Fighting traffic, shouldering a huge workload, juggling our family’s busy schedules…let’s face it, life can be stressful! But when stress becomes chronic, it can take a serious toll on your health. Chronic stress can increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes, weaken your immune system, increase appetite and cravings, disrupt sleep, and impact mental health. Manage your stress with the following self-care tips.
- Take time each day to listen to your body and honor what it’s needing. Do you need time to relax? A change of scenery? Perhaps you need to say no to some of your commitments.
- Avoid skipping meals. When we skip meals, our bodies respond by slowing our metabolism down over time. Prioritize nourishing yourself with wholesome, balanced meals – 3 times a day.
- Choose nutrient-rich foods. High fat, high sugar foods can worsen stress because they are void of crucial vitamins and minerals needed for sustained energy. Nutrient-rich foods, in contrast, help support our body in feeling good.
Good Mood Foods
Choose foods high in the nutrients below to improve your immunity, mood and energy.
B-Vitamins: They help convert our food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day. Choose leafy green veggies, avocados, meat, chickpeas, potatoes and bananas.
Magnesium: Magnesium helps relax muscles, and reduces anxiety and cardiovascular disease. Boost your magnesium intake with nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, and whole grains like oats, brown rice and quinoa.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps lower your body’s response to cortisol, a stress hormone, during stressful periods. Colorful fruits and vegetables like oranges, kiwis, and peppers are loaded with this vitamin.
Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the flow of stress hormones and protect against depression. Eat more fatty fish (like salmon or mackerel) and nuts to get your fill.