Stress can creep up on us and catch us off guard. Sometimes it can last a few weeks or even months depending on what life has put on our plate. Life can be unpredictable and in times where that uncertainty becomes our temporary, normal some extra self-care is more than needed to get us to the other side.
Here are six healthy habits you can add to your routine as a supplement for stress:
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile Tea or other calming blends that include herbs such as lavender, peppermint or even a cup of green tea! Green tea has theanine which has been proven to reduce both psychological and physiological stress responses in the body.
Herbal tea blends have been used for decades to help soothe stresses and as a small moment to be present.
Enjoying a hot cup of tea can be like a meditation practice. If you allow yourself to take a few minutes out of your day to sit back and just be present with a cup of tea, you allow your mind and body to take a break from all the stress and just focus on this quiet moment.
Drink plenty of water during stressful times.
Dehydration can put excess stress on the body. During stressful times try to get your daily intake of water in to keep unnecessary stress off the body where possible. Keeping up on your water take can also help minimize the effects of stress on the body such as headaches, nausea or tiredness.
In addition to upping your water intake try to limit caffeine consumption, even if that means just cutting back a cup or two, as it can be very dehydrating to the body.
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats which can help to defend your body from the harmful effects of stress.
Almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios are among the top recommended by professionals and each for it’s own reason. Along with being a great source of fat each of these types of nuts comes with their own benefits, whether that be the zinc in almonds, omega-3’s in walnuts, or the B6 in cashews and pistachios.
Make your own trail mix that includes these nuts to snack on throughout the day and go ahead and add some dark chocolate to the mix as it can be a mood booster (plus, let’s be real, it’s delicious!)
Salmon is not just a source for omega-3, but more specifically DHA; a specific type of Omega-3 that can’t be found in plants but is crucial for brain function. Omega-3 helps to make the body more resilient by protecting it from the damage undue stress can cause within the body.
Now I know not everyone is a fish person so if adding salmon to your plate is out of the question, pick up a bottle of burp-less omega-3 vitamins that are sourced from fish oil. Though, I hope you opt to be a little adventurous and at least give salmon a try!
5. Magnesium-rich Meals
Opting for meals rich in magnesium can help the brain to manage stress.
Spinach, rice and beans are all great sources of magnesium and versatile ingredients. Add spinach to omelettes, sandwiches and smoothies. While beans and rice make a great dish on their own or a side.
If you want to go for a one-three punch you can make the most of Taco Tuesdays by using rice and beans in lieu of hamburg and topping with spinach alongside your usual go to’s.
6. Schedule Time For Yourself
And one last tip: Schedule some time for yourself no matter how busy you are.
Even if you can only squeeze in 15 minutes make those 15 minutes happen and make them a priority. When you’re stressed out it may feel like the last thing you should do is put your feet up. However, it gives you time to relax and recharge so you can get back to tackling the issues at hand with clarity and renewed energy.
Self-care and meal planning may be the last thing on your mind when you are in a season of stress, but this is also one of the most crucial times to add an extra dose to your routine. Just a few tiny changes to your routine can make all the difference for your stress levels and with a little prep work it can be a snap to implement. Even if you only take away one change from this article I hope it helps you find some ease in an otherwise hectic time.