How are you feeling right now?
A recent newspaper article has described the last few years as a ‘cascade of stresses’. From COVID and its financial, emotional and physical health knock-on effects, extreme weather events, climate change, and cost of living pressures, Dr Grant Blashki, the Lead Clinical Advisor for Beyond Blue believes we’re all living in a culture of ‘stretched bandwidth’.
In health and wellness terms, we call this “Burnout”, and we are seeing it more than ever. It is a feeling of being overwhelmingly busy yet underwhelmingly low in energy. What makes matters worse is that these two factors end up being linked, where the busier we are, the tired-er we get, which results in less work being accomplished and an increase in our ‘busy-ness’ which then draws even more on our energy stores. And so the cycle continues…
So what can we do, when we find ourselves busier than ever but without means to get anything done?
Here are 4 simple strategies that might help:
1. Get outside!
That phone call you need to make? Take it outside.
Writing a list? Sit in the sun and do it.
Scoffing down lunch on your lunch break? Find a spot to eat in the great outdoors.
Time outside, especially in nature, has shown to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and relative stress score. If we’re less stressed we’re better able to use our brain to make smart decisions that don’t require extra time in the long run. And a lower heart rate and reduced blood pressure is less taxing on our nervous system and therefore resource sparing!
2. Ask us about starting on a stress support supplement
Getting in for an appointment at this time of year is super tricky, between Christmas parties and shopping trips, most of our calendars are pretty full up! Plus we really don’t like dishing out too many diet plans in the weeks before holidays… So why not enquire about starting on a stress support supplement before you book in for a health and wellness check-up in the new year. It can be just the thing that keeps you tethered to your wellness plans through the holiday season and sets you up for success with any new year resolutions.
Call the clinic, or email your practitioner about picking something up of having it sent out to save you time.
What matters most to you? Family, friends, work, pets, a calm and clean house? Whatever it is that you value, find a way to sprinkle that value throughout your day. When we live a life that is aligned with our values we feel energised, we get into ‘flow’ and things happen more easily for us.
4. Find the Joy
It’s easy to get swept up in the rush this time of year. Take a moment to truely ‘be in the moment’ at least once a day. If this is difficult for you, try this simple meditation:
- Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed for 5 minutes, this might even be in the shower if you live in a busy household!
- Close your eyes
- Inhale through your nose, focusing on bringing your breath as far down into your belly as you can.
- As you exhale, relax your shoulders and empty out your lungs to the best of your ability.
- Smile gently and hold for 4 seconds
- Repeat 4 times
- Open your eyes and enjoy the serotonin hit!
Did you know that smiling, whether reflexive or not, contracts the tiny muscles in your face that send messages to your brain that you are happy? It’s the simplest bio-hack there is! And if that doesn’t make you smile you can always laugh at how silly you must look smiling to yourself in the shower 😂😁
Finally, burnout is real, and naturopaths and nutritionists are amongst the few health professionals that can provide an evidence-based treatment plan and help guide you through it. While the above strategies might help short term, booking in for a detailed, individualised appointment is your best step to feeling energised, calm and excited about a bright healthy new year!
All the best in health and happiness this holiday season.