As autumn sets in and temperatures drop, many of us begin to face more stress such as, work and school schedules, family obligations, extra curricular activities, not to mention the holidays coming up just around the corner.
In reaction, we often experience “stress triggers” (like work pressure, commuting in traffic, balancing family and professional demands, etc.) that impact our health.
In light of this, it is especially important to care for our bodies with simple and natural stress remedies so we do not burn out. Research indicates that being stressed about stress only adds to the issues so we need to learn how to manage it.
The best case scenario is to settle into daily habits that manage your stress and wellness without worrying about it too much.
Here are our most recommended tips for navigating stress and realizing ultimate wellness.
6 FALL STRESS BUSTER TIPS
TIP 1 — EAT 4-6 SMALL HALF-MEALS EACH DAY
A key aspect of minimizing the stress on your system is to eat in a way that fits your physiology. The least stressful and most supportive way to nourish yourself is to eat four to six small half-meals each day spread evenly throughout the day, with each small “meal” including a balance of proteins (35-40%), carbs (35%-40% or less), and healthy fats (20%-30% or more).
An example day would be:
6 a.m: Protein shake with berries and flax or coconut oil
9 a.m: Almonds/cashews, Noon half of a salad with olive oil, veggies and chicken/turkey
3 p.m: The other half of the salad
6 p.m: 3 ounces of wild salmon with greens
8-9 p.m: 1/4 cup frozen blueberries with 1Tbs nut butter (if you go to bed by 9, you would skip this last “meal”).
Keep in mind that it is important to individualize your diet based on your needs and health concerns.
TIP 2 — DRINK PLENTY OF FILTERED WATER
To find the amount you need, divide your body weight in half. This is how many ounces of water you need to drink throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
You need even more if you are drinking caffeinated beverages, engaged in vigorous physical activity, or if you are in a hot climate.
Your thirst monitors don’t really reflect your body’s need for water, yet when your body becomes even slightly dehydrated, your stress response begins.
We say “filtered” water in order to avoid toxins, metals and other contaminates often found in water. It is also important to ensure adequate electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc.) in your water and beverages (but avoid sweeteners).
TIP 3 — GET MORE SLEEP
We all need sleep — and we need it even more if our waking hours have been full of stressful challenges. Even when we experience these challenges as positive — a new romantic interest, an exciting project at work, a vacation full of thrilling adventures — our body needs time to relax and recover from the demands of the day.
Aim to get in bed and turn off the lights and electronic devices with enough time to sleep at least 7.5 hours before you need to get up the next day. Unfortunately, it is often when we are most stressed that we don’t sleep as well.
So, if you are not getting good sleep, be sure to contact a health care provider who can help your body recover from stress so that you can get back to sleeping well.
Check out our tips to sleep better and longer, here.
TIP 4 — EXERCISE AT LEAST 15 MINUTES A DAY, 3-5 DAYS A WEEK
Your body was born to move, and when it doesn’t get that opportunity, you will find it very difficult to maintain optimal health.
Of course, exercise itself is a form of stress — a physical challenge to your body — but paradoxically, it also helps to release emotional stress. A number of studies have shown that regular exercise is associated with decreased anxiety and depression, as well as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But don’t overdo it! Even just 15 minutes of strength-building together with cardio helps your body recover from stress.
TIP 5 — RECONNECT WITH YOURSELF
A plethora of research demonstrates that stress plays a major role in depression andanxiety. This makes sense when you consider how significantly the stress hormone cortisol affects our neurotransmitters, the biochemical that determine mood, energy and focus.
Fortunately, the research also demonstrates that the stress response can be rebalanced through yoga, meditation and massage therapy. Now you have a legitimate excuse for getting a weekly massage!
TIP 6 — DRINK OOLONG TEA
Instead of having coffee to help with your afternoon slump, try substituting with a hot cup of Oolong tea or a cool iced Oolong tea with lemon.
Oolong tea is jam-packed with antioxidants and L-theanine which have been proven to help you relax and stay focused. Oolong tea is known to be a healthy natural supplement that can help with anxiety. Note: Oolong tea does have a small amount of caffeine, so if you’re looking to calm down, you may want to try our trick to wipe out over 65% of the caffeine in each tea bag.
The effects of drinking Oolong tea can accumulate over several days after consumption, so make this your brew of choice on a daily basis and check in after a week to see if you feel the benefits.
Be sure to check out our Pumpkin Spice Oolong Latte recipe, here. It’s perfect for the fall season!
This time of year brings a lot of added stress and if you aren’t careful, you could find yourself burned out before Thanksgiving! Make sure to take some time for you, don’t overschedule your life (or your kid’s lives), eat right and just be good to yourself! The holidays are just around the corner, so be sure to start managing your stress now so you can enjoy the upcoming holiday season.
How do you manage stress? Let me know in the comments below!
Yours in Health & Happiness,