Top 10 Tips to Reduce Stress
by Nikki Warren on May 02, 2022
We can be pretty certain that in the last couple of years, people have experienced stress in a way they may never have experienced it before. Stress is certainly something that I’m familiar with myself. As a single mum of 2 kids, I have juggled full time study to earn a degree and 2 diplomas, while starting two businesses.
There were many challenging times along my journey and I had to learn some coping mechanisms to get through it. It was either let my nervous system suffer or regulate my nervous system. I chose to regulate my nervous system.
Nutrients are essential for good sleep and to help you go to bed. Calcium and magnesium are important. Magnesium and zinc are also important in sleep too.
There are different forms of magnesium. There is magnesium amino acid chelate, magnesium citrate amongst others. It is important to select the correct form of nutrients for them to be effective.
There are different calcium supplements. There is calcium citrate and the dose of calcium is crucial. Amino acids and amino acid chelate forms have different roles. People's intake of calcium, zinc and copper can be low.
Here are some of my top tips for coping with stress:
Every thought has a corresponding physiological response. Positive thoughts may equal less stress. It is important to be curious and explore your way of reacting and thinking about everyday situations.
How we choose to react and think everyday is really important. How we think can put us into a resting state, or it can put us in a stressed state. It is important that you start to become more aware of this. Write down and journal about how you react and where your mind goes in everyday stressful situations.
I would also recommend considering seeing a psychologist. This can be very helpful at understanding why you feel and think in certain ways each day. A psychologist can help you explore any past traumas that have shaped your brain into thinking in certain ways/feeling.
It can help to explore any themes in your life that need to be processed in order to move forward. It can help you to be able to integrate tools and awareness into everyday life. This may help to prevent your nervous system and body going into fight or flight.
Exercise can help improve your sleep. Exercise can help release endorphins when you are feeling stressed.
It is essential to breathe properly. Breathing into your abdomen instead of your chest and count to 6 on the out breath to slow your breathing down.
Meditation is a great regulation tool. You could find a meditation app you enjoy and meditate for at least 5 minutes every day.
It is important to not take life too seriously. Self-regulating can also be done by watching comedy shows or movies. Other joyful activities may be laughing with your friends and having quality time with your partner.
Adequate protein, carbohydrates and fats are essential for healthy neurotransmitter function. 5+ veggies and 2 pieces of fruit are vital for a healthy mind, body and soul.
Ensure an adequate intake of vitamins B, C and D
When a person is stressed, the adrenal glands require higher levels of vitamins B5 and C in particular. Vitamin D helps to manage mood.
Increase intake of calcium, magnesium and zinc and avoid copper
Having a hot cup of milk to relax isn’t just an old wives tale it’s a good idea! Calcium and magnesium are relaxing minerals and when taken at night may help you to drift off to sleep. A well absorbed, high quality form of calcium is calcium citrate.
High quality forms of magnesium include magnesium citrate and magnesium amino acid chelate. A therapeutic dose of calcium is 500mg of elemental calcium.
Make sure you check the label for the word elemental, it's the amount that is actually in the supplement. Your body can't absorb more than 500mg of calcium at one time. If your health practitioner has advised you need to supplement with more than this, you should split up the dose.
Calcium supplements should contain vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 can help direct calcium into bones and out of the arteries (this helps to reduce cardiovascular risk). Ask your naturopath or nutritionist to check your zinc and copper levels.
Sleep is so important for our mental health and wellbeing so 7-8 hours a night is a priority. Invest in blackout curtains, keep a window open at night for ventilation and read a book before bed. Rather than a screen and keep the lights low for a few hours before bed to promote the production of melatonin. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
Buy more time
If you never seem to have enough time, start outsourcing the mundane tasks that zap your time and energy. Some ways that you can buy more time can include lots of things. Some might include getting a cleaner or getting a tutor to help your kids with their homework.
Other ways to buy more time might include finding kids in your neighborhood who want to earn some pocket money. You could get them to do your gardening, wash the car and do any other task you don’t enjoy.