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Are you stressed? Coping tips!

Stress management – a BIG factor in our nutrition and physical activity decision making and therefore has a big impact on our goals and whether we achieve them or not. One of the many reasons we work on stress management in my team of wonderful clients – that and because no matter how great our nutrition and exercise feels, if we feel stressed, we still feel pretty garbage and we aren’t about that!


So, we’ve all been there. We live in an age where we are trapped in a cycle of more, more, more. We don’t feel good unless we are working all of the hours that God sends. We aren’t making progress unless we’re working, right? Wrong.


Nine to five isn’t nine to five anymore and this is not at all conducive to optimal stress management so I’m here today to hopefully help that a little for you with some super simple tips that might just make the biggest difference.


First things first, boundaries. Give yourself some hard lines in the sand, whether you’re self-employed or have a boss watching over your shoulder, commit to yourself to start and, more importantly, finish, on time. Detach yourself from work entirely, if you work in the same environment that you live, make it different – pop your computer away, pop a candle and some calming music on and transform from work-mode to home-mode. Finding a strong distinction between work and home life might seem obvious but it makes such a difference. You aren’t often achieving anything more by working into the evening, you have lost productivity and if you’re working for someone else, likelihood is they aren’t even noticing the extra graft you are putting in. It isn’t worth the stress and lack of ‘life’ being lived on your part.


Along the same lines, it’s really important that you take your lunch break. If only to check in with yourself to ensure you’re free of muscle tension and hydrated well, take some deep breaths (more on that in a moment), take your time over a meal, move and shake those legs if you sit at a desk all day or sit down if you’re on your feet all day – you aren’t paid to work through your lunch break, you won’t work well in the second part of your working day if you don’t so let’s commit to taking our full break this week. A simple change of scenery while you eat your lunch can make SO much difference to your feelings of stress.


Deep breaths is number three – it might seem airy fairy but hear me out. The simple act of taking five conscious deep breaths and focussing really hard on where you might feel tension in your body and mindfully feeling that be released can be so impactful. Checking in with your breath and making sure it isn’t short and choppy but that it is deep and slow and right down into your tummy a few times a day – you could even set an alarm on your phone – might just help out. Give it a go, let me know how that feels.


Fresh air and natural daylight is a biggie for number four – perhaps not always sunlight if you live in the UK, but a few steps throughout your day in the outdoors could be a game changer – the research tells us that getting outside can give us so much clarity and much more calm so get on it!!


And last but certainly not least and one that has been the trickiest for me but perhaps the one that makes the most difference, is cutting down on caffeine! If you feel your heart racing and in a pretty constant state of heightened energy, be it mental or physical, it could mean that you’re consuming more caffeine than ideal for your physical and mental health. Too much caffeine won’t help your feelings of well-being through the day and certainly won’t help your sleep quality at night, leading to even more of a negative health spiral for countless reasons. The increased ‘flight’ response that we get from caffeine will NOT help stress management. This isn’t me saying we all need to abstain from caffeine all together – that would be hypocritical, I LOVE a great quality coffee, in fact it is one of my passions in life BUT perhaps learning how your body feels and paying more attention and experimenting with less could really help. When you try to cut down, at first it can feel pretty rough, stick with it for a while, I promise the body will adapt and if you think you have ‘too much’ caffeine, your body will thank you for that discipline.


So, which will you try first? Which will you implement into your routine this week? Let me know how you get on – one at a time over the next few weeks and I’m sure you will see the world of difference. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.


Peace and love, A x

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