Guest blog by Sally Paech

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Welcome to stress!

Many people sadly function in a constant state of stress and worry.

Case one: Ariana Huffington

Huffington suffered a facial injury in 2007 after fainting in her office due to severe exhaustion and overwork. Since then, she has pushed a platform of individuals maintaining a balance between work, good health and life/enjoyment.

Did you know that stress can actually make you fat? Elevated cortisol allows the body to store fat (especially abdominal). Stress hormones also adversely affect all stages of digestion, weakens immune responses, accelerates ageing, joint degeneration and reduces muscle tone and bone density.

But small changes in daily life will help keep you fit, fab and more friendly! So here’s the 101 on stress – and how to Let that shit go!

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1. SLEEP

This is PRIMARY. 7 hours is non-negotiable. You have the same amount of hours in the day. Go to bed earlier and get up earlier. The primary hours for rest are between 10pm – 3am.

To make this possible, try and cut out stimulants by 3pm  (coffee, chocolate, SUGAR).

Dim lights by 7pm – it helps to trigger sleep hormones and creates a sense of calm. Also turn off all technology off by 8pm. Any emails can now wait until tomorrow.

2. ROUTINE 

Each night, write out the tasks for the next day. Then designate tasks amongst your family. Kids are capable of picking up toys by about age 3! It teaches responsibility and life skills too.

3. FOOD

Toast on the run is not a nourishing breakfast. Jump on the superfoods bandwagon, get to your whole food store, plan ahead and nourish your body. Fresh Vegetables, fruit and healthy protein is a must! Here are some great alternatives to keep in the pantry/fridge:

CASHEWS :: Cashews contains the amino acid L-tryptophan which converts to serotonin in the body – a feel good chemical responsible for overall wellbeing and feeling great! Other great sources of tryptophan are protein rich foods such as sesame seeds or tahini, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, natural protein powder  and flaxseeds.

CACAO :: Cacao is also rich in a compound called resveratrol, the same that’s found in red wine.  Resveretrol helps to control inflammation and protects your brain as well as calm the nervous system. it is also high in magnesium which helps muscles relax

PROTEIN-RICH FOODS :: Protein is an essential nutrient to help your body cope with high stress levels by stabilising blood sugar spikes, reducing mood swings, jitteriness and improving sleep. Chicken, fish, red meat, eggs, nuts and organic yoghurt are perfect healthy choices

GREEN FOODS :: Plant based superfoods such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are rich in a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help reduce internal stress.

BANANAS :: Bananas are high in tryptophan which helps make serotonin – the feel good hormone responsible for making us feel great.

4. FITNESS – MOVE YOUR BODY AND ENJOY IT 

Running will drop kilos but will also increase cortisol thus you’ll be hungrier and store fat quicker.

Exercises like yoga and weights actually fool your body into thinking you’re escaping the source of your stress. Connect with a good yoga teacher who can set you up with a home program – I do this with all my clients.  Yoga, when practiced in the right sequence can both tone the body and calm the mind, balance hormones, reduce stress. And, it only takes a few poses each day

Resistance  training builds muscle which helps burn fat, tone and strengthen the body, utilises energy in a way to help you sleep. it only takes 30 minutes three times a week, or ten minutes at home each day – Use your body  – Work the PLANK.

Also — go for a walk! It costs nothing and is so much healthier than walking for hours on a treadmill watching tv. Vitamin D – is one extremely necessary mood hormone that your body can’t actually make.

5. WATER

Running a warm bath, lighting candles… impractical and near impossible for a nightly ritual BUT warm water is a natural sedative and 5 to 10 minutes under hot water can work wonders for your body, muscles, joints and overall mood. I also use a Body Scrub every time I shower — OrganiQBody scrubs cleanse the skin, remove impurities and help the body to detox. A gentle scrub increases circulation and helps ease pain, stimulate healing and reduce inflammation.

6. LAUGH

Laughter really is the best medicine. It is proven to lower tension, and at the same time, improves blood flow and the health of your heart. One study has shown laughter to be just as affective as meditation in clearing the mind and improve wellbeing.

7. HUG

There is actually a belief that babies who are not held regularly will fail to thrive and develop.

When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol level.It makes you feel warm, fuzzy and literally forget pain.

Try and do at least one of these things today and I promise, you will feel slightly less stressed!

Sally x

Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson

Co-Creator and Writer for Adelady, she still gets goosebumps that she’s combined her creative passion with sharing the best of her stunning home state.

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