It’s no secret that stress is part of daily life, at times wreaking havoc on our inner *zen* and leaving us feeling totally overwhelmed. Work demands? Chaos at home? Uncertain times? (We can all relate to that one.)
So what actually is stress?
When we come up against potentially harmful situations, our sympathetic nervous system creates a chemical reaction better known as the fight, flight or freeze response.
Your adrenaline spikes, your blood pressure rises and your heart may start beating fast to get you ready for action. In short, it’s your body’s way of protecting you from harm (naw). The kicker? Our bodies can’t always distinguish between ‘real’ and ‘harmless’ threats, which can sometimes leave us feeling strung out over everyday occurrences.
The good news is our bodies can handle small amounts of stress from time to time. It’s when stress turns into long-term, chronic stress (or burnout) that our nervous system takes a beating and our mind and body suffer.
What are some of the signs of long-term stress?
Physical: Low energy, headaches or stomach aches, fidgeting, insomnia, frequent illness, a change in appetite, or muscle tension.
Emotional: Trouble relaxing, avoiding others, feeling snappy and irritable, or a general sense of overwhelm.
Mental: Constant worrying, racing thoughts, an inability to focus, or looking at situations negatively (when you’re usually a glass half-full kinda person).
With this in mind, we’ve pulled together our top tips for keeping on top of stress:
Make time for movement
Whether you like to work up a sweat or settle into a gentle yin flow, daily movement is a must. If you spend your work day sitting at a desk, set reminders to stretch! Five minutes of downward dog a couple of times a day can make all the difference.
Clear space in your head by putting your thoughts and to-do’s onto paper. Plus, ticking those tasks off one by one is super satisfying.
This can look different for everyone. Some might meditate or do breathwork, while others may journal or practice gratitude. And if you’re feeling particularly tense? Take a moment to scan your body and release tension from the areas that are holding the stress. This could mean dropping your shoulders, unclenching your jaw or stretching your neck.
Learn to say no
We can’t pour from an empty cup, which is why it’s so important to say no sometimes. This could be as simple as turning down a night on the town in favour of lounging around home in your PJ’s, or as important as setting clear boundaries at work. By prioritising your time, you also protect your mental capacity.
Take helpful supplements
A healthy diet is essential for your vitamin and nutrient intake. But a daily adaptogenic supplement that includes B12 Vitamins (like our Beauty Well Super Capsules) can support your body through times of stress, help maintain normal energy levels, and help keep your mood in check. Or you can drink your way to a feeling of zen with Beauty Brain Super Powder. It has an exclusive extract of Lemon Balm that supports a calm, positive mood and assists your ability to cope with occasional stress.
Chat to a professional
There’s nothing quite like advice from someone who knows exactly what they’re talking about, and a professional can set you up with the most effective tools to recognise and manage the stress you’re dealing with. We recommend speaking to your doctor or calling a helpline if things are feeling extra tough right now.
Samaritans: 0800 726 666
Helpline: Free call or text 1737