When it comes to your health and wellness goals, managing your stress is just as important as hitting the gym and eating well, but sometimes we overlook this element of our health!
The hustle and bustle of life naturally creates a certain amount of stress, and some people find that they actually function better under a bit of pressure. Constant stress, however, can wreak havoc on both your emotional and physical health and can lead to a number of health concerns such as anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, and hypertension. Prolonged stress may also contribute to unwanted weight loss or gain, and it can also affect your immune system, so you will get sick easier from being so run down, so it’s important to take an active role in managing your stress levels.
I have been there, tired, unhappy and struggling to get through my day to day life. In the past, I’ve been so consumed by my stress that I was struggling to get enough sleep, and I was definitely snapping at my son a lot more. I found I had less patience and I was retaliating instead of working on what was making me unhappy and actively managing my stress better. I have had to prioritise and learn how to manage my stress and balance my hectic life so that I can function at my best, and in turn be the best mum and versions of myself that I can be.
If you find yourself bogged down by the day to day, luckily, there are four simple things you can do each day to help you prevent and manage stress:
1) Practice self-care
I learnt how to say ‘no’, and to put my needs first. If I am tried, I rest. If I need time out, I take it. Mediation and walking are two things that I know help when I am feeling overwhelmed or need some grounding.
Don’t feel selfish or succumb to ‘mum guilt’ for taking time out for yourself, it is crucial. Aim to set aside one hour a week just for YOU and show yourself some love and respect. And don’t forget to take deep breaths, nice slow deep breaths help to change your mental state and will assist in bringing the calm.
2) Fuel your body with the nutrients it needs
I always aim to eat a well-balanced diet, rich in complex carbs, healthy fats and protein. I will steer away from foods that spike my insulin levels as they tend to lead to a crash in energy afterwards.
You need to fuel your body with the right foods. You would never drive your car without petrol in it, so be sure to eat enough food to nourish your body and give you the energy you need to get through your day. If you are tired and hungry this can affect your mood and hormones, so consuming enough nutrients is key to help manage your stress.
3) Move your body every day
It might just be a walk, some gentle stretches, a weight training session, or some pilates at home, but I like to make sure I move my body every day. Exercise is a great way to get those feel good endorphins pumping which will help change your mental state. Remember that too much exercise can lead to stress, so be sure that you are getting enough rest, sleep and recovery in between workouts. One day off the gym won’t kill you if you are feeling tired - REST!
4) Consider supplements that can help manage your stress levels
I’ve been taking Ethical Nutrients Super Multi Plus for the past three months and I have noticed a huge shift in my energy levels, focus and mental clarity – it’s essential for me to make sure I’m fueling my body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. The key ingredients are Vitamin B5 to assist in energy production, ginseng to support mental and physical performance, and milk thistle to help support the liver.
It can be difficult to get the nutrients we need in our day to day from our diet alone, so taking a supplement can assist and support with energy production and help you to manage stress.
Written by Justine Switalla, Ethical Nutrients Ambassador & Creator of Fit Healthy Mums