You know the feeling; short breaths, tense muscles, clenched chest. And then the headaches, fatigue and sleep deprivation kick in.
This is the body’s stress system, and we’re immersed in it. Our brains are forced into perpetual ‘fight or flight’ mode, which is difficult to shake off given the hundreds of things we have to do in a day. But this can be helped.
Here are seven things you can do to ease your hectic lifestyle in Malta.
1. Treat yourself to a nutritious breakfast that’s just good
Mornings aren’t exciting. Period. But when you’ve got that blender going, that avo on toast ready and some retro Jackson 5 playing in the background, life gets exciting. And having a breakfast that’s rich in protein will help keep your energy levels stable throughout the entire morning.
Morning oats are a quick and easy breakfast meal that is full of fibre, meaning that you’re giving support to the elimination pathways of the liver. It’s got an amino acid called Tryptophan which helps the body make proteins and certain brain-signaling chemicals. Your body changes tryptophan into a brain chemical called serotonin and serotonin helps control mood and sleep.
2. Choose your liquids right
That cup of black coffee becomes dangerous when you’re on your fifth one and it’s 4pm. Caffeine causes internal stress, which we’re looking to avoid.
According to research, we should lay off the coffee when cortisol levels are at its peak. Cortisol is a crucial hormone which helps us stay awake in the morning. Our body’s production of cortisol reaches its peak first thing in the morning and at noon.
So as lovely as it sounds to take a warm cup of coffee first thing in the morning, it’s more beneficial to have it in the late morning after a good breakfast between 9.30am to 11.30am or after lunch from 1.30pm to 5pm.
One of the best things you can do after you wake up is drink loads of water on an empty stomach. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even make you eat less.You want to flush out cortisol from your gut to help you thrive and feel good. And taking in that H2O is the easiest way to get this done.
A liquid that gets missed but is super good for your gut is apple cider vinegar. A shot of this will improve your digestive efficacy overall, and is great for helping with bloating, acid reflux or fullness after meals. This will allow your body to rest and digest, leaving your body ready to receive the food that you’ve eaten.
3. Smile a lil’ bit more
We’re not telling you to look at the brighter side of life, or anything like that. Essential fats and B-vitamins can do that job for you. Our body language can influence our emotions. In one study, researchers discovered that people who stood in a confident way actually felt more confident. In another study, people who intentionally put on a facial expression (like a smile or a frown) ended up feeling the emotion that went with it.
Fatty acids are essential because your body does not produce them, so it’s important to get a good amount of them in our diet for brain and nervous system development, proper thyroid function, hormone production and for healthy skin and hair.
4. Pump up your plate
The most important thing about your day is food. This is a universal truth. Well, a universal truth among us Maltese.
For lunch and dinner aim to balance your carbs with protein and/or fats, and it’s better if you get everything from real, whole foods. Eating protein, fiber and healthy fats in all of your meals will help to stabilize your blood sugar. Which essentially will calm down your anxiety rates. Saturated fat, on the other hand, you want to steer clear from.
As long as you do your best to not skip meals your body won’t be pushed into that stress state, which in turn will stop you from grabbing that tasty chocolate biscuit from the kitchen counter.
5. Reduce internal body stress
You’re probably like “what does this even mean, Lovin?”, but there are lots of things that you can do to help yourself.
You can buy cute bohemian pilates equipment and become a yogi, or you can take it down a notch and go for a walk after work, take your time when washing up the dishes in the evening, or kick a football around with friends once a week.
Anything that takes your mind off things and doesn’t need to be rushed when doing it is welcome here.
6. Try out something new
Have you ever wondered “maybe I can do this…” or “wouldn’t it be cool if I could do that thing?..” Well, try it out. Devote a couple of hours a day to learning Spanish, becoming a pro rower, or listening to more podcasts.
‘Halt’ the usual tasks of the day that your boss at work or professor at uni demands of you. Feeding your brain with new kinds of information refreshes your brain and directs thought processes in a way that decreases stress.
7. Healthy body, healthy mind
Sounds cliché, but my gawd is that true. Just like your diet helps the body all round, exercising regularly is proven to be beneficial for long term brain health. And in the short term, it promotes alertness, memory function, stress recovery and good sleep.
Taking care of your brain is a lifelong process. It is entirely in your own hands and it starts with adequate nutrition and exercise – both key in supporting your brain health in the long-term.
BONUS: There’s one last thing you can do to help top it all off…
They’re called nootropics, and they’re great at managing stress, increasing your focus, and helping you to relax and get those crucial minimum seven hours of sleep at night.
If the word nootropics sounds daunting, let us tell you that first, you shouldn’t worry. Second, these aren’t the kind of pills students take to cram before exams, these are actually good for you.
The ones we are talking about are nutrients or foods that improve one or more aspects of brain function. That’s what we need; a healthy brain to be able to cope with these mad days. And that’s where Motion Nutrition comes in.
Motion Nutrition strongly support the philosophy of wellness by maintaining a healthy brain. Their Neuro Motion supplements, Power Up and Unplug, are natural and beneficial, focusing both on mental wellbeing and on long-term brain health.
Power Up is the day-time nootropic that you take before your morning breakfast. It’s going to help you remember names, numbers and places, power through your or exams and tests with laser sharp focus whilst keeping a good mood, and enhance your brain’s neuroprotection for long term health.
Power Up uses the most bio-available sources of B-vitamins, D3, Iron, Folate and Manganese, with a blend of powerful amino-acids.
Before going to bed, taking a night-time Unplug nootropic should be the last part of your routine (developing this into a habit, *nudge nudge*).
This nootropic promotes relaxation without sedation. Nobody wants decreased brain power, and Rhodiola rosea not only keeps the stress response in check but also improves your concentration.
If you’re interested, and you should be, Motion Nutrition is here to help…
The team at Motion Nutrition have decided to give 50 lucky subscribers the opportunity to try out the Power Up and Unplug supplements free of charge!
All you need to do is leave your details in the form below. Motion Nutrition will send the first 50 signups a three day trail pack of both Power up and Unplug.
Your contact details will only be used for the purpose of this giveaway and will be deleted within 15 days of the giveaway date.