How to Effectively Manage Stress and Anxiety (Pt.2)
Welcome back to Pt. 2 of "How to Effectively Manage Stress & Anxiety!" Sometimes, I find that as I'm writing a blog, I get too passionate about all the ideas that I'm having and it's just too much to fit into one post. Let's be honest, your attention span isn't that long! So, consider this part 2 on my series on stress. Check out Part 1 - "How to Effectively Manage Stress & Anxiety."
Disconnect from your cell phone.
Throw it away. Go for a walk. "Accidentally" leave it on silent all day. I know that we are all so incredibly addicted to our cell phones but what is even more maddening is that we are addicted to the bad news that we find there. Does the news stress you out? Social media? Group texts? Give yourself an hour (or more!) each night where you put your phone down and you don't let yourself reach for it. It feels so good to be "free."
All of these stressors are created solely by ourselves. Human interaction, in its purest form, is not through an electronic device. So, put your phone down, and embrace what is all around you.
Get more sleep.
I love sleep. I've talked about sleep and my love of weighted blankets a lot in some previous blog posts. There's a lot of great things that sleep does, but one of the main factors is the regulation of cortisol. Cortisol is called the stress hormone for a reason. That fight-or-flight response is the result of a spike in cortisol, brought upon by something stressful. In ancient times, that would have been fear of being eaten by a predator. Since we obviously don't have those problems anymore (phew!), our cortisol should resolve itself. But, unfortunately, most of us don't even come down from this cortisol high.
At night, cortisol levels diminish as melatonin levels rise. As we sleep, our sleep waves undulate with our circadian rhythm. Cortisol levels start to rise in the mid-morning and ultimately peak around 9am. Without a consistent sleep pattern, cortisol levels never go down, sleep is inconsistent, and mood, cognition and mental function are all impaired. Feeling tired, instead of well-rested, leads to further stress, both at home and in the workplace.
Try a supplement to lower cortisol.
I put this last because I think that there are a variety of non-supplemental ways to help clear your mind and give you a release from stress. But that doesn't mean that those things will work for everyone. I understand! And sometimes, we need a little bit of help. I'm not in favor of taking anything of pharmaceutical strength if I can help it, so these are all-natural, over-the-counter (OTC) products that you can find on Amazon or at your local drugstore.
The B-vitamins, such as the B-Complex blend or B-12, as well as Vitamin C, are severely depleted during times of high stress. Therefore, it's crucial to supply the adrenals with an adequate amount of these vitamins to make sure that they are functioning properly.
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, has properties that help reduce corticosterone, a hormone that is structurally similar to cortisol. Ashwagandha is one of my favorite adaptogens and I've been taking it for several months now. In addition to help with stress, it is also great at enhancing mood and reducing anxiety.
I've recently also started taking Rhodiola, an herb thought to help fight fatigue, brought on by chronic stress. Rhodiola is also consider an adaptogen, which helps the body fight against physical and environmental stress.
If you're not sure about buying these vitamins online in bulk, you can check out my blog "Care/Of : Grab & Go Vitamin Ease" for my monthly vitamin subscription service. I get my Ashwagandha and Rhodiola in my daily pack and it makes it so easy.
Of course, I'm not a doctor and if you are thinking about taking any supplements, you should always talk to your healthcare provider first!
I may be compensated through my affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Full disclosure statement here.