Remember to take a deep breath during stressful times

The festive season is full of stress triggers – too many deadlines, social commitments and presents to buy.  If you associate Happy Holidays with unhappy stress, read on.

Symptoms of stress are both emotional and physical.  Physically, your body is placed under a lot of extra demands.  Chemicals released during stressful episodes increase your heart rate and your blood pressure.  Your nervous system is on edge and emotionally, it’s hard to cope.  It’s common to feel pulled in several directions at once, unable to decide what is most important.  If the stress continues for long enough, it can contribute to serious health problems.

Treat foods, such as sugary carbohydrates or stimulants (coffee, coke, energy drinks) seem to make you feel better.  But they can actually cause fluctuations in blood sugar, energy slumps and weight gain.  Another drain on energy levels is lack of sleep.  During stress, your sleep suffers because your “to do” list runs over and over in your head each night.

The good news is help is at hand in the form of good nutrition combined with supplements to support the nervous system and a return to healthy energy levels.  B vitamins are important.  A comprehensive B supplement will nourish your nerves and your adrenal glands (key glands in the stress response) to help you feel more at ease.   Vitamin C and the minerals magnesium, calcium and potassium are also supportive and the herbs oats and passionflower are naturally calming.

Blackmores Executive B Stress Formula contains these ingredients and more in a ‘tried and true’ formulation that has been around for more than 20 years.  One tablet with breakfast and one with lunch is all you need to help deal with stress and keep energy levels constant throughout the day.

A great companion product is Blackmores Executive Sleep Formula which contains the relaxing herbs hops, passionflower and lemon balm.  These herbs have been traditionally used for their gentle calming effect and, taken half an hour before bed, do wonders for leaving the day’s worries behind and falling into a peaceful, restful sleep.

Lifestyle and nutritional changes can make a big difference.  Reduce sugar, alcohol and caffeine.  Try herbal teas and swap unhealthy snacks for nutrient rich choices like fruit, nuts and yoghurt.  Exercise is a great way to release stress.  Aim for at least three exercise sessions a week and don’t forget to explore lesser known but highly beneficial practices such as meditation and yoga.

Talking to someone is always a great idea too.  A problem shared, is a problem halved.  Chat with a friend or seek professional advice.  Dealing with stress is often about putting yourself first and asking for the help you need.

Always read the label and take as directed. If symptoms persist, contact your health professional. Vitamins are supplementary to a balanced diet.

By Nicole Jellard, Blackmores practitioner and trainer.

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