These Are the Supplements a Nutritionist Takes to Fight Stress
Stress isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, according to Psych Central, its purpose gives our bodies an additional burst of instinctive action, adrenaline, and cortisol, in order to properly prepare us for serious life events—perfect for that important pitch deck at work. However, in a world of tight deadlines and long hours, society is well-versed in over-stressing as a reaction to everyday pressures, thus making it important for us to press pause, and find some ways to give our body the metaphoric chill pill it needs.
To help us curb stress in our everyday life, nutritionist and INF / Network member, Jessica Sepel, has shared some of her own quick methods to naturally lower cortisol levels.
See below for five things you can start doing today to find some zen in your day.
LOWER YOUR COFFEE CONSUMPTION
We know that caffeine isn’t always the best thing for our stress levels since it gives us that much-desired wired effect, but it also makes it harder to come back down after a long day. Sepel suggests limiting your java hit to "one coffee a day before 10 a.m." She also recommends avoiding any caffeine after this time.
TAKE A BREAK FROM INTENSE WORKOUTS
While it’s common to hit the gym and regularly take part in an intense sweat session, Sepel advises opting for more calm ways to exercise when your stress levels are particularly high. "Stop extreme intensive exercises for two to four weeks, and practice yoga and walking instead—you will find you immediately feel calmer and will sleep better," she says. "Exercise is a form of stress, so removing intense exercise for a time allows the body to switch off out of the stress response and heal. Gentler exercise is still great for releasing endorphins and maintaining healthy movement in the body."
PUT YOUR FEET UP (LITERALLY)
The saying "put your feet up" often lends itself to notion of curling up in an armchair with a cup of tea, but Sepel thinks you should take it more literally. "Lay with your legs up against a wall for 10 minutes, twice a day, and breathe deeply into your stomach—this completely calms the whole nervous system and I’ve found this helps people sleep better and deeper."
INCREASE YOUR MAGNESIUM
Sepel also advises adding herbs and supplements to your diet (with the advice of a professional) in order to help manage stress levels. "Magnesium and adrenal herbs work magic—a nutritionist and/or naturopath can advise what will work best for your body and specific needs."
say "no" to social engagements
Sometimes, a night on the couch is all you need to rest and recuperate. Sepel agrees that saying "no" to a social outing when you need a break is perfectly okay. "Saying 'no' helps to reduce stress in my opinion. Staying at home in my pyjamas is my favourite cortisol balancing exercise. Bonus: Saying 'no' to things you don’t want to do makes more room for everything you do really want to do."