You feel it – environmental stressors are off the charts! Give yourself a break and implement these three strategies to lower your stress today.
Balance Your Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar sets up your body up for stress and anxiety. This happens after eating a high sugar snack, meal or beverage. Or when you go a long time between eating. Do you ever feel sleepy in the middle of the afternoon? That’s a sign of low blood sugar. It’s also very stressful on your body. Avoiding this stress is in your power. Simply eat a meal or snack that includes an animal protein, natural fats and vegetable or fruit carbohydrates at all meals and snacks. It’s also important to eat your meals and snacks at regular intervals, every 4 hours or so.
Hydrate Your Brain and Avoid Too Much Caffeine
Is your brain dehydrated? You probably didn’t think about your brain being dehydrated, but we really should – 75% of our brain is water! Drinking too much coffee or energy drinks and not enough water will dehydrate your brain. Avoid that stress trigger by drinking half your weight in ounces of water daily. For example, the goal for a 150lb person would be 75oz of water. Enjoy 1-2 cups of coffee per day before 10 am.
Get More Sleep
Being well rested is one of the best defenses against physiological stress. When you are well-rested you don’t need as much caffeine, and you won’t have as many cravings for the foods that cause blood sugar imbalances. Truly, a rested brain is a calm brain. Avoid that stress trigger by giving yourself the opportunity for 7.5-9 hours of sleep each and every night. If you have to be up at 7:00am, the absolute latest you should crawl into bed is 11:15pm. This allows 15 min to fall asleep, you may need to allow for more time. Bonus, one of the supplements we list below helps you fall asleep faster, win, win.
Supplements to Help with Stress
Then there are sometimes when we all need a little extra help. Our go-to supplements for combating stress during these crazy times are as follows.
For Help Relaxing & Sleeping
Magnesium Glycinate is critical, pandemic stress or not. Magnesium is nicknamed the “relaxation mineral.” The nutritionists at our parent company Nutritional Weight & Wellness recommend taking your magnesium before bedtime for a better night’s sleep. It doesn’t make you drowsy, but helps you fall into a deeper, more restful sleep. Beyond that it helps your muscles relax so this helps some people with calming down before bed (also helps with twitching eyes, muscle aches, pains or Charley Horses).Taking 400mg about 30 minutes before bedtime seems to be the sweet spot, although some people need more, some need less. We use our magnesium stores faster in times of stress so that can leave us feeling more anxious and tightly wound. If that’s you, try taking magnesium glycinate throughout the day, two at breakfast, two at lunch, two with dinner, and two+ before bed. Yes, that is a lot, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Don’t worry, you won’t have to take that much forever and you don’t get reliant/addicted to this mineral.
For Situational Anxiety
L-Theanine is a favorite when it comes to situational anxiety like a worrying mind at bedtime or before a big presentation. L-Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid in green tea leaves and has been found to promote relaxation without drowsiness, ease nervousness due to overwork and fatigue, and support calmness. We describe it as a breath of fresh air, taking the edge off stressful situations. Take one to two as needed, up to twice a day.
If you want to learn more of the why behind these recommendations or learn more of the ins and outs of what to eat (and what to avoid!), please consider joining one of the nutritionists from our parent company, Nutritional Weight & Wellness in a Zoom or phone nutrition consultation. They are here to help you make the connection between what you eat and how you feel. And if you feel stressed, we don’t want that. Let us help, let food help.