Have you ever tried mindfulness? Research shows time and again how learning to be present in the moment, instead of worrying about the future or feeling regretful of the past, can help with symptoms of stress and anxiety. It can be very straightforward and simple; it basically involves just being. I find it so helpful when feeling overwhelmed. Here’s a tip of how to start practicing mindfulness, find a quiet place and just sit. Clear your mind as much as you can, and when thoughts come into your mind, slowly let them go. Focus on the way your feet feel on the floor, and how your hands feel touching your lap. Do you feel a breeze on your face or hear birds in the background? How are you breathing? Softly in and slowly out. This is just one of many techniques you can learn and incorporate into your day or night. Being aware of where you are, and staying in that place for awhile. Learning to manage stress naturally.
What could be better than the feeling you get after a great workout? Going home and lounging in your new amazing clothes. I am a member of Yoga Club and absolutely love the look and feel of my outfits they send me. They make it so easy! You answer a few questions so they can assess your preferences, and then Voila! Your clothes and/or wellness goodies arrive at your door. Interested? Here is the link to see what Yoga Club has to offer and if its for you.
There are many ways to help control your stress. Limiting foods that can worsen stress symptoms, while eating more of the ones that help guard against the stressful feelings is one way you can help your health.
As mentioned in a prior post, complex carbohydrates are powerful ways to help your body feel more calm. The reason? Complex carbs such as whole grains and veggies, help signal your brain to release more of the feel-good hormone called serotonin.
Also, you can help stabilize blood pressure by eating complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbs also help stabilize your blood sugar.
So, if you want to get started in boosting your body’s defenses, some examples of complex carbohydrates to put on that grocery list include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains.
I’m hearing a lot of people these days talking about stress. They feel overwhelmed, and quite frankly like they’re spinning their wheels.
What you need when you’re feeling this way is an outlet, a healthy outlet. You need to treat your body very well, and then your mind will begin to feel well. When you feel well you feel more empowered, which in turn, will decrease your stress symptoms.
What Are You Eating?
One of the best ways to treat your body well is to prioritize what you are eating. All too often when we’re stressed, we eat horribly. Too often when we are overwhelmed and unhappy, instead of choosing an apple for a snack, we choose the pastry or the chips. Yet it is this type of choice we need to start making a habit if we want to get our mind in the right place.
And yes, I do it too. I eat worst when I’m stressed and best when I have time off and less obligations going on.
What Should You Eat to Help Ward Off Stress?
Here is a list of foods to keep in your kitchen to help you make the best choices when you most need it:
Eat complex carbohydrates- think whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, whole grain cereals and breads.
Avoid foods with simple sugars (sugary foods and drinks) which can worsen stress symptoms.
Eat fish high in omega- 3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Avocados are also a great choice for omega-3’s.
Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. Go for the fresh option!
Drink plenty of water! STAY HYDRATED!
Start your day with protein, which can help stabilize blood sugars.
Eat high-quality dark chocolate which is filled with antioxidant properties.
Eat nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios and almonds.
Try incorporating these foods into your daily routine, one by one. Think small steps to make a habit long-lasting.
I will be posting more information on stress-busting foods in posts to come!
There’s no denying what exercise can do for you both physically and mentally. When you get moving you feel so much more empowered, and the little things that seemed to dominate your thoughts, go by the wayside.
Trust me, one of the best things you can do for yourself is exercise. It is one of the most powerful ways to control stress.
At first, choose exercise that is easily attainable and accessible. The last thing you want is to make the decision to be active, only to be discouraged because you couldn’t make it to the gym, or the spin class didn’t fit into your schedule. Sometimes it’s best to go for activities right out your back door.
A jog, a trail bike ride or a brisk walk. Maybe it’s yoga in your living room. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Just get yourself moving, and be proud you did more today than yesterday. And when you’re done, don’t forget to celebrate with a healthy snack!
Deep abdominal breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is the practice of using deep and slow breaths to help slow down your breathing pattern.
Why is this important?
Because we can actually slow our heart rate, blood pressure and system down which is a healthy benefit for our bodies.
What is deep abdominal breathing?
With deep abdominal breathing we learn to use our diaphragm correctly, promoting more efficient breathing.
It is an effective stress management tool that is safe, requires minimal to no space, and is easy to learn and practice.
How To Perform Deep Abdominal Breathing
- Find a comfortable sitting or lying down position.
- Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
- Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale. The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.
Why is yoga so good?
- Do you want to improve your strength? Do yoga.
- Do you want to be more flexible? Do yoga.
- Do you want to have better balance? Do yoga.
- Do you want to help reduce your stress? Do yoga.
- Do you want to lower your heart rate? Do yoga.
- Do you want to lower your blood pressure? Do yoga.
- Do you want to reduce inflammation in your body? Do yoga.
- Do you want improved digestion? Do yoga.
- Do you want to improve protection against chronic disease? Do yoga.
Yoga is fantastic for mind, body, and spirit and can be done by anyone. Why? Because it doesn’t matter your fitness level. It can be done at beginner’s stage, advanced, and everything in between!
Feeling good in what you wear to exercise can certainly help boost your motivation! Having wonderfully-feeling clothes to relax in after your workout is equally fantastic!
I ordered Yoga Club and absolutely love what was sent! The quality was terrific and my hand-picked outfit exceeded my expectations.
See what you think-I’d love to hear your feedback! Take care of you.
Are you consistent in doing what you need to do in order to feel healthy? Knowing is one thing, being consistent is another. Consistency is the tough part for most people.
It’s what we all have trouble doing. Consistency is the key with everything, but as we go about living our lives, being productive and being good to our families, consistency sometimes is forgotten or at least, very difficult to achieve.
The good news is, there are so many things we can do to help ourselves be our best and feel our best. One of the best things we can do, that makes us feel good, is prioritizing the time we take for exercise each and every day. And that can take many forms depending on where you fall on the activity spectrum.
Just getting out and doing something more than you did yesterday is reason to celebrate. Continue being good to yourself focusing on all aspects of you! Your spirit, mind and body!
So, lately I’ve been thinking quite a bit about us nurses. In particular, how we are in such a high burnout field. I work as a consulting nurse practitioner, in skilled nursing facilities, which I’ve been doing for years. Over the years, as I’ve gotten to know the staff better and as I’ve seen such high turnover in these facilities, I can’t help but take into account the high work demand these nurses face day in and day out.
And that was prior to the COVID-19 crisis! Its different now, and facilities are working overtime to stay in compliance with the constantly changing rules and regulations. The stress is through the roof for healthcare workers, and being from Florida, I am now witnessing everyday the incredible demands placed on the nurses and other healthcare professionals.
It was always the running joke from staff if I, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, would PLEASE provide counseling to the staff. Because they really need help relaxing, or someone to vent to. Whether the complaints are work load, lack of managerial support, more and more documentation demands, all while still needing to provide great nursing care, many are finding they are managing all they can, and unfortunately all too often I walk in only to find the best nurses, the ones we WANT taking care of our aging parents and grandparents, have left. We are after all only human, yet we are pushed further and harder as we are needed to keep up with the increasing demands of the ever changing healthcare world. We are witnessing nursing burnout among us everyday.
My website focuses on stress reduction and anxiety management, and so I feel the need to begin addressing this burnout pattern occurring all too often with our nurses. We get into nursing because we want to help people, we want to feel we are making a difference, and we want to do this with our own unique personality and touch. We all know nurses are in demand, which is great as far as job security is concerned, but can become negative if we don’t learn to balance our state of wellness with our careers.
If you feel you could benefit from a Wellness Health Coach, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been awhile since I have written, and I am excited to be back! My reasoning for being gone? I decided to further pursue my degree, and I earned my Doctorate in Nursing Practice this past May. The end result is very gratifying, but did I feel that way all throughout the program? No!
Was I overwhelmed at times? Give me a BIG YES! Were there many moments of frustration, self-doubt and even wanting to quit? Why yes, there definitely were.
I specifically recall sitting on the porch with my husband and seriously contemplating if I was doing the right thing. That’s where life balance really came into focus for me in order to achieve my goal. But more about this later in upcoming posts.
While in the program, I continued to work my job as a psychiatric nurse practitioner consultant, while raising my three school-aged children. With perseverance, dedication, ability to see Big Picture, and incredible family support, I completed it. And as I’ve heard others who have gone down that road toward their DNP say before me, it was all worth it in the end.
Thank you to all who supported me and gave me the extra pushes I at times so badly needed!