Stress Awareness Month aims to increase public awareness about both the causes of stress and how to overcome it. Data gathered from 2000 British adults found that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020. The three key causes for concern are feelings of disconnection, uncertainty, and a worrying loss of control.
Stress plays a role in many aspects of physical and mental health including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Heart disease
- Digestive issues
- Problems with the immune system
The 30 Day Challenge
It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, so if you can do something for 30 days it will maximise your chances of forming long term behavioural change. The 30 Day Challenge encourages people to do one thing for their physical, mental and emotional well being every day.
Here are some lifestyle, dietary and supplement tips.
Lifestyle Tips to Manage Stress
Some lifestyle habits create stress in the body while others help keep things in perspective. Here are some techniques to help you deal with what life throws at you:
- Choose your response - the psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
- Take time out to relax - yoga, tai chi, meditation and mindfulness can all help bring the body back into a state of
- Breathe – under stress breathing becomes shallow. The quickest way to tell your body that everything is OK is to take a few deep inhalations and exhalations.
- Talk about how you feel - the more we share what we are going through the less stigma there is and the better we all feel.
- Share your coping mechanisms – if something has worked for you tell others about it. This might help them and they may share some tips with you.
- Take moderate daily exercise – exercise can dissipate stress hormones. It is best not to exercise in the evening as exercise can raise cortisol and interfere with sleep.
- Spend time in nature – even if you live in a city try to spend time in a park or garden every day.
- Be kind to others – everyone goes through difficult times and we don’t always know what others are going through.
- Be kind to yourself – treat yourself with compassion and avoid being overly self-critical.
- Practice gratitude – at the end of each day give thanks for 3 things for which you are grateful. This is proven to enhance feelings of well being.
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, energy drinks and colas. These create stress in the body and are addictive.
- Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. These can cause a blood sugar roller coaster.
- Include protein and fibre with each meal. This keeps blood sugar levels stable. Tom Oliver’s protein powders are available in a range of flavours.
- Eat 8 fruit and vegetables a day. Fruit and veg contain antioxidants that protect our health.
- Drink herbal teas, water, ginger tea and freshly pressed vegetable juices to stay hydrated.
Supplements that may be helpful in times of stress:
These supplements may help see your body through stressful times when nutrients are more quickly depleted:
- Tom Oliver B complex – contains a balance of all the B vitamins which are needed for energy production. Vitamin B5 plays a role in cortisol production. Vitamin B6 is needed to make Inositol aids mental health, memory and cognitive function.
- Tom Oliver Vitamin C – vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a key role in the immune system. Needs are greater during times of stress or illness.
- Tom Oliver Vitamin D Plus K2 – vitamin D is needed for blood sugar balance and a healthy immune system. Vitamin K2 and D3 work together to support cardiovascular health, bone health, and the immune system.
- Tom Oliver Magnesium – stress can deplete magnesium stores. Magnesium is needed for energy production, the nervous system and relaxation of muscles and nerves. Also contains taurate which supports the immune system and the nervous system.
- Tom Oliver Zinc – stress depletes zinc. Low zinc is linked to depression and anxiety.
- Tom Oliver Omega 3 - contains DHA, EPA, choline and phospholipids, all of which are needed for healthy cell membranes and brain health as well as the adrenal glands, sex organs and
- Tom Oliver’s multivitamins/minerals – available as both men’s and women’s multis. These are a good way to ensure a basic level of nutrition which is especially useful when the body is under stress.