When we start a new year, more often than not, we vow to take our ‘holiday chill’ with us into the office, school or our day-to-day lives. Most of the time, this works for a few days - maybe even a few weeks - but when the stress starts to creep back in, this chilled out feeling seems to subside. As a result, we often push aside the hobbies we love most in order to keep up. But when it comes to keeping our ‘holiday chill’, it’s fair to say we could all do with a helping hand.
It may not be realistic to feel like we’re on holiday forever but helping our body and internal chemistry feel like it is, is really beneficial for our health. When we’re stressed and experiencing that highly strung, vibrating-instead-of-walking feeling, it means our cortisol levels are spiking – yikes.
Cortisol, in the right amount, is great for the body. It keeps us active and alive - but when those levels get super high (like when you’ve had a few too many glasses of wine) there’s a tangible difference in mood and physiology. It starts to impact our sleep, our mood, our weight, and our concentration.
Feeling on top of your day and in a calm headspace might not be possible all the time, but there are small, sustainable steps we can take to find our chill - and hold on to it.
So what can we do to keep our minds mellow and our cortisol levels balanced? We’ve got you. Here’s five ways to ‘find your chill’.
1. Try a digital detox
A lot of us spend way less time on our phones over the summer and feel so much lighter for it. Even if our phone usage stayed the same, being away from our work laptop significantly reduces our digital time - and if this sounds like you, then maybe you noticed improved sleep, less tension, and more energy. All good things right? As we return to work and school, cutting back on screentime outside these hours is a helpful first step. Better yet, try stay off any devices for at least half an hour after waking – it's sure to do your mind, and stress levels, some good!
2. Chill out while you work out
Because cortisol is our get up and go hormone, our cortisol levels rise if we’re exercising. The more intense the exercise is, the more cortisol we produce in order to meet that high level of activity. While HIIT is great for getting your blood pumping, turning to restorative exercises such as yoga or light walks is more ideal when we’re feeling stressed. Or, if you prefer weights, be sure to give yourself time to balance out your heart rate in between exercises.
3. Support your body and mind with calming herbs
Sometimes we need a little help to bring peace to a racing mind and what better way than with natural herbs that help us feel good? Dubbed as the ‘best friend for stress’, Eve Wellness’ Chill Pills are made from sustainably sourced Vanuatu Kava – which has been used on the island for centuries as a calming herbal remedy. Feeling flustered? For support when you need it most, or when you’re after restful ZZZ’s, these supplements are great for supporting relaxation and a calm mind.
4. Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes
Although summer calls for more time outdoors and with loved ones, enjoying a few nights to yourself per week can do wonders for your soul, mind and body. Besides, who doesn’t love a little R&R from time to time? For self-care at its finest, things like reading your favourite book, running a bubble bath, doing a face mask or taking a long, warm shower can all do us some good.
5. Breathe in, breathe out
Did you know when we breathe out, our diaphragm “hugs” our heart and slows it down? And since a rising heart rate is a noticeable sign of stress, breathing exercises are a great tool for managing it. It may seem ironic given our bodies do this naturally without us giving it much thought, but as a matter of fact, controlled breathing is a great way of telling your body it’s safe to relax. The best part? You can do it anywhere – even while running errands. Exercises like Box Breathing can be helpful – this is where you breathe in and out for four seconds, hold your breath for another four seconds, and repeat. Want to start small? Try taking slow deep breaths, breathing out for longer than you’re breathing in so you can lean into your parasympathetic nervous system.
While we’re all different, finding small yet triumphant ways to feel relaxed is key. From building healthy habits like deep breathing and gentle exercises, to herbal helpers like Eve Wellness’ Chill Pills that nourish and support, there’s many ways we can all work to carry the ‘holiday chill’ with us this throughout the whole year.
Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet. Eve Wellness Limited Auckland.