Updated: Dec 11, 2019
I am not alone, we all experience periods of turmoil and change and in reality, the only way through is to ride it out, but is there a way to make this ride easier?
Well yes I think there is.
There are a few things that can assist you to move past stress, crisis or trauma while ensuring you retain your health and mental wellbeing throughout these challenges and beyond.
I want to expand a little here, crisis and turmoil will always change us, it moulds us into something new, on the other side of it we will see the world through a different lens, sometimes it can alter our entire understanding of our place in life. Unfortunately, it can also create an environment so full of stress and toxicity that our health and mental wellbeing pay an enormous price. Unmanaged this kind of high level stress and impact our immune defence leading to recurrent illness, and it can weaken our resilience leading to an inability to cope with everyday tasks. We often see disturbed sleep, poor dietary choices, increased consumption of alcohol or other substances, excessive addictive behaviours such as increased screen use, over-exercising, working extended hours, and so on, in other words, finding a way to distract ourselves by pushing our body our mind to the limit.
Sadly if we just ‘push through’ we will pay the price in old age. As we age our body slows down and we see a natural change in immune defence, resilience both physically and mentally, and many other body systems as we ready ourselves to rest. This aging process is accelerated by unmanaged stress both chronic and extreme acute episodes.
So what simple tools can we develop to assist in managing these stressors, and to improve health outcomes as we age, ensuring we maintain optimal health and mental wellbeing throughout this messy thing we call life.
Find some balance
I am going to provide some food for thought here, some simple tools to help you personalise your own best approach to dealing with stress and overcoming its hold on your current and future wellbeing.
The golden rule here is to be kind to yourself.
Be kind to yourself!
Eat well – it is so easy to make poor food choices when you’re stressed, you’re body will scream for all the wrong things. DO NOT give yourself a hard time about it. DO make a few great choices as frequently as possible to bring your dietary intake back into balance. The more often you can treat your body to a vegetable-packed stirfry (for example) the better you will feel and the easier it will be to do it again.
note: If your stress is chronic I strongly suggest seeing myself or a Nutritionist local to you for advise around appropriate nutritional support to help you through, there are a number of nutrient deficiencies that are commonly found alongside long term stress.
Rest – when you are under stress you are using a large amount of emotional energy, and your body and mind need rest. So get in the bath or shower more often, take a day nap, walk (slowly) in a local green space, watch a few good movies, take yourself out for breakfast, go to bed early, sleep in.