Did you know that women are more likely to suffer from stress than men? Although it's something we "manage," it's not something to be taken lightly. Women over 40 should take serious steps to reduce their stress load not just for anti-aging and longevity factors, but also because it's a contributing factor for heart disease— a leading cause of death for women.
Scary— I know. But how many times have you started a sentence with, "Things are just really busy right now?" For many of us, it's our motto! But the truth is, neglecting ourselves for the sake of an endless To Do List is a dangerous practice to get into.
In the 3 Step Guide to Reducing Stress below, I'll walk you through some expert strategies to reduce your stress load and increase your nourishment so you can start living happier and healthier today.
Social media is flooded with moms volunteering at their kid’s school, becoming entrepreneurs, making creative snacks for their kids’ lunches, taking care of elderly parents… Oh, and behind the scenes, they’re the primary health care decision makers for the family— not to mention their own health, which often gets left on the back-burner.
It’s no wonder that women are more likely to experience emotional and physical stress than men!
And, one of the ways that we manage stress is through eating.
In my new book, Love Yourself Healthy, I talk about how eating healthy food and getting active are only half of the equation. Most mainstream health and diet books say the only thing you have to do is change your food and exercise––which is simply not true!
You can eat the healthiest food on the planet, have the perfect exercise routine and the best self- care, but if you’re constantly in a stress response mode it’s not going to work. It is scientifically impossible for the body to heal or to lose weight when it is under stress.
So, what stresses you out?
Take a moment and make a little list.
Approach this step with curiosity and not judgment. When you understand and recognize how YOU experience stress, you have a better understanding of what your triggers are, and how to disarm them.
What are the methods that you are currently using? Do you just let stress build up and hope it goes away?
Are you saying “yes” to situations that are fulfilling, and “no,” to those that deplete you?
While I recognize that there are times when we don’t have a choice of whether or not a situation is self-fulfilling or self-depleting, I do believe that we can get stuck thinking that we don’t have a choice, and then it can become a habit.
What I’m suggesting is that you hit the pause button before saying yes to “doing” more.
Perhaps by saying no you are opening up space for you to “be” more.
Remember by making self-nourishment your priority you will have more to give.
By creating a menu of healthy, stress-reducing activities you won’t have to think about what to do when you are experiencing heightened stress. You will be able to simply select one off the menu. I have mine on a whiteboard so that I can add and change as needed.
A Sample "Nourishment Menu"
We are constantly surrounded by noise and distractions but remember it is in the quiet moments where we can rediscover our calm, focus, and even creativity.
Give yourself permission to have that moment so you can nourish your mind, body and soul— and have more to give.