With all that’s been happening over the last year, it feels like a suitable time to talk about stress. Stress can be one of the biggest factors when it comes to your wellbeing, which is why we’ve asked Holistic Wellness & Life Coach Vicki to help us with some tips for handling stress, reducing anxiety and getting our bounce back.
At OMGTea we’re passionate about holistic health so we’d like to invite you to actively lower your stress levels and reconsider what wellbeing means to you.
As a Wellness coach working with clients looking to improve their health & wellbeing, Vicki has directly seen the impact that lockdown has had on our stress levels. We have been living through particularly unpredictable times where things are a little more grey and our health has been directly threatened by a deadly virus. We have been working mostly from home, where our personal space for rest and recovery has had to become a communal space for work – and workouts. This means our nervous system that is biologically designed to help us avoid danger – when our fight or flight response is triggered – has been in a state of constant stress. This puts our bodies, our minds and our spirits under constant stress, resulting in low energy levels, lack of motivation, inflammation, digestive problems, issues with hormone regulation, sleep disruption, poor food choices, anxiety….you name it.
So how can we look to relieve stress at its core? By taking a holistic approach to wellness – an approach considering all factors that contribute to our overall wellbeing. These factors can be divided into three categories: mind, body & spirit. Here are some tips & tricks to help alleviate stress so you can get your bounce back, increase productivity, and look after your health from the inside-out.
Mind – stress in the mind can lead to anxiety, irritability, lack of motivation, lack of clarity, overwhelm and burnout. Our minds particularly struggle when we have less control of the future and less divide between work and home life. What can we do to combat this? Adopt a more mindful approach to life by slowing down. Slow down, slow down, slow down. We wear ‘busy’ like a badge of honour rather than noticing how it depletes us. Meditation really helps with this, so if you haven’t tried meditating yet, give it a go! Or if meditating doesn’t work for you, you can try applying your full focus to one task at a time – like when you drink your matcha. Feel the warmth of the drink, the smell of the tea, the taste in your mouth, the warmth as it travels down into your body warming you from the inside. In the short term this will combat anxiety, and in the long term it will give you space from challenging thoughts and emotions.
Body – stress in the body can lead to hormone imbalances, adrenal fatigue, inflammation, slowed digestion, mood fluctuations and burnout in the form of exhaustion. Our bodies particularly struggle when our minds and spirits are stressed because they are the vehicle of our wellbeing. So, what can we do to support our bodies? Eat more Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3’s) and look after our microbiome. Essential Fatty Acids are in foods like leafy greens, seeds, oils and coldwater fish, or you could take a fish oil supplement. Probiotics do wonders for the microbiome – the population of healthy bacteria that live in the intestine to help us digest food efficiently – which can take a hit through caffeine, alcohol or general toxins in our food or environment. Best news about matcha is that it’s a natural probiotic (wow!), whilst helping avoid irritation in the intestine and indigestion.
Spirit – stress on the spirit or emotions can lead to burnout in the form of demotivation, depression or hopelessness. Our spirits struggle when faced with uncertainty or change. We can try to hold on too tight to familiarity, so that we don’t have to face our fears. This can make us feel stuck, fearful, as though we are resisting and swimming upstream against the current of life. This activates our fight or flight mode – and we’ve already spoken about what havoc living in that mode can wreak on our health. So, what can we do to free our spirits? We can get to know ourselves better by journaling. All you need it a notepad and pen, a comfortable quiet space, and your thoughts. You could use a prompt like ‘What am I grateful for?’, ‘what am I focusing on?’, ‘what’s most important to me right now?’, ‘what am I letting go of?’ or you could just write freely, like a stream of consciousness. Whatever you write about, just make sure it comes from within as though no-one else was going to read it. Let it be an opportunity to explore your deepest fears, darkest secrets, and loftiest dreams.
Let’s look after the unsung heroes in our lives to improve our heath – our microbiome, our minds, and perhaps the most important: our spirit.