Our experts are here to help you de-stress from the moment you wake up, to the moment you close your eyes…
1. Spring out of bed
“If you feel especially down on dark mornings, consider using a special light lamp alarm clock. The lamp gradually turns itself on (and gets brighter and brighter) to mimic natural dawn sunrise, to wake you up slowly before your alarm goes off. Research has shown people feel more positive and find it easier to get out of bed in the darker months after using this kind of device,” advises Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
2. Start your day with a smile on your face
Why not tell your family member, friend or partner a joke over the breakfast table? Having a laugh is one of the best remedies for stress and low mood – “laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women(www.glenvillenutrition.com).
3. Have a high fibre brekkie
“Low fibre diets and stress can change levels of gut bacteria,” says London’s Leading Nutrtitionist, Lily Soutter (www.lilysoutternutrition.com). Why’s this important? “90% of our serotonin is located within the gut, and only 10% is located within the brain. Scientists are now referring to our gut as our second brain, and the latest suggests that our gut bacteria may influence how much serotonin we produce.” Therefore having a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut is crucial for our mood – hopefully making us less prone to those daily stressors.
4. Do something for YOURSELF
Qualified psychologist, working with ThinkWell-LiveWell (www.thinkwell-livewell.com), Suzy Reading, puts increasing stress levels down to our “you snooze you lose” culture and the pressure to always be “switched on.” A new survey by ThinkWell-LiveWell found that while 37% of British people questioned self-care as an important way to combat stress and anxiety, the same number again (37%) ignore signs of stress and anxiety and try to “let is pass.” Suzy reading explains, ”self-care is absolutely essential for combatting stress and anxiety. It helps us recover and restore from the accumulation of minor daily stressors and the more significant challenging times like illness, job pressure, conflict in relationships or financial struggle.” Suzy recommends prioritising self care so that we can think straight and cope with the everyday demands of life. So you’ve woken up, smiled, had a high fibre breakfast and now you’re on your way to work – the perfect opportunity for a little you time to get you in the zone for the working day ahead. Pop your headphones in and give yourself a quick reboot with the 5-minute instant calmer programme on the new mindfulness toolkit, ThinkWell-LiveWell (www.thinkwell-livewell.com)
5. Have your morning coffee and stop there
You’ve got into work and all you want is a coffee – we don’t blame you! However, overdoing it on the coffee can actually cause a spike in your stress levels. So try having one a day and see how it benefits you. “Think about the amount of caffeine you are drinking either in coffee, tea, colas and energy drinks. Caffeine, similar to sugar, will cause a similar roller coaster effect and can cause the release of the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville.
6. Lunch time walk anyone?
Why not run to work or go for a run on your lunch break? Not only has research revealed that running reduces stress levels, it’s also been found to improve learning and protect your memory.[i]This means running may not only have de-stressing benefits, it could also help you to be more proficient in the workplace. If you’re not feeling up to a run, go for a walk. “Exercise improves circulation, boosts energy and releases feel-good endorphins that help enhance mood and reduce stress. Just 10 minutes of movement helps stimulate wake-promoting hormones. Try stretching while you wait for your coffee to brew, doing lunges while you’re brushing your teeth and if you have a dog take them for a 10-minute walk to start off your day,” recommends Nutritionist at Natures Plus (www.naturesplus.co.uk), Michela Vagnini.
7. Get the job done
Stressed that you’re not going to get all of your work done before the end of the day? Avoid that afternoon slump and stay energised by opting for a healthy and balanced lunch. “Although lunch may not be the sole cause of your afternoon slump, opting for heavy lunches can leave us feeling sluggish and drowsy. Choosing a balanced lunch can minimise the risk of that afternoon drowsiness,” explains Lily Soutter. itsu’s Salmon Sushi (RRP £4.99, 233 calories) contains a host of health benefits and thanks to the fish content is an excellent source of protein that balances blood sugar, helping to keep energy levels stable.
8. Avoid the sugary treats that are grabbing your attention
It’s 6pm, you’ve clocked out of work, craving dinner and as you’re walking to the train station you come across a number of shops filled with sugary goodies and you struggle to resist. Ring any bells? To help avoid giving in to temptations and crashing the moment you get home the Natures Plus KetoLiving Sugar Control Capsules (£29.95, www.naturesplus.co.uk) are here to help. The capsules support normal glucose levels, helping to eliminate those dreaded sugar cravings.
9. Swap stress for sex
“Sex can help to relieve tension, burn calories and help you go off to sleep faster. Sex begins in the head, your body’s physical reaction follows. A key part of starting that sexual idea with your partner is setting the mood and romantic music can help, as can low lighting, a candlelit bath, or your favourite romantic or raunchy film,” explains Dr Glenville.
10. Don’t be a late night worrier
Stress and sleep are closely related, if we do not get enough sleep we find it harder to function and when we are stressed we find it harder to get to sleep. If you’re a late night thinker it can be extremely difficult to break this cycle. To help say goodnight to your anxieties try dispensing a controlled amount of the brand new Cannabigold classic 500MG CBD oil (£29.90, www.bionativa.co.uk) directly under your tongue. “Clinical research has found that taking CBD oil at bedtime can alleviate insomnia and help people sleep for longer. What’s more, it doesn’t create the ‘sleep hangover’ effect that’s typical of many sleeping pills,” explains Nutritionist Fiona Lawson.
11. Help Overcome Stress Altogether
To overcome stress you firstly need to understand how it can cause mood swings, skin problems, sleep disturbances, lack of energy, digestive problems like bloating and flatulence, aches and pains, headaches, hormonal problems, muscle pains and even cramps. Once you’ve understood your triggers and symptoms you can then apply practical day-to-day tips to help reduce your stress levels. Dr Marilyn Glenville is hosting an event on the 23rd of November,
How To Overcome Stress and Anxiety in Your Life, Naturally (www.marilynglenville.com/events/), to discuss exactly this. There will also be a live cookery demo, showing you how to make delicious stress busting recipes and Olympic Athlete, Dame Kelly Holmes, will be there to discuss her personal story and how she coped under extreme pressure!