Confession time: I am not always great at managing stress. In fact, there are times when I get angry and just like most people and say the wrong thing or slam a door or two. But there are times when I’m aces at handling stress. I’ve found that when unexpected situations pop up I can usually deal with them just fine. The situations that are difficult involve times when I go against my personality or nature. For example, I am an introvert, so I energize by being alone in quiet settings. So a challenge might be dealing with a person who is the opposite (i.e. an extrovert) in a confined setting. Or another stressor might be when I push myself into a decision to do something that I honestly don’t believe in. The lesson is to be as authentic as humanly possible in everything that you do.
But I digress, here are a few of the stress-relieving tips that have helped me:
Okay, let’s just pause for a second so I can just explain how much I love pumpkin seeds!
Pumpkins seeds are just crunchy and satisfying and wonderful! One cup of pumpkin seeds equals a whopping 168 mg of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is tied to stress. I like to sprinkle some in my morning chia seed pudding of coconut milk yogurt and oatmeal. Occasionally, I’ll put a small amount in my homemade protein balls made from shredded coconut, almond flour, and carob powder. It is simple and delicious just the way I like it.
Yes, I know, I know, *cue yawn*. What can’t coconut oil do? Coconut oil is a MCFA (a medium-chain fatty acid). Some of you may know that this MCFA promotes better calorie burn in the body because most of it goes to the liver instead of the muscles or fat like other saturated fats. But did you know that coconut oil can also be an antistress oil too? A 2014 study showed that mice treated with virgin coconut oil exhibited increased levels of antioxidants in the brain, which may prevent further neuronal damage. I like to put a teaspoon or so of coconut oil on my morning avocado toast. I am able to start my day off in a calm and energetic mood.
Lavender essential oil
This oil has been a godsend for myself and my family. Lavender oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Whenever a cold is about to hit one of us, we sprinkle a few drops in a steaming shower and we are good to go. In addition, I use lavender oil in my homemade hair leave-in spray of amla powder and aloe vera gel. But studies have also shown that lavender oil may also induce sleep and reduce anxiety. Mix 3 to 4 drops with a carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba oil for a soothing neck massage.
These are just some of the ways that I manage stress—what are a few ways that work for you?