So you’re feeling out of balance and some of the bananas you’ve been juggling in the air have fallen to the ground. Maybe you’ve taken to snacking on chocolate or chips, anything you can get your hands on to help you through the day? Oh and what was that you said about starting a new job? <Insert other unsettling big life event here>… I’m not surprised you’re feeling out of whack; this isn’t the time to punish yourself though. Criticism is like kryptonite when it comes to healing. Now is not the time to put yourself on a diet or start a gruelling exercise regime. (P.S. It’s never a good time to do either of those things in my books! So imagine how they will affect your wellbeing if you put pressure on yourself to start now?)
- Compassion: Here’s a word you might want to become acquainted with (if you’re not already!). Compassion is the antidote to threat, which is what you’ll likely be feeling if you start placing unnecessary expectations on yourself. (P.S. Try not to get grumpy with yourself if you have in fact put these expectations on yourself already, it’s only natural to want to gain some control when the road is feeling bumpy.) Compassion activates a different area of the brain which overrides the natural threat response, and helps to bring the revs down on that stress engine. Think of compassion as a really helpful, caring person who doesn’t judge you. Compassion is a great listener and encourages you in a more kind and gentle way. Regaining balance starts from within.
2. Top up your nutrient intake: Now, where were we? Ah, the chips and the chocolate, so these two have become your best friends, nothing else makes you feel better at the end of a long stressful day. No worries, you’re aware of it and that’s what matters. It’s no secret that while these besties are comforting in the short term, they’re not the best fuel source to sustain you in the long run. AKA, those next few weeks/months, demanding a large portion of your energy, as you adjust to your new circumstances.
Have you ever fallen ill on the flip side of a really stressful time? Why not arm your body with weapons of wellness! In my own experience – it’s best not to make this process too complicated. Try to take 5 minutes to make a plan. What will help to get you through the next few days? This may seem like a big ask amid the chaos in your mind but it helps to be prepared.
Fresh fruit is quick and easy to grab when you’re in auto pilot and need a nutritious boost. I also go for a tin of beetroot to have with a garden salad at dinner. (I can cope with that, easy to prepare and better than no beetroot at all. According to Dr Webb, specialist in blood pressure management, the nitrate in beetroot can assist with opening blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.) I also find asparagus really comforting and it goes great guns in a slice of bread or on top of poached eggs for breakfast. I buy these tasty green spears in a jar hanging out in some spring water. I also find tinned tuna a handy little dude to have as an easy to grab lunch option. Throw in some cherry tomatoes, avocado, cheese and lunch is served! I’m partial to eating avocado out of the skin with a spoon, like I eat yoghurt, so that makes it easy when you don’t feel like preparing a proper sandwich or salad.
By the way, I’m not a nutritionist but I hope this concept gives you some ideas of your own. Most importantly, these are all better choices than the typical ‘fast food’ options. When you’re feeling more like yourself, I’m sure you’ll be rushing to the farmer’s market for that fresh produce you’ve been craving, if only you’d had more time and brain space in the first place!
(Clearly I’m a foodie, I could talk about eating all day!)
Ideally, try to eat a range of nutrients from a wide variety of food sources, as this is the best way of ensuring the body has all the elements needed to carry out its daily processes. If you feel you need some extra support, think about making an appointment with your trusted health professional to discuss the possibility of using a supplement. This can be like giving your body a personal secretary, helping it through stressful times. Remember that supplements have risks just like pharmaceutical medication, so do your research and make an informed decision (maybe this is something to look into when you’re through the eye of the storm!).
- “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” – Martin Luther King: Taking things one day at a time (or one step at a time throughout each day), may help you from becoming overwhelmed. Most importantly, keep checking in with yourself. If you have a bad day, don’t panic, have compassion. You will observe better days on this journey, that’s why it’s important to keep checking in and observing your thoughts. When things are particularly tough, it helps to remember that these storms don’t last forever. During tough times, do your best to hang on, and find what works for you to get through. It shouldn’t be too long before the sun decides to peep through the clouds again. (If the grey clouds loom, it might be time to reach out. Check in with a friend or health professional).
I hope these tools will sit happily in your tool belt, the more you use them the more readily available they become when the magic carpet knocks you off your feet and takes you for another one of life’s adventures!
Keep calm and have compassion.
Love ya work peeps! 🙂 xx