6 Ways to Reduce Stress and Improve Health
I’m always working on my relationship with food to make it more about physical nourishment than fulfilling my cravings or stuffing emotions. The more I eat whole, unprocessed foods, the less I am drawn to processed foods. Menu planning gets me excited about what I can eat, and less focused on what I can’t eat. Taking a moment to breathe before I eat and feeling gratitude for the beautiful, colourful, natural food I’m eating elevates the process (and helps digestion.)
Keep things in perspective
We can deal with a lot more than we think, but only “in the moment”. Some planning for the future is prudent, but too much forward-thinking these days can get you down. Trust that whatever comes down the pike in the future, you have the inner strength to deal with it, if and when it happens. Then let it go and focus on the preset.
If worries about the future are getting you down, try switching mental channels. Regularly take stock of what you have to be grateful for; appreciating the big and small things can make you feel better. After her husband suddenly died, Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, would ask herself each day, “what are three things I did well today”. Even little things can count. It’s about being kind to yourself (but not easy on yourself) – that’s my mantra!
Get active outdoors
Staying active, especially outdoors, boosts brain chemistry and helps your immune system.
Getting natural light these days is essential for our brain and mood. Getting the blood pumping is like an anti-depressant without side effects (as anyone who exercises regularly will enthusiastically tell you!)
Take a few supplements
Even with the best lifestyle, natural medicines can help you be your best now and in the future. Some of my favourites are Vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics, resveratrol, and curcumin (turmeric extract). They all have abundant research showing benefits for health. For patients experiencing stress and burnout, I recommend a formula called Adrenal 2. For people concerned about their immune resilience, our herbal formula of Elderberry and Astragalus is generally safe for long-term use.
Reach out to others
Is there someone in your expanded circle who might need a call? Hearing a human voice these days can mean the world to someone else, and it always feels good to help others. While awkward at first, using video calls can create a sense of connection almost as good as the real thing. Or maybe let the people in your circle know that you could use some support? Have some time that could be used for volunteer work? Search online for COVID friendly opportunities.
Seek professional support
Seeing a naturopathic physician might be just what you need to focus on a plan for optimal physical and mental health. We take the time to listen, help you understand your health issues, and make a plan for better health in the safest, most natural way possible. We all need to up our game these days and having a trained professional on your team makes good sense. It’s a sign of strength to ask for help. Don’t just put up with so-so mental or physical health; with some focused strategies, you can feel better.