Self-Care Sunday – Alleviating Anxiety

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is all about alleviating anxiety. This is the fifth week and you can check out the previous videos below!

Causes of Anxiety

There are many reasons why you may experience anxiety – and the degree to which it prevents you from going about your day can also vary. Addressing underlying issues and past negative experiences can be extremely helpful for working to resolve the sources of anxiety, and it can also be helpful to look to your diet.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most prominent dietary contributors to feelings of anxiety. As a stimulant it can quickly cause feelings of anxiety, or exacerbate existing feelings of anxiety. Also, it can sometimes be easy to mistake the way that caffeine makes you feel for anxiety – as it may increase your heart rate and cause feelings of restlessness.

Alcohol

Some people use alcohol in order to alleviate feelings of anxiety, but doing so can actually become a difficult cycle to get out of. Although drinking alcohol can temporarily soothe these feelings, they will likely surface again once the alcohol leaves your system – causing increased levels of anxiety to return.

When you drink alcohol you are disrupting the natural balance of chemicals in your brain, and this can lead to depression and addiction.

Sugar

Studies have suggested that the presence of sugar in your system can affect how well your body and brain can cope with stress. Although sugar itself does not seem to cause the onset of anxiety, it can make symptoms worse and cause you to feel worse than you would otherwise during an anxious moment.

Furthermore, if you regularly consume sugar and then go without it, your body can actually experience withdrawal which may involve feelings of anxiety.

Your Diet

Taking a close look at your diet and making the conscious decision to remove problem foods can go a long way to helping alleviate your anxiety.

In the following video I talk more on the topic of Alleviating Anxiety! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel whilst you’re there so you can be automatically alerted about future videos in my Self-Care Sunday series!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Winter Immune System Health

As the winter season begins to settle in it becomes all the more important that we pay attention to the health of our immune systems. Consciously supporting your immune system should be seen as giving yourself a helping hand to stay healthy through the winter, and always close to the top of your priority list! 

There are several small things that you can do to give this aspect of your health a boost, and doing so can not only protect your body from illness, but will also help you to maintain your positive mood. When we begin to get ill our happiness can suffer, and this can lead to increased levels of stress as we struggle to find the energy and the motivation to get things done. This can become a cyclic problem as higher levels of stress can further compromise the immune system!

Get to Bed

Getting enough sleep can sometimes feel impossible. We all have our different reasons for not always getting an adequate amount of good quality sleep at night – but whatever your reason, it is important for the health of your immune system that you work to resolve the problem.

You can try going to bed earlier, avoiding caffeine or other dietary stimulants in the evening, meditating before bed and creating a more peaceful sleeping environment for yourself.

Eat for Digestive Health

The health of your digestive system is closely connected to your immune system function, and this is something I discussed in my previous article on Gut Health and your Diet.

Cutting out highly processed foods and those that are high in sugar is a great place to start. Additionally, taking a daily probiotic can help to encourage the presence of good bacteria in the gut.

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health in other ways too? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

Pay Attention to Vitamin D

Vitamin D is most commonly known for its role is protecting bone health, but it is also important for the health of your immune system. Your body naturally creates vitamin D from the sun, and getting outside into the sunshine is a simple way to make sure you are producing enough. However, this can become a problem during the winter months due to the grey weather and shorter days.

Fortunately, many foods are fortified with vitamin D and it also occurs naturally in quite a range of foods. Therefore making the extra effort to include vitamin D rich produce during the colder months will help to keep your immune system functioning properly.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Simple Changes for Increased Energy

Having more energy is something that many of us dream of. With demanding work schedules and a long list of everyday pressures, finding the energy to keep going till bedtime can sometimes feel impossible. Not having enough energy to make it through the day can not only mean that certain things don’t get done, but it can also be detrimental to your mood. When you don’t have the motivation to do the things you want, this can quickly affect your happiness and leave you feeling low. Some people try to rely on caffeine and other stimulants to keep themselves going, but this will only lead to dependancy and other ill-health effects. In fact, they could leave you feeling worse than you did before.

So, how can you keep your energy levels up without resorting to non-natural options?

First of all, even it it seems like you just don’t have the time, try to always have a period of relaxation during each day. During this time you can do whatever it is that you consider to be relaxing. Go for a walk, read a book, have a nap etc. This is your time and it will help to refresh your mind and re-energise your body to continue with the day.

Secondly, exercise is important. You may think that exercise will drain your energy and therefore you avoid it. But exercising regularly will actually raise your energy levels as well as improve your mood and boost your stamina. Even as little as 30 minutes, three times a week could help to get you on track. Yoga is a great choice because it also promotes relaxation while you exercise.

In addition to the the things you have to do, try to make time for the things you like to do. Feeling in control of your day is essential to keep your energy and your mood on track. So if you need to take some time to have some fun then give yourself this treat.

Finally, it is essential to your continued good health and your energy levels that you aim to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Give yourself a bedtime and do your best to stick to it. As you get into this routine your sleep cycle will improve and you will approach each day full of energy and motivation.

You may immediately think that you don’t have time to do any of the things I have suggested. If so, I want you to really evaluate how you spend your day. If you know that you spend time watching TV, surfing the internet, talking to your friends on the phone etc, then reallocate a portion of this time to the activities I have mentioned.

Incorporating these lifestyle tips with a nutrition plan will help to boost your efforts. Head to the Flexi Foodie Academy to find out how simple this can be!