This week has encompassed International Women’s Day.
It is a great day that celebrates women. For me, it is all about the celebration of what women do. Sometimes we feel underappreciated. But I want to wish you a happy International Women’s Day and acknowledge everything women do!
I think International Women’s Day is so important because stress is part of everyday life for the current modern woman. We’ve come a long way, whether we’re the generation finding that we are doing so much more than any previous generation.
We juggle household tasks, relationships, and work. Usually, it’s full-time work, after-school activities, being mums’ taxi, helping the kids with homework, preparing meals, household finances, and don’t forget the housework.
Sometimes, after all these tasks, it may feel like you are juggling one task after another. And so International Women’s Day is a way to say High five to you for being able to keep going, but let’s be honest about this. The current load on women performing all these tasks can create stress.
Previous generations of women have not had the same level of demands and stress as the current generations have, or even the future generations. So we need to change the current to help change the future.
What is Stress?
Stress is a reaction of the body to the surroundings or events. The stress trigger can be physical, mental, or emotional. And the current day woman has a much higher amount of stress than previous times. But the problem is that our normal stress bar has been higher than before. This leads us to think that juggling a multitude of tasks is normal.
How about you?
Do you think that everything you do is normal?
Or that it is expected?
Because it seems to me that women accept a level of demands as normal, that is higher than reasonable for our bodies. Thus creating stress and impacting on our health.
Currently thinking about one client in particular who, with her work, had her stress load was so exorbitantly high. It was a toxic workplace, but she thought this intensity of pressure for doing her job and how she was being treated was normal, and everyone experienced it.
And when I spoke with her about her work, I addressed the fact that constant pressure and stress is unhealthy and not something we should accept as normal. She was fatigued and couldn’t sleep, and her job was always on her mind – even on weekends.
My client had unconsciously accepted that the level of stress she lived with was normal. Due to the stress, she could not live the rest of her life fully, which is always a shame.
And I see that a lot with women……. We set the bar a bit higher and expect that what is going on in our lives is normal and that we should cope with it.
We can’t control what goes on around us. We can’t control our work environment, relationships, friends and family. But we can control how we react to it. And that’s the fantastic part…. we can choose how to respond to that circumstance.
Simple Techniques to help you create your calm
1. Become aware of how you feel.
Awareness of your reaction to a situation or what triggers your stress is essential to making changes and constructing coping mechanisms to help.
And sometimes, an event or situation can look different from another perspective. For example, have you ever told a friend about a problem, and they have an angle that you never thought of? Try looking at your situation from an observers point of view and then think of a response rather than a reaction.
2. Reflect on your successes and your achievements.
So when you have been able to make a change, when you have been able to not respond in stress, not react in stress, but instead respond in calmness, celebrate, give yourself a pat on the back because if you don’t, who else will?
It’s about celebrating, just giving yourself a quiet, quiet pat on the back and going, you know, you did it, which we changed. Let’s do it again in the future.
3. Getting good sleep
Quality sleep helps us remain calmer during the day, restore our energy and reduce stress response.
Create a bedtime routine that helps you fall asleep in a relaxed manner. Formulate a bedtime routine for the same time each night, just as we do for young children to help them to get to sleep.
As well as good sleep, it is important to have a morning routine. Do you wake up in a fluster and madly rush around in the morning trying to get yourself and your kids ready for the day? Or do you start the day relaxed, waking up then going for a walk or stretching, maybe even a meditation? I like to wake up before my family and go for a meditative walk setting the pace for the day.
4. Good eating program and good hydration
Eating a balanced diet based on salad, fruits and vegetables that support your nutrition and health is crucial. If your diet is not balanced, full of refined sugar and stimulants like coffee, you may feel like you are on a roller coaster. Energy can spike then fall flat, moods can be erratic, and tasks seem to be overwhelming
A more balanced diet with balanced blood sugar can help to maintain regular moods, aid energy and clarity of mind.
Hydration is important as well. Poor hydration can leave the brain in a fog and energy low. The body is more than 70% water, and adequate hydration helps the cellular functions perform better.
5. Participate in regular, relaxed breathing techniques
Take a moment to breathe regularly. Deep relaxed breathing supports oxygen in the body, reduces stress chemicals and aids cognition.
Try this……. Breathe in for the count of 5, hold for 2 seconds, breathe out for the count of 5, hold for 2 seconds and repeat 5 more times. You may be surprised at how much calmer you feel at the end because just concentrating on that breath helps calm the nervous system.
Many women tend to breathe only into the upper section of the lungs. As a result, the breath doesn’t fill the bottom half of the lungs fully, and shallow breathing and reduced oxygen result.
6. Supporting your body with herbs, nutrients and therapeutic techniques
Some specific herbs and nutrients can help support the nervous system, aid in stressful events and reduce the fight or flight response. Nutrients like Vitamin B, Zinc, Magnesium, and herbs such as Rhodiola, Skullcap, Oats, Holy Basil and Chamomile can help support the body and reduce stress. Always get professional health advice for the right nutrient or herbs for you.
There are therapies that I use with my clients to help them reduce stress and restore calm. These therapies include Hypnosis, Meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique. I have found these therapies help clients get great results.
I love seeing the results with my clients.
Everyday stresses trigger a physiological response in our body. It could be a thought, a physical situation, or an emotion, they all trigger a chemical an electrical reaction in our body, which then impacts and perfuses through all of our cells, and creates a change to our health.
Through the above tips, we can change our stress reactions. When these tips become routine, they become habits and part of daily life; we can stop the chemical, hormonal, or electrical response inside the body and support health. Thus creating a calmer, less stressed life.
Pick one of the tips I’ve given you today and install it into your life. Make it a habit. Make it routine that it happens without you even thinking about it. And then install the second one. And keep establishing these habits until they become part of your everyday life and you no longer think about them. You will find that you respond instead of reacting to situtations and feel calmer and more in control.
Want to know more?
If you want to know more, I have a free webinar called Conquer Your Stress is on the 20th of March. I’d love to see you there.
Let’s get rid of this massive load of stress on women!
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This is how gut microbes can influence weight!
Probiotics can help you gain weight or lose weight by interacting with our genetics, food and metabolism.
And yes, I did say lose or gain weight……..
Firstly, let me explain that the trillions of microbes in the gut need to be varied, meaning that there should be a large variety of species. There are many different species (or breeds) of microbes, and they all have their place in aiding health — the more variety and balance, the better health results.
Back to the weight loss or weight gain issue….
Do you eat yogurt and berries for breakfast? Thinking that it’s helping you lose weight?
Well, Lactobacillus acidophilus (like the species found in yoghurt) has been connected to weight gain.
I am not saying throw your yoghurt and berries in the bin. Instead, I am suggesting looking at the overall picture. If Lactobacillus acidophilus is the predominant micro-organism of the gut, then weight gain can result.
It is about the variety of species of gut microbes. Imagine if we only have trained german shepherd guard dogs in the world. It may be a safe world, but I am sure that other breeds may be more suitable as a family pet.
While Lactobacillus acidophilus is associated with weight gain, other Lactobacillus species correlate with weight loss.
Species like Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus gasseri, and Bifidobacteria animalis have been found to support weight loss.
Want to lose weight?
Look at your gut flora to support your goal.
Tests can be performed to identify the predominant species of the gut, and specific species can be utilised to support weight changes.
Want more information about your gut health?
Or want to look at all the factors contributing to weight gain, I’d love to be able to help.