I have talked about stress earlier in relation to the mind-gut connection but I think it deserves a post all on its own because its so prevalent in today's society. Here are some general nutrition and wellness tips to reduce stress:
Get your 7-9 hours of sleep. Unless you have issues sleeping, then stop making excuses and go to bed on time. Being burnt out is only to cause your stress to pile up
Disconnect. Constantly being on our devices, answering calls, texts, emails and looking at social media can be overwhelming. You can even change your settings so you aren't notified every time someone likes your post or send you an email. It is also mentally exhausting for individuals who are on social media a lot and compare themselves to others. Cutting back on phone time wouldn't hurt!
Hit up relaxation station. We all have different things that make us relaxed whether thats a hot bath, reading a book, watching our favourite show or baking but just me sure to make time to relax each day, especially before bed.
Do more of what you love. This kind of goes with point 3 but sometimes we get too wrapped up in our day to day work that we forget to take time to ourselves. Whether you like to go shopping, hiking, road tripping, crafting, or whatever it may be, be sure to reconnect with things you actually love to do.
Organize your inbox, computer files, household files, closet, pantry, and everything in between to make things easier to find and less cluttered.
Reduce your consumption of processed sugar. Consuming sugars causes your adrenal glands to release the stress hormone cortisol to get blood sugar levels back to normal. This can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue and blood sugar imbalances. Therefore its important to maintain normal blood sugar levels by eating balanced meals with proteins and healthy fats.
Due to the same reason as #1, you should reduce your consumption of refined carbohydrates and processed/packaged foods. They also contain little nutrient value and don't do much to support the functions within our body. You may notice you experience a mid-afternoon crash after lunch. This perpetuates fatigue and stress. These foods also lack fiber which is essential for proper digestion which I will explain the important further down
If you find that you are stressed and anxious, consider cutting back on coffee and even caffeinated teas which can lead to adrenal fatigue. Instead, try drinking calming herbal teas like peppermint and chamomile tea.
Practice menu planing and meal prep to take the stress out of healthy eating and preparing meals
Consume nutrient dense foods. This may seem obvious but of we continue to eat junk foods with little nutrition our bodies will begin to crave them. You may also find that when you are stressed you want to reach for that bag of chips or donut. Don't keep that food available in your home and replace it with better options like dark chocolate and savoury nut butters or homemade energy balls.
Practice mindful eating. This goes with point #7 but take deep breaths before you eat, eat without distractions and chew your food well. When we are distracted we might not chew our food as well which burdens our digestive system. And if we eat when we are stressed our fight-or-flight response draws blood flow away from digesting our food to our extremities to fight off what it thinks is a physical threat
Get your poop in a group and support digestion. Support digestion by eating probiotic rich foods, resolving underactive stomach, clearing out candida, drinking lots of water, exercising, relaxing, eating fiber and eating foods that contain lots of vitamins and minerals. In a previous post I talked about the mind-gut connection and how stress, anxiety, and depression can result in digestive upset while preexisting digestive issues can also lead to mental health issues. Therefore, do whatever you can in your power to support a healthy digestive system!
In good health,
Want to stay up to date on my latest blog posts, recipes and events? Sign up for my newsletter here!