Simple self care (without a spa day)
Even though I'm a Nutritionist, I am often talking with clients about stress, self care, and other lifestyle strategies above and beyond what's on their plate And it's not just feel-good-happy-mumbo-jumbo - it's because stress actually has a physiological effect on the body. Curious about the science? Here's the quick scoop. Cortisol is a hormone that is released by our bodies in response to stress. It plays an important role in our body's stress response, but when cortisol levels are chronically elevated, it can have negative effects on our health, including weight gain. When we are stressed, cortisol signals our body to release glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream to give us energy to cope with the stress. However, if the stress is ongoing or chronic, our cortisol levels can remain high, which can lead to increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. This can cause our bodies to store more fat, particularly in the abdominal area. Additionally, high levels of cortisol can also increase appetite, particularly for sugary, high-fat foods. This can lead to overeating and weight gain. We'll never be able to completely avoid stress, obviously, however the good news is there are small things we can do daily to mitigate the effects of stress. Here are 3 tips for simple self care that don't require a spa day:
Practice Mindfulness: One of the simplest yet most effective self care practices is mindfulness. Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment, allowing you to fully engage with your surroundings and your thoughts. You can practice mindfulness through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a few moments to focus on your senses and what's around you. You can do this anywhere, and it doesn't require any special equipment or preparation.
Connect with Nature: Spending time in nature can be incredibly rejuvenating and restorative. Even just a short walk outside can help you reduce stress, increase your mood, and boost your energy. Try to spend some time outside every day, whether it's going for a walk, sitting in a park, or simply opening a window to get some fresh air.
Nourish Your Body: Taking care of your body is an important aspect of self care. This can include eating healthy, nourishing foods, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. You don't have to make major changes to your diet or lifestyle to practice self care in this way. Small adjustments like drinking an extra glass of water or eating a piece of fruit can make a big difference in how you feel.
Remember that self care is about taking care of yourself in a way that feels good and is sustainable for you. You don't have to do anything that feels out of your comfort zone or is unattainable. Start small and build up from there. Little hinges swing big doors ;) And when you're ready, I am here for you. Jodi-Lee Nutrition & Wellness
In great health,