Top tips on how to manage stress through Nutrition, mindset, exercise

There is no getting away from it. And more so now then ever with lots of us self isolating, or perhaps worries and feeling anxious by what we cannot control around us.. Stress is a common factor in this modern busy world, and surrounds some of us like a toxic cloud. Unless your on some exotic island eating the most antioxidant foods nature has?  Breathing the cleanest of air then your life has stress in some form. Mine certainly does, from waking nightly to the sounds of demanding pre preschoolers.

What used to be my stresser, running to nursery with my top inside out because we were late AGAIN!  To now having to manage my anxiety and my kids frustration of self isolation in a flat with no garden. Also  the stress any one feels running their own business, in a time of uncertainty and wondering am I good enough(I am by the way but we all have moments of self doubt)

Yes, a certain level of stress is important. The caveman had his fair share back in the day. Catching his dinner whilst running away from a tiger. And we thought we had it bad! Now that is a reason to be stressed!. Although for the majority of us, our reactions to situations, how we take care of our health and well being are major contributes to the stress in our lives.

The issue today is we are in a constant state of stress. Stressed from over thinking situations, fear of unknown, lack of exercise, work, childcare, our self confidence, our health etc . We’re one big ball of stress. Taking action to reduce these everyday stresses is a practice. Unfortunately we cant just manifest our wishes and they come through. (I do love a full moon manifest from my rooftop). But, There has to be positive action also involved.

A couple of practices that have helped me are simple techniques such as

  1. Writing a journal or diary of the days events that have stressed you out. These are hard times for the majority of us, effecting us all differently. Reflect back on these for a few minutes every evening. Was there something you could have done differently? Would it have changed the outcome if you had reacted differently. Learn from it! Our brain is capable of so much but like every habit formed it has to be done repetitively for it to become an automatic reaction without thoughts. Remember these are not normal circumstances so cut yourself some slack! Talk to yourself like you would a best friend. It changes the conversations guys doesn’t it ?!
  2. Look to keep the angry monster at bay by keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. Start the day with a source of protein. Protein is so important for keeping our moods and hormones in check. Its also where we get our zinc from which we need to keep our immune system balanced. A couple of recipes I share with my clients are Egg muffins(which can be made the night before and kept for 3 days). Plain Greek yogurt with flaxseeds and fruit another great example. Oats are also a great anabolic food and veggie source of protein so porridge with some flaxseeds and fruit.
  3. Take some time everyday to fit something in that brings you joy. If you still have the option of getting outside going for a walk. Reading those books you never got around to. Try a distance learning course on something you have always wanted to learn. Find a fitness and health community and get involved with those virtual classes( Get in touch for my weekly fitness and nutrition online classes). A bedtime hug with your kids. Its the small things that matter most. Most of my clients come to me for just that. They need an outlet through fitness, food and mindset. Have something planned no matter how small that brings you joy, boosting happy hormones, and reminding us that stress does not have to rule our lives if we choose not to let it.
  4. Pack your plate with colours of the rainbow. Dark greens, red, yellow. All these veggies are packed full of antioxidants that keep illness at bay when stress takes over. Our immune system can be severely depleted when stressed. So help your body to fight back with an army of antioxidants. Aim to fill half your plate with these amazing troopers. Vitamins and minerals such as B, C, magnesium and zinc are crucial at this time.
  5. Keep alcohol to a minimum. I can hear the sighs already. I am with you guys and feel your pain. I love a big glass of red to unwind but when alcohol becomes a crutch for stress then I hear the warning signs. It was something I did after having my kids, and loved to stretch out with an episode of poldark with a big glass of red. But next day I always was tired, cranky, stressed!! It places a huge demand on your immune system and we need more then ever in the currant climate. It leaches vitamins and minerals from your body and lets be honest we need all the goodness we can get.

I hope that by reading this you have taken some small steps you can implement. By including little action daily we can make positive changes in our life. We will get through this. Take the action you need to do to keep as healthy and positive as you can. If I can support you virtually right now please get in touch for a free fitness and nutrition consultation via the consultation form. Or join me for some virtual fitness and nutrition workshops and lets fight back.

Stay safe x

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti occurs in both men and women but is more commonly found in  postpartum mums. Diastasis Recti happens when  connective tissue (known as  linea Alba) has been stretched and widened by your growing baby. This creates  a gap between your left and right rectus abdominals.

How can you tell if You have Diastasis Recti?  Still looking pregnant months later? This is a common complaint among women. Another is a doming effect in the mid section when a sit up is performed. Back pain and pelvic floor incontinence can also occur.  One or more symptoms can occur in postpartum women, everyone’s body is different. But all them are unwanted and not the effect you will be looking to achieve, right?

Sit ups and crunches are 2 of the most common core exercises people perform when trying to “flatten” their tummy. This is something even I was guilty of after my first pregnancy. In the right conditions these exercises are great as part of a balanced exercises programme, except when Diastasis Recti is present. Until core and pelvic floor function has been restored these are exercises best to avoid.

Why? Because when a crunch or sit up is performed it generally increases intra-abdominal pressure. This pushes your organs outwards through the gap and down towards your pelvic floor. ( It has to go somewhere right?) Before we can move on to exercises such as sit ups we must first focus on those deeper abdominals. The transverse abdominals, internal and external obliques and  pelvic floor should be our priority.