As holiday stress fades into the past, Dr. Doni shares health tips for creating stress balance in the New Year.
After the busy and stressful preparation for the holidays, having a few days off—and time to connect with family and friends—allows us a chance to come back to balance. It is a state that I refer to as “stress balance.” Now, for how to maintain this new balance as you return to your usual routine: I have five tips for you today, to support you with this goal, and a FREE Stress Balance e-course that you can sign up for below.
First, I want to describe a bit more about “stress balance.” While we often hear about strategies to eliminate stress, it’s clear that stress is here to stay. From deadlines and to-do lists to financial concerns and illnesses, stress is simply something we cannot avoid for long. Then there are the stresses that lurk in our daily choices—high sugar foods, alcohol, lack of sleep, and toxins—and many more stresses that we might not even realize. Read about the top 10 stresses here.
Our bodies are constantly responding to stresses, and when they respond, imbalances are created. Some people notice the imbalance first as hormone-related changes—weight gain, fatigue, PMS, hair loss, decreased libido, or mood changes. Others notice it more in their gut—indigestion, bloating, and discomfort. Then there are those who experience it as an illness—frequent colds, allergies, or even autoimmunity or cancer. Stress can also go straight to the nervous system, causing headaches, anxiety, sleep issues, decreased memory, pain, or food cravings.
No matter how stress affects you, by learning how to keep a stress balance, you’ll be less likely to experience the effects of stress and instead to feel well. You’ll be more likely to lose the extra pounds you’ve wanted to lose, to prevent the next cold from ruining your week, and to get through the day without bloating. I’ve noticed this for myself, but also for my patients.
So how is it possible? It’s not easy, but it is possible. Here’s the thing—I really want for you to be successful with this. That’s why I spend so much time writing and lecturing about stress and what you can do about it, and why I have these tips and an e-course for you today.
These are my 5 tips for how to maintain a state of balance as you start the new year:
Tip #1: Choose your optimal stress carefully
While we can’t eliminate stress, there are some choices we can make to optimize the stresses in our daily life. Start by thinking about what are optimal stresses for you. For example, would you prefer to work four longer days in order to have three days off? Are you the kind of person who enjoys a job that is mentally or physically challenging? Then consider what choices you can make to support your body while experiencing optimal stress. Do you need more hours of sleep, or to avoid sugar and alcohol? For a detailed questionnaire and more help with identifying your optimal stress, be sure to turn to my book, The Stress Remedy.
Tip #2: Implement daily stress remedies
We know from the research that making choices to support our bodies on a daily basis actually makes a significant difference in terms of disease prevention. It’s worth it to take even five minutes (or better yet, fifteen minutes) to take care of yourself. Sometimes the best way to make sure your daily stress remedies happen is to actually schedule them. Do you need to schedule a massage every other week? Or can you put breaks in your schedule so you can get a bite to eat, a cup of tea, or take a walk around the block? Would you like to try out a new exercise class—sign up and get it into your calendar! For full support on implementing daily stress remedies, I put together a quick companion guide to The Stress Remedy, called Stress Remedies, which is now available as a Kindle ebook here: http://bit.ly/StressRemediesPromo.
Tip #3: Be patient with yourself and willing to learn
It is not about getting this all right the first time. It is about trying and noticing, and then changing and trying something new. What works for you? Does it depend on the day of the week or the month of the year? We are not robots—we need to learn as we go, and the best way to do that is to be present in the moment, aware as you try new things, and willing to make changes when needed. That’s also part of keeping stress in balance—no reason to stress about finding your stress balance! Let’s learn together. Join me in my “Empowering Wellness Naturally” Facebook group, where you can share and learn from others, as we are all in this together.
Tip #4: Start yourself off on the right foot with support
It can be a lot to juggle. The first day back to work can seem like being hit with a ton of bricks. If that’s the case, please don’t try to do it all at once, or all on your own. Think in terms of steps—taking one thing at a time. It might be helpful for you to schedule an appointment with your local naturopathic doctor. If you don’t have a preferred practitioner, I’m happy to help put together a strategic plan for optimizing your stress and getting your body back to balance. You can find out more about scheduling an appointment here: https://doctordoni.com/appointment.
Tip #5: Use a structured plan to get you headed in the right direction
I often find I use the analogy of riding a bicycle when describing the process to patients. At first, when implementing new approaches to optimizing your health, it can seem like riding a bike with training wheels. And you will probably swerve or even fall, and need to try again. For many people having a guided plan can make it all go more smoothly. If that sounds like you, you may want to consider following The Hamptons Cleanse, which I designed for that situation specifically. It includes 7 principles to help you make diet and lifestyle choices that will lead to stress balance. You can do it yourself, or you could choose to have me help guide you with daily email tips and a phone consultation. Find out all about it here: http://TheHamptonsCleanse.com.
Now for the FREE Stress Balance e-course:
To continue learning about how stress has affected your health and what you can do to maintain a state of stress balance in the New Year, sign up for this new 10-day Stress Balance e-course—for FREE! You’ll receive an email directly from me every other day for 10 days. In those emails you will find questionnaires (straight from The Stress Remedy Book) to help you assess your stress and tools to help you create an individualized plan.
(You will also receive a subscription to my e-newsletter as a bonus.)
How to know when you’ve achieved Stress Balance?
You’ll know that you have found stress balance for you when you stop one day and notice that you feel better than you have in the past. Perhaps it is that you didn’t catch the cold or flu that everyone else got, or that you slept through the night when that hasn’t happened in years. Taking the time to find your optimal stress and to support your body under stress will pay off in the long run, allowing you to have improved energy levels, focus, mood, and metabolism.
I look forward to hearing what helps you find stress balance, please do share below.
Best wishes to you in the New Year!
2nd Jan 2015