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9 Stress-Busting Tips - to help de-stress during and after lockdown

Family laughing eating dinnerAll nutrients are important, but some play a particularly beneficial role when it comes to stress. And when combined with the power of specific herbs we’re able to build a very helpful tool kit to lean upon in times of stress.

Of course, activity and movement can not be underestimated, getting your body moving means that your brain and mental health get the right amount of nutrients to support your well-being during this time.

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is very effective for calming the body and the mind, particularly when having difficulty sleeping. It is involved in over 200 of these reactions so it’s extremely important for our body. It is best taken in the form of magnesium biglycinate because it’s the most bioavailable – meaning it is easily absorbed by your body.

2. Broad spectrum B Vitamins

B group vitamins are essential for a healthy immune system and assisting our body to be better prepared to deal with stress. These vitamins are best taken in methylated forms for B12, B9 and B6 because in this form, they are more easily available for detoxification, neurotransmitter production, and cellular energy. Looking at B6 in particular, it supports neurotransmitter production – specifically our lovely happy serotonin hormone. Multiple studies have shown benefits to mood from B6, with one study showing an approximate doubling of likelihood of depression to those participants deficient in B6.

3. Sodium

Best taken in the form of sodium chloride (salt). Salt, in the right amounts, is known to reduce stress with studies showing that it reduces cortisol. This is especially true for women. So, if you’re stressed, a healthy snack with a little salt sprinkled on top is tasty and good for your mood!

4. Zinc

Zinc plays a key role in over 400 physiological responses in our body. It acts as both sword and shield when it comes to mood! It has been shown to support the efficacy of antidepressants, it also has been shown to ease signs of low mood when taken in supplement form. As a powerful anti-inflammatory, it plays a key role in reducing the toxicity of viruses and has shown to be effective in the fight against COVID-19 symptoms. We get our zinc from the foods that we eat including; fish, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds.

5. Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to lower levels of cortisol in the blood. It also boosts immunity, acting as an anti-viral and repairs oxidative damage, which means stress can’t take as big a toll on the body as it might if our immune defences are weakened. It’s best taken in the form of buffered ascorbic acid which is gentler on the gut and more readily absorbed. In cases of COVID-19, recent research showed lower level of Vitamin C, and improved when given higher doses of Vitamin C. So to help combat your symptoms, take doses of Vitamin C every 3 hours.

6. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital for helping to build a healthy musculoskeletal system, for strong muscles and bones. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, reducing the effects of stress. A vital component of supporting our endocrine and immune response, particularly in reducing inflammation through our respiratory system. When you eat cheese and eggs, you ingest small doses of Vitamin D. With most people being deficient in Vitamin D, the best way to increase your intake is by getting outdoors in the sun for at least an hour every day.

7. L-Theanine

This wonderful amino acid supports balancing the neurochemistry within our brain, calming and relaxing the sympathetic nervous system. It is also shown to help improve focus over long periods of time, which is particularly useful for those experiencing brain fog and trouble concentrating brought on by chronic stress.

8. Anti-inflammatory Foods

  • Shitake mushrooms help produce anti-bodies for pathogens, like viruses.
  • Echinacea root initiates the adaptive immune response, meaning it works as a first responder to help activate the appropriate immune cascade to help your body fit off viruses.
  • Turmeric (or Curcumin) is a strong anti-oxidant helping your body to detoxify and works as a powerful anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling in your joints. The best form is activated Turmeric.
  • Berries are high in NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), which is a powerful anti-oxidant, breaking down mucous and blocked sinuses.
  • Iodine helps thyroid function and works as a anti-microbial, important for blood pressure and heart rate. Good sources of natural iodine include; salt (sodium), seaweed, seafood, meat and eggs.

9. Lifestyle

As our stress levels increase, our lives become busy and complicated. Here are a few tips to help manage your day to day responses to stress:

  • Avoid sugars – reducing fatigue
  • Exercise – 30 minutes of energising walking per day, to reduce stress and give your body the much-needed sunlight!
  • Meditations – mini meditations during the day, breathing down to your abdomen; a good method is the Rule of 4 – breath in (count 4), hold (count 4), breath out (count 4), hold (count 4).
  • Hot drinks – denatures proteins of viruses, suggest your favourite herbal tea
  • Laughter – spend time laughing with friends and family, the best way to get your giggles!
  • Sleep – poor sleep can cause an inflammatory state and reduces your immunity, it’s recommended to have at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
Boosting your immunity through supplements is a good way to help with the prevention of symptoms and to help take care of any adverse events from vaccinations.

Find out more from our friends at BePure.co.nz on how to help reduce stress with these simple tips to top up your nutrients.

As always, contact us if you’d like to know more on how to support your well-being.

Stay safe, stay well,

The Team at VIP Health


References:

Aucoin M et al. The effects of Echinacea spp. on the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 and other respiratory tract infections in humans: A rapid review. Advances in Integrative Medicine. Vol7, 4: 203-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2020.07.004

McSorley S. Immune Support Webinar Series. Presented to NZ Chiropractic Association; 15 Sept 2021.

Tomasa-Irriguible T, Bielsa-Berrocal L. COVID-19: Up to 82% critically ill patients had low Vitamin C values. Nutritional Journal. 2020. 66:2021. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-021-00727-z.

Shahzad F, Anderson D, Najafzadeh M. The Antiviral, Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Natural Medicinal Herts and Mushrooms and SARS-Co-V-2 Infection. Nutrients. 2020. Vol 12, Issue 9;2573. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092573.

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