Building Resilience in a New Year
As we enter a new decade, many of us continue to feel anxious, stressed, unsettled.
This is the precise time to be sure we are leaning on our resilience strategies. As your body perceives stress, your adrenal glands make and release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. Often called the “stress hormone,” cortisol causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. I have said this before, and cannot stress (pun intended) enough, the importance of breathing – it not only helps shift us into the parasympathetic system, where we rest and digest, but also builds our capacity to be more resilient by enhancing our ability to recover faster from physical, mental and emotional stressors.
Stress also causes inflammation and less-healthy foods can contribute to it, so this is a perfect time to choose anti-inflammatory foods – think fruits and vegetables. And, while you may be tempted to make alcohol your ‘food of choice’, it is not the answer. Alcohol may help deal with stress in the short term, but, in the long run it can contribute to feeling of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with.
Instead, focus in implementing four simple strategies to help build your capacity to be more resilient and be at your BEST:
Breathe: When is the last time you paused to breathe and notice your inhales and exhales?
Eat (Nutrition) & Exercise: How colourful is your plate? Did you move today? Consider a walking meeting.
Sleep: How many hours of sleep are you getting? Try to target at least 7 hours.
Time for Gratitude: How have you taken time to be grateful today?