Isa-Welly, a Registered Nutritional Therapist and Wellbeing Coach, helping women across the country eliminate physical and mental fatigue so they can reconnect with their true self and thrive. The wellness expert shares five tools with us to help you ground yourself and reduce stress and anxiety in a busy environment.
We all experience stress in everyday life, it's a consequence of our busy, modern lives. Stress increases our adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that increase our motivation and push us to work harder and faster. If short-lived, this is not inherently a bad thing but can present a problem for our physical and mental health if it is not resolved quickly.
Prolonged or chronic stress is shown to affect a series of bodily processes and can result in inadequate hormonal secretion, blood sugar dysregulation, poor metabolic health and fluctuations in weight, weakened immune function, digestive complaints and fatigue. It can affect how we break down and absorb the nutrients from our food, putting us at a higher risk of nutrient insufficiencies.
Ultimately, since stress is not completely avoidable, our resilience to stress, how often we experience stress, how long we are exposed to the feeling and how we handle it is what is most important.
From personal and clinical experience, as a Nutritional Therapist and Wellbeing Coach, I have found that by building a healing toolbox that works for me, I can tap into what I need whenever there’s a moment that I would benefit from being grounded. This has been really useful over the past few years, helping me to reduce both stress and anxiety.
Here are 5 things I like to do when things feel out of control.
1. Alone time to declutter the brain and reset
This is one of my non-negotiables.
Spending a day or a few hours alone to recharge and fill up my cup with simple yet intentional activities.
Journaling to empty your mind. Nothing new but it always does the trick. All you need is 30 minutes, a pen and paper. Get started and words will come pouring out.
Cook a nourishing homemade meal. Cooking can be a very therapeutic activity when you get lost in a delicious recipe you’ve never tried. Independently of what I am cooking, I try to focus on nutrient dense whole foods and well-balanced meals that include protein, fats and complex carbohydrates.
Take a warm shower using ARRAN Naturals’ Calm Body Wash to create a peaceful moment of clarity, de-stress and restore emotional balance. It’s about getting to a place where you feel more serene. Showers can also help in metaphorically washing away any negative emotions. Close your eyes and picture those emotions leaving your body as you wash yourself. Take this opportunity to incorporate a few deep breaths and perhaps some affirmations.
2. Dance class or solo session at home
I’m perhaps biased as an ex pro dancer, but NOTHING lifts your mood as well and as fast as a good dance. Whether you go take a class or just blast the music and let it go in the comfort of your own home, your endorphins will shoot up and leave you with a feeling of bliss afterwards. After your session, jump in the shower to energise yourself and keep the vibes high. The mint and eucalyptus scent in ARRAN Naturals’ Awaken Body Wash and Hand & Body Lotion is perfect for invigorating your body and keeping your energy high.
3. Breathwork and meditation
I find setting the mood and environment is an essential step in preparation for a breathwork and meditation session. There is something special in the act of setting the mood. You can choose to light a candle, burn some incense or, like me, use the Calm Lavender & Chamomile Pulse Point Oil to help you settle into the practice.
Breathwork and meditation are powerful practices that bring awareness to the breath and make us more present. Using essential oils such as lavender and chamomile can facilitate the switch to the parasympathetic, “rest and digest” state. Lavender also works its magic on the nervous systems in many ways, but we can generally say it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters in the nervous system, causing a lift in mood, easing anxiety and promoting calm and relaxation (source).
Similarly, volatile compounds in chamomile facilitate the switch to a parasympathetic state and ease feelings of anxiety, agitation, anger and irritability, which can creep up when we’re stressed.
Both essential oils are also known bedtime allies, as they can slow down a busy mind.
4. Slow grounding movement
Starting your day with some grounding movement to centre yourself, reconnect to your intuition and regain trust ahead of the day.
Yoga, pilates or a combination of the two are my favourite ways to deepen this connection to my inner self.
5. Get some support
Sometimes we need additional help in getting our energy to shift and there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting some professional help.
Find the right discipline and practitioner for you. Someone that resonates deeply with you and will meet you where you are in your journey without judgement.
I personally find reiki and any other form of energy healing really helpful.
No matter what my day looks like, I try my best to incorporate one or two of the above practices, to pause and create a moment of calm. It’s also a great way of building resilience and preparing myself should a moment of stress arise.
While building your anti-stress toolbox, there is no wrong way, it’s all about finding what works for you.
Discover ARRAN Naturals and help reduce stress and anxiety with your own toolbox and self-care products.