Stressed Out Over Summer?

Stressed Out Over Summer?

Stressed Out Over Summer?

School getting out causes a lot of  changes for many households. Getting your children to do household chores while they’re home is next to impossible, you’ve got 4 baseball games, 2 basketball camps and 3 swim lessons all in one week, the family vacation causes you more stress than relaxation, and the kids want to go to the pool every moment they don’t have something else going on!

During times of stress, our bodies activate our adrenal glands to produce cortisol.  This cortisol is intimately linked to our adrenaline and  noradrenaline  (AKA  our  fight  or  flight response).  The cortisol response to stress is extremely valuable, especially if we are truly in a  life or death  situation.  When  we  are stressed  over  psychological  situations,  we are rarely fighting for our lives or starving to death.  Unfortunately, our bodies formulate the same response whether we are frantically trying to prepare the family for the huge list of summer activities  or  crouched  and hiding from a hungry tiger.  When hiding from a tiger, we require our bodies to bring more blood flow to our muscles, shut down our GI tract and reproductive organs and heightened our senses. These responses are imperative  to  surviving the possible tiger attack. While preparing  for summer, none of these responses are beneficial to making the transition a bigger success. Instead of fighting or fleeing, we sit and stew about the oncoming change.

It happens to all of us, especially during changes in lifestyle.  For this reason, we need to be prepared to handle the stress responses that are sure to accompany the many events planned over the next couple months.  The following strategies can help you survive the upcoming summer without the residual damage that can happen:

Exercise: When we are stressed and preparing to fight or flight, the best thing you can do for your body is to be active.  Find a physical release for your stressors, whether it is walking with a friend, kickboxing, yoga or a 10 – mile run.  Find a release and create time to move your body.

Diet: One of the toughest stressors for your body is managing blood sugar.  When you eat a simple carbohydrate or sugar, blood  sugars  rise. This  rise  is  temporary  and  blood  sugar levels will eventually crash leading to a stress response and a craving  for  sugar  to  return  blood  sugar  levels  to  normal.  Protein  is  the  answer  to  keep  blood sugars  regulated.    Eat protein every time you put something in your mouth.  Limit simple sugars & carbohydrates.

Hormone balance: Having  your  hormones  balanced (specifically your progesterone and DHEA), allows your body to formulate  stress  responses  when  necessary  even  when  the adrenals glands are struggling to keep up with the demand. Now is a great time to test those hormone levels to make sure you are ready for the stressors ahead.

Adaptogens: These  herbs  help  regulate  the  production  of cortisol in the body and can be very helpful in keeping the sleep cycle  regular  and  your  energy  up. One of our favorite adaptogen products is Cortisol Calm.

Glandular support: Occasionally, the hypothalamus and pituitary shut down the adrenal  glands, so cortisol stops its usual production. Without cortisol, you lose the motivation and energy to rise and complete the tasks required. Adrenal gland can be supplemented in the short term to give some energy while the rest of the body recovers.

Proper supplementation: When your body makes a lot of cortisol it uses up a lot of vitamins.  The most important of these  is  vitamin  B5,  aka  Pantothenic  Acid. It is really challenging to get a substantial amount of B5 from food. We suggest supplementing with Dr. Wilson’s Super Adrenal Stress multivitamin or straight pantothenic acid 500mg.

Summer is full of sometimes crazy schedules and poor dietary options. Don’t let stress get the best of you. Take time to focus on yourself so you can be the best version of you!