Is it part of daily life and are we supposed to be stressed all the time?
Probably not but someone has to make sure everyone is fed, washed, has clean clothes and homework got done. It’s part of your routine and how you work the day in between juggling work and family.
But what happens when that routine is shoved so far to the side and you’re blindsided by the current situation. As many Kiwi families have discovered, loss of routine is incredibly stressful. However as we find ourselves midway through, you will have started to find your groove and hopefully feeling a bit better.
As our new role in “lockdown” is to stay inside, exercise locally and stay within our own little bubbles, it can be quite a crowded space both physically and mentally.
How are we doing as we are all working hard to rid ourselves of Covid-19 (Corona virus) that is gripping the whole world tight.
Is this the new normal you ask yourself, terrified to let your kids go outside, even more scared that they hurt themselves (as kids do) as the thought of needing a doctor or even a visit to the pharmacy is low on our list of places to visit right now. It’s even an anxious time to do one of our most mundane tasks of grocery shopping. When will it be quietest? Will I be safe? And of course, the big question, will there be flour? I’m not sure about you but that’s been hard to find for about 6 weeks.
What a strange new world we find ourselves in. What a stressful new world we find ourselves in.
Take a moment to be proud of your contribution; our strong, cohesive nation as we walk as one. What we are currently achieving, although hard and the stresses mount, is the envy of many a nation around the world who wish their borders would close or have closed earlier and their lockdown would have come sooner to battle against this virus.
This new stress although hopefully short lived is real and will be taking some toll on us all. Most of us have been lucky enough to never had to wonder how we’ll feed a family of 4 and pay our rent. Or mortgage for that matter. But today you may be asking some of those questions and new questions like “how do I limit screen time for my kids (and me if I’m honest) when this is their only way of learning?” “How do I feed our family on a new budget?” “How do I get time for myself when I’m constantly surrounded by people?” How do I manage at all?
It will come to an end and the more we do what’s right today the quicker the end date should appear, and then our lives can start to go back to some sort of normality.
This new stress is incomparable to anything we’ve experienced in modern history and whether you know it or not many of us will be running on our “fight or flight” mode right now. This activated mode, also known as the acute stress response, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety. Which means we are constantly running on adrenaline and cortisol which isn’t healthy for us.
These two hormones can throw off your already delicate hormonal imbalance. When you run on adrenaline for too long you can end up with adrenal fatigue which can weaken your immune system at the time when you actually need a strong immune system. Imbalanced hormones can make you feel worse and then you could feel even more stressed.
But here’s the thing, stress is one of those niggly little things that can be helped by a few simple techniques:
- Make exercise a high priority as it really helps to manage stress. Exercise is a simple and effective way to calm the nervous system. It not only uses the energy created in the body. It metabolises (breaks down) excess stress hormones. Exercise is the quickest thing you can do to manage the stress response. A jog around the block or even just a walk down your street (on your own or walk the dog).
- Ensuring you get more sleep – don’t feel guilty for that sleep in, you’re on lockdown, you have all day to help answer a maths question.
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol or nicotine – they can make you jittery and increase cortisol levels.
- Get in contact with friends by phone to check in on each other. Remember we are in this together and most people experience similar fears and worries. Connecting with people and sharing what you are experiencing and laughing will increase the release of endorphins. It makes us feel nurtured and shows to our brain that we are not in any danger and is so good for our overall wellbeing.
- Know you are safe – this will remove some of the fear and the physical feelings that can occur.
- Learn to be present in the moment and not trapped by thoughts and feelings… or more simply learn to accept and let go. (Easier said than done but really powerful) take some time to just breathe and think of all the things we are grateful for.
- Eat a balanced diet – cruciferous vegetables are great for balancing your hormones. If you’re taking NuWoman 30 PLUS or BALANCE, these can help with the hormones too.
Stress is part of life, today, even more so than usual but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Stress is temporary and you will pull through this, just like you’ve pulled through every other stressful time you’ve experience because as women, we face a lot of stress and we manage. That’s the beauty of being a woman; we manage, we adapt and we overcome. Try utilising some of our tips and putting them into practice. Let us know if this works be getting in touch, we’d love to hear from you.