Just imagine what the numbers are in 2010. Left unmanaged, stress can have serious consequences on you.However, there is good news. You can manage your stress with the below 7 steps.
1. Slow down, stop and breathe. Big inhale and exhale through the nose. This is great for relieving tightness in the chest, panic attacks and allows us to think more clearly.
2. Take some time for yourself. As a mother of three, I know this is often difficult, but just take 15min for yourself– It can be as simple as taking a bath by yourself, or taking time to read or eat a hot meal without being rushed or serving others.
3. Try a few relaxing yoga poses listed below, register for a yoga class that fits into your schedule, or bring a yoga instructor into your home or workplace.
4. Eat well. Dr. Charron, one of my partners for Managing Stress Workshops states we should eat the following when stressed…
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays a vital role is stress reduction. Eating more tryptophan-containing foods can have a calming effect. Some good sources are low-fat cottage cheese, lean turkey, salmon, peanuts, cashews, oatmeal and avocado.
Vitamin C, because your body needs additional Vitamin C when you’re under stress, supplementation may be necessary. In addition to your Vitamin C supplement, here is a list of foods high in Vitamin C to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis: red and green pepper, melons, kiwi, cauliflower, broccoli, mango, oranges and strawberries.
Protein. Good quality proteins at every meal are essential, especially to minimize fatigue. Protein powder and protein bars are an excellent idea for busy schedules. Keep a bar in your bag in case of emergencies when you are not able to eat regularly. Other great protein sources are: eggs, tofu, fish, lean chicken and turkey, low-fat cottage cheese, nuts and seeds.
5. Drink plenty of water to keep your body functioning optimally under stress. It is crucial to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of pure water. Aim for about 2 litres per day.
5. Sleep. Ensure you get enough sleep. Recent research supports the idea we should all strive to 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
7. Exercise. The link between physical health and mental health has been well documented. People who are active are more able to deal effectively with stress, depression and anxiety. This does not mean you need to run out and buy a gym membership. Just get active and have some fun. Be creative and be sure it is something you enjoy doing and what can you afford. In the winter, you can do so many fun things to get exercise. It is even more fun to do these things with your child(ren) and be a positive role model for them. I am a mother of three and my children and I enjoy shoveling the driveway together and piling the snow up high at one spot for tobogganing, or making snow horses. Go for a walks along the trails in your community. If there is still snow, then pull the toboggan behind you (in my case, I pulled three behind me— now that is a great strengthening and endurance work out). Try taking your child(ren) skiing –mine just tried it and they absolutely loved it!
While indoors, try having a dance party, balloon volleyball, and jump like frogs.
As the weather warms up and everything melts, go for walks along the trails, jump in puddles, climb on rocks and fallen trees. Build creations by pulling and lifting fallen frees and rocks. Have your child(ren) help you with the gardening. Kids love to rack and dig and get dirty.
Get involved with helping the community by planting trees, community clean up and charity walks. Charity walks are a great way to involve the whole family (my children have been doing charity walks since newborn days in a front carrier) and other friends. What a great way to combine exercise with social interaction – multi tasking. If you like, begin with some leisurely walks such as MS Super City walks in April, then move onto the 12 hour Relay for Life in June then progress to a timed walk such as the Minds in Motion KW Walking Classic.
YOGA for managing Stress:
If you have little ones or pets in your life, invite them to lay on your tummy for some bonding and rejuvenation with you. Play a game, seeing how high your wave (tummy and chest) can rise and fall as you inhale and exhale or who can leave their legs up the longest. Or imagine water falling down your toes and legs.
Although legs up pose is terrific, please avoid if you have serious eye problems, such as glaucoma; have a serious neck or back problems (only perform this pose with the supervision of an experienced teacher); or if you are pregnant and beyond the first trimester.
If your feet begin to tingle during this pose, please bend your knees, touch your soles together, and slide the outer edges of your feet down the wall, bringing your heels close to your pelvis.
If legs up pose is not for you or you have more time, try “supported resting child pose”. Build a soft structure on a 45 degree angle, for example use a yoga block one end and bolster resting on it or be creative, use whatever you have a phone book and a rolled up comforter.
Then kneel on the floor, ensure your knees are comfortable and fold forward over your bolster. Knees out to the sides and toes touching, bum to the heels, or heading in that direction and rest your head on the higher end of the bolster and relax. Again, be sure to breathe and allow all the tension to melt away. Supported resting child will help relieve stress and fatigue, calms the calms the mind and helps relieve back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.
Avoid supported resting child pose if you have a knee injury, diarrhea or if it just does not feel right for your body.
To learn more about managing stress and improving your health, please contact:
Jayne Hembruff, BSc, OYA-R .
firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 519-886-5021