The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Are You Stressed All The Time?

Are You Stressed All The Time?

Are you …?

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Unable to stop thinking about something
  • Feeling numb and detached
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Always feeling anxious, moody or frustrated
  • Over eating, over use of alcohol, drugs or other addictions

If you can relate to any of the above, it may be time to stop and think about how you can help manage your stress levels and moods.

What does it mean if you are stressed all the time?

Stress is our body’s way of rising to a challenge, and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, stamina, and heightened alertness.

But if you are always feeling stressed out, it could be a sign that your body isn’t dealing with the day-to-day stuff anymore. Perhaps you are overloading yourself with too many things to do? If that’s the case, it may be worth sitting down and writing a list of everything you have got on at the moment and then start prioritising.

To help manage stress, it may be good to get the problem out in the air. After all, you can’t fix a problem if you don’t face it.

Don’t accept that you are stressed all the time… this isn’t normal.  There is another way.  There is a way to reclaim a sense of balance and control.

 

Our Top 7 Stress Busters

 

  1. Be active

Exercise will not make your stress go away, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you are feeling, clearing your thoughts and enabling you to deal with your problems more calmly. However, you need to be careful about high intensity exercise, as working out for 45 minutes or more at a high intensity raises cortisol levels and is counter productive for stress reduction.

  1. Take control

There is a solution to any problem. That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing. The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution to any issues you are trying to overcome.  You may not like the possible outcomes but you will feel better for having made a decision.

  1. Connect with people

A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. Having a good laugh with your friends and family can help us relax, which is an excellent stress reliever.

  1. Have some ‘me’ time

Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don’t spend enough time doing things that we enjoy. Set aside at least one night a week for ‘me time’, by earmarking this time it means you will not be tempted to work overtimeall the time and you will begin to feel a sense of regaining balance.

  1. Avoid unhealthy habits

Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine or sugar as your ways of coping. Over the long term, these habits will not solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones.

  1. Work smarter, not harder

Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference. Accept that your in-tray will always be full, but that you can achieve a sense of satisfaction and control from setting your own boundaries and priorities.  Work in a way that works for you, for some that is getting the hardest and most important tasks out of the way early in the day, while others find that getting a few smaller more routine tasks checked off gives a sense of achievement that motivates them to tackle the bigger tasks.

  1. Tune into your body

Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back, or sit with your feet on the floor. Start on your toes and work your way up to your scalp, notice how your body feels. Notice how your breathing begins to slow and steady.  Notice how just spending this simple exercise can really help reduce the intense feelings of overwhelm.
No one needs to feel stressed all the time.  Chronic stress is not a natural or healthy state for our bodies or mind and over time stress is a major factor in disease and ill health.  So don’t accept feeling stressed all the time.

 

If you feel that you need additional support to help you to manage your stress levels then so seek professional help, speak to your GP or therapist or contact us to discover how our Stress Reset Retreat has helped hundred of women reclaim control and stop feeling stressed all the time.

 

 

 

Sugar And Stress

Sugar & Stress

 

So which way is it for you?

Do you get stressed and reach for the sugar?

Or

Eat sugar and then feel stressed?

 

The truth is, it doesn’t really matter which way it goes because bombarding your body with either stress or sugar for extended periods of time, is simply a sure way to sabotage your health, happiness and wellbeing.

 

For many people caught up in the hamster wheel of working all hours –being stressed and eating fast food of some sort may seem your only option. The fact is that you do have choices. However, first you need to become conscious of how you are thinking and handling certain situations that are making you stressed which in turn is making you crave the sweet stuff.

 

Sugar and Stress – The Relationship

 

Blood sugar spikes seriously affect stress and inflammation levels in your body. Spiked blood sugar causes stress in your body, which causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisol manages stress and it also manages blood sugar levels too.

When blood sugar levels change too quickly cortisol is used to pull it back up again. Your blood sugar levels rise as it triggers the release of stored sugars into the blood to help with the energy that you may need when the fight to fight reaction is processed. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel the same as you feel when an event makes you angry, frustrated, frightened, e.g. STRESSED! So… sugar makes your stress response worse.

 

Even when you can’t control every cause of stress in your world, the simple act of keeping your blood sugar levels stable will make you more resilient, less irritable and better able to handle your sugar cravings.

 

Our Top Tips for Beating Sugar and Lowering Stress

Start your day off right and balance the relationship between sugar and stress.

  1. Eat a high quality protein fuelled breakfast

 

Kick Special K out of your kitchen, because those, along with high sugar breakfast foods (bagels, overly sweetened yoghurts) sabotage your blood sugar, your mood, and your waistline. You will function SO MUCH better if you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast.

Stick with high quality protein, eggs, paired with good fat sources such as coconut oil and avocados.

 

  1. Don’t skip breakfast

 

Having no food lowers your metabolism. This makes you less able to burn fat for fuel. You will also crave more sugar when the 4pm sugar slump arrives!

 

  1. Stay away from high amounts of caffeine

 

Caffeine gives you energy by raising your blood sugar in the same way that sugary food does. Then comes THE CRASH. Drink organic green tea with a slice of lemon instead.

 

  1. Get active

 

Anything works: walking, running, yoga, you name it! It helps regulate your blood sugar level too. Insulin sensitivity is increased, which means that your cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after exercising.

 

 

What about you?  What links have you found between sugar and stress?  We’d love to hear from you, please leave us a comment in the box below xx

 

 

Do You Know The Warning Signs of Stress Overload?

What Are the Warning Signs of Stress Overload?

When you are exposed to long periods of stress, your body gives you warning signals that something is wrong.

These physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral warning signs should not be ignored. Often thee signs are subtle but when they are consistent they are telling you that you need to slow down.

If you continue to experience chronic stress overload and you don’t give your body and mind a break, you are likely to develop health problems like heart disease, auto-immune diseases or adrenal fatigue.

One of the important factors about stress overload is your own personal perception of stress. There is no definitive guide of what makes a situation or event stressful, that is for everyone to define for themselves.  One persons stress overload is another persons competitive driver.

Not all stress is bad, in fact a little stress is good for is, it makes things exciting, gives us a buzz, allows us to feel desire, drive and competitiveness.  We all go through stressful periods in life, thats a given.  But when our lives feel out of balance , when we become aware of how much stress we continue to experience that is when we start to feel overloaded.

When you become aware that the stress in your life is beginning to overload your whole life it is time to take action.

Below are some common warning signs and symptoms of stress overload.

Physical Signs of Stress Overload

  • General Aches & Pains
  • Grinding Teeth
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • IBS
  • Kidney infections
  • Racing Heart
  • Hyperventilation (panic attacks)
  • Disrupted Sleep
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Repeated fungal infections
  • Feeling Tired & Worn Out
  • Weight Gain around the middle

Cognitive Signs of Stress Overload

  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of creativity
  • Loss of sense of humor
  • Poor memory
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Emotional Signs of Stress Overload

  • Unprovoked anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Heightened nervousness
  • Feeling blue
  • Crying for no real reason

Behavioural Signs of Stress Overload

  • Compulsive eating
  • Increased drinking or drug taking
  • Aggressiveness
  • Frequent disagreements or arguments
  • Missing deadlines
  • Withdrawal from relationships or social situations

After you’ve identified the causes of the stress overload in your life, the next step is to learn techniques that can help you cope with the stressors.

There are many techniques and resources  you can use to help you to manage stress. Some of which you can learn yourself, while other techniques may require the guidance of a trained therapist.

The first step is to listen to your own body, be aware of the signs of stress overload and be honest with yourself.

If you are concerned about the impact that stress overload may be having on your health and wellbeing then we can help.  Contact Us Now to set up a call to discuss exactly how we can help you to regain control.

Do You Ever Feel Like You Are Stuck On A Hamster Wheel?

Millions of women are silently suffering under the weight of deadlines and to-do lists.

Being a mother, wife, daughter, sister, boss, employee the list of hats that modern women wear seem endless.

Work deadlines, never-ending kid’s activities, family commitments, long commutes, broken water pipes, mountains of washing, looming bills all mounting the pressure and stress.  

You might be one of them.  

It’s like you stepped onto a Hamster Wheel and it isn’t stopping!  

Soon you begin to feel overwhelmed and sick.  

You may feel that its all somehow beyond your control, you wish things would be different but somehow they never seem to get significantly better.  

You take a holiday and you relish those few days of calm but only a matter of hours after your return the pressure begins to mount again. Very soon it feels as though you have never had a break at all.  

In my research, I’ve learned one very important thing.  

Stress is an equation and you can control the inputs.  

One side of the equation are the demands that we feel from our employers, family and friends.   Demands that seem to require us to work longer hours at work and at home with fewer resources, often at the expense of our health and wellbeing.   We also live in stressful times, you need only switch on the television or radio and you hear the most awful things happening around the word and right here on our doorstep.   It can easy to focus on the external stressors and the impact that they have on us.   But the other side of the stress equation is us.   There is so much that you can do to support your body and your mind.   Yes, I know your boss, commute, significant other, kids, bills or mile-long to do lists are a huge part of your stress.  

But you only escape stress when you stop looking outside for all the answers.  

I’m not saying external stuff doesn’t cause or exacerbate stress. What I’m saying is that there is so much we can do to support our body and mind to be resilient in the face of the stressors.  

When I suffered from Burnout 6 years ago I was very firmly stuck on the Hamster Wheel. I ignored all the signs that my body and mind where sending me that my health was suffering.   I kept on coping, kept myself on the Hamster Wheel.   Then quite simply I wasn’t!  

I suffered Burnout and spent three months in a private clinic working my way back to health. I then spent the last 6 years studying, training, working with experts in various fields to gain a real understanding of how stress impacts women’s health.   Now we get to share this knowledge and expertise with you on our Stress Reset Retreat.  

Know the Signs  

  • If you are feeling wired but tired all the time.
  • If you are suffering repeat infections, colds or fungal infections.
  • If you cant remember the last time you had a good nights sleep.
  • If your moods and emotions seem out of control.
  • If you have a pocket of fat around the middle that just wont shift.  

Your body is sending you signals that you are no longer coping.   Do not ignore these signs.  

If you recognize or suspect that your health may be compromised by stress then take action right now. Speak to your GP or other health care professional.  

It may be time to step off the Hamster Wheel and reset before you fall off due to ill health and exhaustion.    

Eat To Beat Stress – Foods to Include & Avoid

Food and Stress are explicably linked, when we feel stressed out we tend to reach for foods that we feel will help to lift us physically and emotionally.  But actually the foods and drinks we consume during stressful times can actually exacerbate our stress and hinder our body from coping with the stress reactions.  This can result in our health deteriorating further.

Here are our top 5 foods to avoid and include to help you support your system and help combat the negative impact of stress.

Five Foods To Avoid

1. Caffeine.  While it might feel like the perfect pick me up, as well as stimulating your circulation which can lead to palpitations caffeine is a neuro-stimulator and can increased your levels of anxiety as well as negatively impact your ability to sleep at night.
2. Alcohol.  Most of us reach for a glass of vino to help us to relax after a hard day at the office, but actually alcohol raises the stress hormone cortisol and so you are actually keeping your levels elevated at a time of the day when you want to winding down not winding up.
3. Sugar. Refined sugar and highly processed foods that quickly convert into sugar in your blood mean that you are on an energy roller coaster, yes you will feel fine and ready to tackle everything for about 30-45 minutes after eating, but then comes the crash, when you are already coping with stress this crash makes you vulnerable to high irritability.
4. Salt.  A little salt in the diet is a good thing but consuming high sodium foods like ready meals, potato crisps, foods which have little nutritional value but somehow seem to the ones we crave when stressed. Too much salt means that you will be retaining additional fluid and this fluid puts a strain on your heart and increases your blood pressure.
5. Red Meat. Not advocating a vegetarian lifestyle but red meat does take more effect for your system to digest, this means an increased load on your liver which is the main organ to feel the negative impact of stress.

Food To Include to Help Combat Stress

1. Lemons.  Well specifically the juice of half a lemon in a shot of hot water taken every morning on waking.  This helps to stimulate and support your liver as you prepare for the day ahead.
2. Greens.  Again your liver loves greens, packed full of antioxidants green food actively helps your body to fight the stress free radicals.  consider it chemical warfare of the most tasty kind.  Try to add Green Veggies to at least 2 meals a day, even if its just a handful of Spinach.
3. Sweet Potatoes.  Fibre rich carbs make us feel better, they help to stimulate the release of Seritonin in your brains, the feel good factor.  These type of carbs help you to avoid the sugar crashes associated with more refined carbs and are a great sources of magnesium which can be seriously depleted by increased adrenaline levels.
4. Turkey…this white meat is not just for Christmas, Turkey is high in tryptophan the precursor to seritonin and eating good quality protein within a balanced diet increased dopamine in the brains reward centre so you feel better.
5 . Water.  You knew it was coming.  But it is vital to remain hydrated when you feel stressed, your brain needs water to function optimally.   If you are experiencing  chronic stress you are likely to dehydrate faster than normal, due to the increased sweating and  faster breathing.  The symptoms of dehydration include lethargy, head aches, light headiness, shaking, all of this increases your stress feelings.