April 1, 2023
April is Stress Awareness Month, a time t talk about stress, discover how it impacts your own life and look at ways you can combat stress and learn to cope with it.
Each year, The Stress Management Society dedicate April to raising awareness of stress related issues and helping individuals and companies promote healthy stress awareness and solutions for dealing with stress as an individual and in the workplace.
Since the pandemic and many more of us working from home, a lot of people have re-evaluated their work-life balance and the fact that their job should be more than just a salary. It is okay to say ‘no’ and to expect your feelings of overload or burnout to be taken into account. Visit https://www.stress.org.uk/ for information for individuals and organisations on how to manage stress and to create a culture of wellbeing whether for your business or home.
Since the pandemic, many people have discovered that they want a new work/life balance and that a job can be more than just a salary.
We tend to think all stress is a bad thing, it isn’t always. Sometimes it is what gives you the push to get motivated and spring into action, how many people do their best work as the deadline looms? But it is not always the case and it can be detrimental, especially if it is a permanent state or creates a negative outlook.
It is easy to think that stress is all in the mind, however it has a very physical impact too.You have probably heard of fight or flight, that is our body getting prepared to deal with stress. A complex mix of hormones and chemicals flood into the body, the adrenaline, cortisol, noradrenaline and more all help us ‘spring’ into action and cope with the emergency. Heart rate increases, faster breathing, the blood supply goes to key organs and the muscles prepare for action.
It also important that we don’t separate mental health as something indistinct from or lesser than our physical health. As we lead more stressful lives now than probably at anytime in human civilisation, it is important that we give the same importance to our mental wellbeing as to our physical health.
Sometimes, simple changes introducing new habits can be helpful in helping you deal with stressful situations and challenges. If you feel that things are getting to you and you may be at risk of harming yourself or others, contact your GP or organisations like The Samaritans (UK free telephone 116 123) who can help you.
As part of Stress Awareness Month there is a 30 day challenge to help you to find ways to act now and make a difference to your life by picking one action a day to create new habits. Find out more here and create new and positive habits to benefit your wellbeing.
We are bombarded with information and can feel overwhelmed with trying to create that Instagram ‘perfect’ space or body – it is important to realise that real life happens and it is very hard to achieve a picture perfect life when faced with the realities of our real lives. Part of your self care can be to give yourself a digital detox and make time for turning off the phone and taking time away from social media.
We are bombarded with the impossible to achieve, Instagram perfect lifestyle. Take time to have a digital detox and give yourself a break from social media.
Making time for self-care is an important part of creating a healthy body and mind, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can create a good foundation to help your body deal with the demands of everyday life. Simple changes such as swapping whole grains for refined white bread and pasta can increase your intake of B vitamins. They also help you feel full for longer, so you are less likely to reach for sugary snacks with little nutrition.
Think about starting the day with porridge topped with fresh fruit and nut as a healthy breakfast. Oats are a great base for a breakfast and can be economical too, especially if you buy simple rolled oats then jazz it up with health toppings.
Taking your own lunch to work, whether a sandwich, a salad or a soup means that not only are you saving money on expensive takeaway lunches, you can also ensure that you have a wide range of foods that again can increase your nutrient intake.
Taking lunch to work can be a great way of eating nutrition packed food and save some money at the same time.
Oily fish is rich in essential fatty acids that we know are important for brain function and a healthy heart, healthy fats in avocados and nuts are also a way of getting the good fats into the body. Seeds and nuts can give you a supply of minerals that are important for many functions in the body including zinc which is needed for cognitive health.
If you are thinking about updating your supplement regime to help support the nervous system and good psychological health, think about taking a B Complex and magnesium. These both play a role in supporting the nervous system and contributing to normal psychological function.
We hear a lot about the health of the gut microbiome, the friendly bacteria that resides in our digestive system. Not only does a good microbiome lead to a healthy digestive system, it can also manufacture B vitamins and support the digestion of nutrients from food. This means that when you make positive changes to your diet, the digestive system can be working at its best to get the nutrients from your food into the body. You may also have heard of the gut – brain axis, the way that a healthy microbiome in the gut is being lined to healthy brain function. Another way your diet and supplements can support your overall health. You can find the healthy bacteria in fermented foods and in supplements.
Whilst you are creating your healthy eating habits, it can be useful to add a multivitamin and mineral supplement to your diet to add a wide range of vitamins and minerals to your regime. A multi can underpin and support the absorption of other nutrients.
Looking at other supplements, B vitamins are used by the body for the health of the nervous system and contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, two things that can be an issue when you are feeling stressed and overwrought.
Magnesium is used in a lot of processes in the body, but like B vitamins, plays a role in helping reduce tiredness and fatigue and in normal psychological function. If your muscles are tense, magnesium can be helpful in relaxing them.
Make simple and positive changes, create time for selfcare and look at the support available via MIND, Stress Management and your GP. There are lots of checklists and information to help you create new habits at https://www.stress.org.uk/ . Make this April the time you start or reactive some positive habits to help create a less stressful space to be in.
Make time to make the right choices for you.
Make a cup of a relaxing herbal tea and give yourself permission and time to make some positive changes.Back to Blog