

 

Unfortunately, chronic stress is on the rise.  With everything going on in politics, natural disasters like hurricanes and forest fires and the pressure of work and home life, stress seems to be a natural part of life that we deal with daily.  

A little stress here and there can help us excel at a project or run that marathon, but the chronic stress caused by the daily barrage of unpleasantness is damaging to the body.  Some symptoms of chronic stress include anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue and weight gain.  

We need to have some tools that we can go to EVERY single day to relax the adrenal glands and give our brains the time it needs to recharge and repair.  I’m going to give you 3 important tools that will helps to alleviate stress and also to increase your sense of joy on a daily basis.

Strategy #1: Make your daily “self-care” list and do 1 thing every day

When our lives get stressful, we usually neglect the one person that is the most important to our own sense of well-being…ourselves.  Especially as women, we have been taught to put others’ needs before our own.  I challenge you to create a “self-care” list.  You will create a list of 10 things that you absolutely LOVE to do that don’t involve anyone else. These are things that make you feel uplifted, happy, or relaxed.  Some examples might be: read a book, take a hot bath, get a massage, get a pedicure, paint.  Everyone will have unique things for themselves. 

Now, the challenge is to do at least 1 thing on that list daily!  Don’t have the time?  MAKE the time.  Carve out even 5-10 minutes in the evening or set your alarm clock a little early to do your self-care item.  Can’t come up with 10 items?  No worries..start with 5.  Just START!

Strategy 2:  Make a stress-relieving meal.  

Many of us run for sugary foods when we are feeling stressed out.  I get it..your body has gone into fight or flight mode and pumps your bloodstream full of sugar that can be utilized for the “fight.”  The problem is, most of our stress is internalized stress and we are not using that sugar to battle tigers.  Instead the sugar gets stored as fat or stays in our bloodstreams, creating problems like diabetes and alzheimer’s disease over time.  

Instead of compounding the problem and adding more sugar to the mix, aim to eat foods that will relax your nervous system and buffer the damage of stress.  

One of my go-to’s is a calming healing “bowl.”  First, I start with a small 1/2 cup of brown rice or quinoa in a bowl.  To this I add sautéed kale, salmon, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.  This provides greens for minerals and vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats as well as minerals such as magnesium for relaxation, sodium and potassium.  Sometimes I will skip the meat for roasted vegetables like sweet potato, cauliflower and butternut squash.

Overall, it feels like comfort food..which it is…and it is healing the body at the same time. 

Strategy 3: Pick a pose.

A yoga pose that is!  There are a couple of yoga poses that are great for relaxation.  Literally, in a few moments, your mind will start to unwind and your body will naturally deepen into the poses.  

One of my favorite poses is child’s pose.  This is a pose you can do at any time of day, for as long as you want.  You don’t need to go to a yoga class (though I highly recommend it) to learn and it’s very effective.  I’m including a video link to teach you how to do it.

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/child-s-pose

Another one to try is savasana, or corpse pose, that ultra relaxing pose you’ve probably done at the end of your yoga class.

So get started.  Make your list, commit to eating foods that will help with your stress and use your body in ways that will assist you in releasing stress.

Stay tuned for more tips later this week

Markyia NicholsComment