Highly Effective Ways to Lower Stress Naturally

Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

1. Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.

3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!

4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.

6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.

As the air gets cooler over the next few months, you may be wanting to do more inside workouts.

Some  favorite inside workouts to do during the chilly months include:

  • Following an at-home “gym” routine such as Open Fit or Beachbody On Demand
  • Using a Rebounder
  • Yoga
  • A simple brisk walk on the treadmill

What ways do you enjoy working out during the cooler months?

 

How You Can Benefit From Hiring a Health Coach

I’m sure you’re familiar with the title of “Health Coach” but do you know what you can actually benefit from hiring a Health Coach? Health Coaches are becoming so popular that big companies are hiring them to keep their members and employees on track with their health, but you could even have a private health coach of your own to help you reach your goals.

So, what can a Health Coach do for you?

They keep you on track
A Health Coach realizes lofty goals often don’t go far. Health coaches help you focus on small daily goals that will get you to achieve your overall goal of better health and wellness, step by step at a time in a way that makes improving your life easy, completely manageable and even fun.

Change your diet without making you eat things you don’t like
Maybe you went into your mission of better health strong but after a while, got sick of the things you were eating. We all lose that inspiration at times, but a health coach has all kinds of delicious ideas for eating clean without sacrificing on taste. They can help you find the right things to eat for you as an individual, which you can’t find on Pinterest!

They show you how to handle triggers that cause you to overeat
If your problem is that you tend to choose food to comfort your feelings, a health coach can be life-changing. They will teach you how to handle that stress and keep you from turning to food for comfort rather than for nourishment.

They’re a good influence when everyone else isn’t
A health coach can be that inspiration that keeps you level-headed when you’re making choices about food. Plus, they can show you ways to enjoy healthier versions of those things you love, so you don’t have to go without. They can teach you how to navigate summer bbqs and holiday gatherings without guilt.

They teach you self-care
When is the last time you put yourself first? If you have to sit and really think about it, a health coach is for you. You can’t fill up everyone’s cup if you’re empty yourself. Your health is so important, and by taking this time for your wellness inside and out, you will be the best version of yourself.

Health coaches focus on every area of wellness
It’s not just about losing weight or getting in shape. Health coaches help you with mental health too. Anxiety and stress can tear at us from inside, and your health coach can steer you in the right direction to take healthy control of these areas too.

You deserve happiness and good health, and a way to achieve both is to get a health coach in your corner. You’ll find that making the goals you set for your wellness is easier to reach when you’ve got someone cheering for you!

Do you shy away from exercising outside during the hot summer months?

It can be challenging to conquer the heat and still get that workout in, but there are a few hacks I use during the hot months to get through them without ditching my workouts.

Going for a run in the early morning hours before the sun gets too hot is extremely helpful.

You could also do lower intensity workouts such as walking or hiking, and save the long runs for the cooler months.  If you do choose to still workout outside, make sure you wear white or other very light colored workout clothes with breathable fabrics.

If you don’t already have one, you can pick up one of those cool neck wraps that stays cool for several hours.  Wrap it around your neck as you’re outside to keep yourself cooled down as much as possible.

Lastly, choosing a shady park to run or walk in is another wonderful way to stay out of the sun.

Do you prefer indoor or outdoor workouts during the summer months?

Do you use a scale?

I’m curious, do you use a scale regularly?  I know some people who step on it every morning, some that hop on once a week, and I even see a lot of people who don’t even own a scale.

There are no right or wrong answers to this, but I’m curious what your stance is on it.

No matter what your answer is, there’s one VERY important thing to remember.  The number that stares back at you does not define you.  It is not the end all be all measure of your health. You are worth so much, you are worthy of love and respect, and you are valuable.

You don’t need a scale to measure your health journey — sometimes, ditching it entirely and letting intuition take over can take you in a direction you’ll love. I’ve even seen the stubborn weight drop off after ditching the scale because the stress levels were lowered and the body reacted well to that, releasing the weight it was holding. It’s so interesting how our bodies work, isn’t it?

What’s your relationship with the scale?

When there’s no time to head to the gym, fitting in a short and effective at home workout is a great alternative.

Each move will be done 3x — do your move for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 3x.  Move on to next move.

Welcome to Spring HIIT Workout:

– Butt Kicks

– Arm Circles

– Jumping Jacks

– Sit Ups

– Mountain Climbers

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to symptoms that aren’t specific, which can include fatigue, anxiousness, body aches, poor sleep, and even digestive irregularities.  The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing the stress hormone cortisol — and chronic stress depletes your adrenal glands by making them work overtime.

The theory behind adrenal fatigue is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep up with the demands of chronic stress and as a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to regulate and balance your hormones.

Cleaning up your diet, improving your sleep, watching your caffeine intake and adding in meditation to help reduce stress are just a few ways to prevent adrenal fatigue.  If you feel you’re suffering from this, please see your licensed medical professional.

 

Have you ever tried Coconut Water?

Its popularity has increased in recent years, and for good reason. It’s delicious, incredibly hydrating and a great alternative to regular water, when you just need a little something different. Coconut water is a great drink to take with you to the gym because of its natural electrolyte levels. It can work just as well as your old standard sports drinks when it comes to keeping you hydrated, but with none of that excess sugar, you’ll find in regular sports drinks.

Besides being incredibly hydrating, it also has antioxidants, multiple vitamins, and amino acids. These are all useful in and out of the gym. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are all in coconut water, and they are essential for keeping you hydrated, maintaining healthy bones and muscles. This is an excellent trade for traditional sports drinks, plus with lots of different flavors to choose from, it tastes great!

Be flexible.

It’s not news to you that things don’t always go our way.  Our workout plans get canceled, it’s too snowy to make it to the gym, or you can’t simply get it together this week to do your grocery shopping.

How do you handle this when it happens to you?

I invite you to consider a backup plan approach to your wellbeing going into the New Year.

When you can’t make it to the gym, what’s your backup plan for a simple home workout?

When you can’t make it to the grocery store, what’s your backup plan to get healthy food on the table until you can make it to the store?

Having a backup plan in your back pocket will help alleviate stress when things veer off course from time to time, so ponder on what those backup plans could be for you and tuck them away until you need them next.

 

Natural Ways to Boost Your Immunity

and Dodge the Cold & Flu Season

Besides the flu, colds make their rounds during the colder months when these microorganisms flourish, so it’s up to you to be vigilant and protect yourself. Thankfully, there are natural ways you can help boost your immunity and lessen your chances of getting sick this winter.

How many times during the winter months do you usually get sick? Let me know in the comments below, and let me know any natural tricks you use to combat illnesses.

Here are a few of my favorite ways

Use probiotic power
With all we now know about the gut biome, eating foods with probiotics is the best way to help keep your immunity strong. Kombucha, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut are just a few probiotic foods to help you out. Make sure you’re always eating plenty of fiber too to help that gut bacteria thrive. If you’d prefer a probiotic supplement instead, there are loads of wonderful ones to choose from to make sure you’re getting your daily probiotic needs.

Eat right
Unfortunately, this time of year is also when all those holiday goodies are lurking about. Balance it out by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich foods are immune boosters that will keep your system fighting all season long. Another warming winter food that will make your soups healthier is bone broth which you can sneak into your
family’s diet without them ever knowing.

Think zinc
The more vitamins you have in your foods this season, particularly vitamin C, the more immunity you’ll have. However, zinc is often forgotten for the powerhouse that it is. Zinc can help stop a cold’s cells from replicating and is a powerful tool to have in your wellness arsenal this season and beyond. You can eat more zinc in spinach, nuts, beans, and pumpkin seeds. There are also zinc supplements you can take daily, or when you’re feeling a cold coming on.

Balance activity and sleep
When the germs are swirling around, be sure you’re getting enough exercise as well as getting enough sleep. Compromising on either one can jeopardize your immunity. With the days shorter and quite frigid, getting in bed earlier isn’t a hard thing to do!

Sanitize with lavender oil
Soap and warm water are always best for cleaning your hands, but when you’re nowhere near a sink, try lavender oil. It smells great, keeps away germs naturally, and keeps your hands soft and supple even in the frigid winter weather.

Keep it clean
We know hands should be clean and kept from our eyes, nose, and mouth, but don’t forget about those things you use every day that can be contaminated with ease. Your phone, keyboard, desk, and door handles are prime examples. Want one that isn’t full of chemicals? Add purified water and distilled vinegar to a spray bottle in equal parts, and then add a few drops of tea tree oil. Spray
away!

There are too many fun events you won’t want to miss over these winter months, and there’s no time to spend being sick in bed. Use these natural immunity boosters to live life to the fullest during cold and flu season!