dear stress, let’s break up

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

I love this quote. It sums up exactly what I need to say to myself when I get too wound up. And because stress is the major focus of week 3 on Kate Troup’s W8less program (a holistic program which I have written about here and here), it’s made me realise how important it is to manage it – to consciously carve out some time to reset my body when it goes into overdrive (as it easily can in our modern, fast paced lifestyles).

If there’s one important thing I’ve learned about stress, it’s this: you can eat the rainbow, sip on green smoothies and exercise all you want, but if you’re stressed, weight, hormonal balance, fertility, digestive health, your skin, eyes, energy – all goes down the shitter. (Trust me, I’ve been there).

For a long time I tried to do all things at once, over-striving to reach all my goals thinking the faster, the better (sapping way too much of my time and energy in the process), and it left me with nothing but secondary amenorrhea (which, thankfully, I no longer have due to a number of factors, but mostly managing my stress), a lack of energy and forced time out to really overhaul of my exercise routine and lifestyle.

As The Holistic Nutritionist Kate Callaghan says, “If you don’t make time to get your body in “rest and digest” mode, it will always be in “fight or flight” mode. The stress hormone cortisol will be pumped out. Your sex hormones will plummet. Inflammation will eventually increase, and your health will suffer.”

So how have I been managing my stress?

Taking baths. A warm bath before bedtime instantly calms me down and preps me for a restful night’s sleep. It one of my favourite ways to practise self-care.

Tea. It’s soothing, warming and calming. I like to take peppermint, camomile or dandelion with some honey and almond milk.

Long walks in the sun. Nature is therapeutic. There’s no doubt everyone feels better after getting some fresh air. Plus, walking boosts your circulation bringing fresh blood around your body. And if you do it daily, it kind of becomes a moving meditation.

Yoga. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was a bit of a workout junkie but have swapped some of my intense cardio sessions for yoga classes to bring my body back into balance. Someone once described yoga as seeing a therapist, getting a workout and relaxing at the same time. I think it describes it perfectly. I mainly do heated Vinyasa.

Managing my stress is still a balancing act, but since consciously incorporating more of the above strategies in my week, it’s helped foster a lot more zen in my every day.

Until next time,

christine-x

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