Let's face it. We live in a world that is go go go, with many demands, distractions, and challenges. All of the environmental, emotional, and physical stressors that face us in our lives leave many of us carrying the extra weight of anxiety and overwhelm.
Anxiety is classified as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. But with daily stressors, poor diets, and lack of rest + joy, anxiety can become a chronic state of being without a specific catalyst. You may know it as feeling of general and constant unease in your body.
Our endocrine glands (i.e. pituitary, thyroid, ovaries, adrenal glands) especially take the hit when we are constantly stressed and anxious, throwing our hormones out of balance. And with the holidays coming up and flu + colds abound, there is no better time for us all to nourish ourselves a little deeper and manage our stress. The good news? It doesn't have to complicated. Lightening stress and reducing anxiety can be simple. So, here are my best, simple strategies for you to gently bring your body and hormones back into balance.
- Utilize herbs. Bringing in strategic herbs and supplements for stress management will help you so much! I love adding adaptogens (AKA herbs to balance and stabilize the endocrine system) to my routine when I am experiencing more stress + anxiety. Easy ways to incorporate these herbs into your day? Teamotions makes a wonderful variety of teas with adaptogens, as well as Organic India's array of tulsi teas. A common adaptogen, ashwaganda can be purchased in capsule form making it easy to assimilate into a routine. Bought in powdered form you can add it to soups, smoothies, and even stir a little into your morning oatmeal. Other adaptogens to try include american ginseng, maca, rhodiola, and schizandra.
- Ditch the coffee. If you are experiencing anxiety, switch to tea, preferably herbal. I do not take the stance that coffee should be classified as a 'good' or 'bad' substance, but if you are inherently anxious or feeling extra taxed as of late, it is time to take a break from your beloved cup of joe and allow your anxiety to lift and your endocrine system to rest.
- Eat your greens. Dark green veggies help calm the body and provide alkalizing minerals and chlorophyll, all of which support the part of our central nervous system that calms us. Try including a variety of dark greens in your meals such as : beet greens, broccoli, chard, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, and spinach. Add them to your morning eggs or smoothies, stews, stir-frys, and blend them into homemade dips + dressings.
- Love on healthy fats. Don't hide from fat, embrace it! Wholesome fats such as olives, nuts, seeds (and their butters), extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, organic butter, and avocados help to balance blood sugar and nourish our endocrine system, helping to reduce and mitigate anxiety.
- Make time for what supports you to recharge with ease. Sometimes another thing you have to do (even if it supports your health) adds stress to your already bustling life. Carve out time to do something you love and relax into it. Watch a TV show, read a book, knit, grab a bite to eat with a favorite friend, or curl up with your favorite blanket and a cup of tea. Allow yourself to wind down and simply be as opposed to pushing yourself to constantly be forward moving and active.
- Release control. Trying to control everything in our lives is a big source of anxiety for many of us. At some point you have to give up the control and trust. If you have a spiritual practice of any sort, this is a place where it will definitely come in handy. Practice trust and knowing that all is how it should be, even it you can't find the sense or reason to it. Be open, do your best, and beyond that, let go. Repeat this affirmation: " I trust that all is how it should be, working for the highest good for all." Or alternatively, here is a journal prompt: Where do I trust that the universe is supporting my every move for my highest good?
What is one promise you can make to yourself to manage stress and nourish yourself this week?
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