Did you know? Stress related illnesses including anxiety and depression are now at an all-time high in Canada? In fact, anxiety, depression and burnout are the fastest growing disability claim in Canada!
Stress management is imperative to long term health, happiness and productivity at the workplace. I often speak to “The 4 R’s of Stress Management” as an effective way to lead a more balanced and healthy life.
The 4 R’s of Stress Management:
- Rhythm: Re-establish nature’s rhythm, get up at a decent hour, eat 3 meals a day, and go to bed before 11pm. Connect with nature on a regular basis.
This includes practicing good sleep hygiene:
Do not eat 2 hours before bedtime, sleep in a very dark and quiet room, do not look at TV screens or computer screens 1 hour before bed and dim the lights in the house (around 10 pm).
- Relaxation: Make a habit of relaxing every day! Use meal times as a chance to relax and practice mindful eating. Remember eating should be a sensual experience: smell the food, see the food, taste the food. This will allow you to make better food choices as you become aware of the nutrients and nourishment you are feeding your body.
Meditation can be a great way to relax! Remember that meditation does not have to be a seated, cross legged activity. Meditation can be done while walking, running or commuting. It’s about turning off the “to do list” and taking in your surroundings. Great guided meditations can be found on YouTube or iTunes and downloaded to your smart phone.
- Replenishment: Make healthy food choices high in antioxidants to replenish your body with proper vitamins and minerals, enabling the body to carry out its daily activities effectively.
Consider engaging in a creative outlet-music art or play, something that will excite you about life! Remember pessimism can facilitate disease, if we become disillusioned and bored with life, so will our cells. Pick a new hobby, join a group that interests you, and find something to be passionate about other than work!
- Rehydration: 8 glasses of water a day, including 1 glass of water upon waking**. Can add lemon, cucumber, mint etc. to flavor. Avoid juices (unless freshly juiced) as the pasteurization process leaves them devoid of nutrients and high in sugars.
**Remember the first thing you put into your body in the morning should not be caffeine! This can raise your cortisol levels further increasing your stress hormones. Break-your-fast with water and a nutritious breakfast containing protein.
How much stress management are you incorporating in your life? Try to incorporate more of the above into your daily activities and notice the impact it can create on your well-being!
Dr. Emily Lipinski, ND