Updated: Oct 3, 2021
Hello readers. How are you? No, not the usual “how are you?” question that’s met with the usual “fine thanks” response. How are you really? Are you reading this feeling relaxed and calm? Or are you in the hurry/worry/money zone, feeling wired, restless or tense? Are you, like many, affected by the erratic Spring weather or the general ‘world-stress’ saturating the media?
Whether it’s anxiety or just finding it hard to relax, here’s three simple tips to calm the farm.
Eat regularly and enough. Unstable blood sugar with peaks and troughs through the day can trigger the body’s stress response and adrenaline release. Prioritise nourishing, filling and even warm foods like the soup recipe on this page. Try not to skip meals, especially if you’re stressed, unwell or sleeping badly and eat enough.
Breathe! Many of us are shallow breathers, breathing largely in the upper part of the chest. When you breathe deeply from your belly, it switches on the rest/digest/calm part of your nervous system and is incredibly calming. Babies are born knowing how to do this; their whole belly expands on the in breath, but many of us become shallow breathers as we grow up.
Schedule in mini breathing breaks across your day where you stop and take 3 deep, slow breaths. Put a few breathing reminders where you’ll see them regularly (e.g. on the bathroom mirror, in the car etc.). You will be surprised at the calm this can bring to your day.
Give your brain (and your eyes) a break from the screens. Yes, I know I won’t win the popular vote with this advice, but it’s tough love people! I’m not suggesting you ban all screens and go and live in a cave, but the constant stream of information and stimulus from screens is not relaxing. Less screen time can really help.
The body is not designed to be in the stress zone day in day out. It’s draining and can leave you flat and cranky. There’s excellent evidence-based calming nutritional and herbal medicine options too, so if needed, seek help from an experienced practitioner.