Top tips for surviving post Christmas stress

Stress is one of the biggest crises facing women’s health in the 21st century. While our bodies were designed to cope with short, occasional bursts of stress (like being chased by that sabre toothed tiger), we’re simply not built to handle the chronic daily stress that many of us seem to be suffering with today. 

If you’ve noticed that your memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be, that’s one sign of chronic, long-term stress. Brain fog and frequent forgetfulness are also signs of over exposure to cortisol - the stress hormone.

While there may be not quick, short term solutions to some of the major stressful situations in your life (like financial stress, relationship issues, grief or work pressures), there is a way you can protect your body by balancing out stress with positive actions. 

The factors that contribute to chronic stress are:

  • poor diet

  • lack of sleep (or poor quality sleep)

  • not enough (or too much) physical activity

  • unresolved situations that play on your mind constantly

You can counteract chronic stress by following these simple tips:

  • Get adequate rest. This may not always be sleep; sometimes just taking yourself off for a quiet bath, reading a book or a drive to sit by the sea and watch the waves may also help. 

  • Eat nourishing food. The more whole foods you can consume, the higher your nutrient intake which means that at a chemical level your body will repair quicker from damage and will be able to counteract stressful situations with ease. Eat lots of vegetables, drink water and avoid processed products that are high in salt, fat and sugar.

  • Take moderate exercise. While it’s important to move around every day, it’s equally as important to not push yourself so hard that you place your body under more stress at a chemical level. If you’re feeling constantly tired, your body aches for days or you get recurrent infections, then it’s probably time to reduce your vigorous exercise to something more moderate. 

  • Try yoga. Yoga is replenishing, calming and slow - the perfect antidote to modern life. It’s not just about being bendy and doing headstands, there are many types of yoga so it’s easy to find one that suits you. As you learn to focus on your breathing you’ll notice that certain situations will stress you far less than before. 

  • Try meditation. There are many free guided meditations and visualisations online on sites like YouTube.

  • Ensure you get adequate ‘me time’. Not always easy, especially if you have young children or a busy full time job (or two jobs), but do try to get at least 15 minutes before bed or during the day where you do something JUST for you. Read a book or magazine, light a candle and sit quietly by yourself, go for a walk, take a bath, paint your nails, wash your hair…. anything that makes YOU feel good. 

  • Get plenty of sleep. Practice a healthy bedtime routine where you stop using your electronic devices at least 30-60 minutes before you sleep and avoiding stimulants like coffee or chocolate in the late evening. Ensure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature (a little cooler than the rest of the house) and change your sheets weekly. Keep computers and televisions out of the bedroom and open the window daily to allow fresh air to circulate.

  • Love and laughter. Social interaction and daily laughter has been proven scientifically to play an important role in longevity and good health into old age. So spend time with the people who make you feel good and don’t take life too seriously. 

If you feel like 2018 has been a stressful year and has made you gain weight and feel uncomfortable in your clothes and dissatisfied with your body image, then you might be interested in my brand new 7 DAY WEIGHT LOSS PLAN which starts on 2nd January (but you can start at any date during January). 

You’ll find all the details in the link below and registration is open now!

Your 7 Day Weight Loss Plan

Pippa x

HealthPippa Campbell