Corporate Health Toronto: How to Effectively Manage Stress to Improve Productivity

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:

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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!

Carpe Diem,

Dr. Emily Lipinski, ND

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CORPORATE WELLNESS TORONTO: INFUSION HEALTH AT RBC, IT’S ALL ABOUT STRESS

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This past Friday, I had the pleasure of talking to some wonderful woman at RBC about stress management and thyroid health. It still amazes me that so many people do not know about the MANY different tests available to investigate thyroid health. These tests help doctors and patients completely understand the functioning of this important gland. TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is not the only test to investigate thyroid health, even though it is typically the only test run for thyroid.  If you would like to know more about the 6 informative tests read here: http://www.infusionhealth.ca/category/thyroid-health/.

As always, many people are interested in how to manage stress, but so many individuals (myself included at one time in life), despite knowing exactly what to do, choose not to take care of themselves. WE MUST PRACTICE SELF CARE!!! Stress, eventually, catches up with people. And long term stress can increase pessimism, anxiety and depression.

Interestingly enough, work appears to be the #1 source for Canadians.

The majority of highly stressed workers (62%) identified work as their main source of stress. Clustered far behind were financial concerns and not having enough time (both at 12%), family matters, and personal and other issues such as relationships, health and generalized worries These proportions are very similar to those reported in 2005(Stats Canada 2011)

A little stress can increase performance and help us carry out our necessary daily activities. However, long term stress can decrease our performance and can have significant effects on our mental and physical health.

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By practicing self care and managing our stress we become happier, healthier more productive individuals.

Infusion Health specializes in helping corporations learn how to properly manage stress with diet and lifestyle interventions. We offer interactive seminars and provide in house Naturopathic Doctors (covered by most benefits plans:)

For more information, please email info@infusionhealth.ca

In Health,

Dr. Lipinski, ND

Infusion Health Stress Reduction Techniques for Corporate Culture: A recap from our corporate wellness seminar in Toronto last week

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Last week Infusion Health had the pleasure of working with BHP Biliton, providing helpful stress reduction tips and tricks.  Here is a recap of some important points from our interactive workshop.

 

1. Cell phones can impact stress levels!

A study by the Families and Work Institute found that 1 in 3 US employees’ feels chronically overworked? Cell phones and email are partly to blame: “Better technology hasn’t meant that we can work from anywhere, anytime,” says Ellen Galinsky, president and cofounder of the institute. “It’s meant that we can work everywhere, every time.” (Families and Work Institute, 2014)

Turing off your phone for even 1 hour can help one to relax and improve mood.

2. Work is stressing Canadians out!

Work appears to be the #1 source of stress for Canadians

The majority of highly stressed workers (62%) identified work as their main source of stress. Clustered far behind were financial concerns and not having enough time (both at 12%), family matters, and personal and other issues such as relationships, health and generalized worries These proportions are very similar to those reported in 2005(Stats Canada 2011)

3. Try herbal teas, such as holy basil, instead of coffee.

Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) can help the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress. Multiple scientific studies have found that supplementation with Holy Basil tea have helped lower cortisol levels in the body (the hormone that is associated with stress). This tea is easily found at most grocery stores in the natural foods section

 

3. Integrate relaxation techniques into your daily life.

It can be deep breathing, meditation, exercise, yoga or another technique to help you relax. Whatever it is, these techniques that help us calm down are so important for our health! Read on for steps on Progressive Muscle Relaxation- this technique has been proven to help relax and improve focus in treatment groups.

PMR is a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. PMR brings awareness to tension and relaxation in different parts of your body. Combined with deep breathing, this awareness can help you counterbalance the feelings of stress in your body.

***Warning: Consult with your doctor if you have a history of muscle spasms, back problems, or other serious injuries that may be aggravated by tensing muscles before trying PMR.

Most progressive muscle relaxation practitioners start at the feet and work their way up to the face. Follow the steps listed below for a complete PMR body sequence (adapted from http://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/ndarc/resources/AppendicesCC.pdf)

  • Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
  • Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths.
  • When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
  • Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
  • Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
  • Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
  • When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
  • Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go.
  • It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
  • Lower Legs (Left foot/ Left Calf) – point feet towards face, and then curl them downward all toes at the same
  • Thighs – Clench them hard
  • Hips and Buttocks – Press your buttocks together lightly
  • Stomach – Suck it into a tight knot ( looking at the chest and stomach for tension)
  • Back – Arch your back up and away from the chair (or floor)
  • Shoulders – Shrug them ( raise toward your ears)
  • Biceps and Upper Arms – Clench your hands into fists, bend our arms at the elbows, and flex your bicep
  • Wrists and Forearms – Extend them, and bend your hands back at the wrist.
  • Hands – make fist and clench them
  • Chest – Take a deep breath, and hold it
  • Front of the Neck –touch your chin to your chest
  • Back of the Neck – Press Neck against floor, or imagine pressing against a car seat
  • Mouth – Press your lips together tightly ( use only your lips – check your face for tension)
  • Cheeks and Jaws – Smile as widely as you can
  • Eyes and Bridge of the Nose – Close your eyes as tightly as you can ( remove contacts first)
  • Forehead – Wrinkle it into a deep frown

We would love to hear from you! How to you relax?

For more information on Infusion Health’s wellness workshops and seminars please email info@infusionhealth.ca or visit http://www.infusionhealth.ca

In Health,

Dr. Emily

Infusion Health Corporate Wellness Launch Toronto

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to share in my excitement with you all that we have officially launched Infusion Health (www.infusionhealth.ca), our corporate wellness business!

Infusion Health was born out of our passion to help others to feel vibrant and achieve optimal health and wellness. We recognize the crucial link between employee health and business performance. Healthier individuals work harder, are happier, help others and are more efficient.  Unhealthy workers are often overtired and unhappy, as the work is a reflection of their way of life.

Infusion Health offers interactive wellness workshops and on site, in office, Naturopathic care.  Naturopathic Doctors can:

  • Provide physical examinations
  • Order blood work (include hormone panels and food intolerance panels)
  • Provide B12 injections
  • Use natural substances (supplements, vitamins etc) to treat the patient
  • Provide acupuncture
  • Create comprehensive treatment plans for improving health; taking diet, lifestyle and stress into consideration

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For more information, please visit http://www.infusionhealth.ca or email us at info@infusionhealth.ca.

Yours in health,

Dr. Emily