7 Steps to De-Stress
Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her Facebook page Empowered Wellness and her website.
7 Steps to De-Stress
When it comes to cancer, it isn’t only food that can trigger and feed cancer cells. Scientists have also discovered a link between stress and the trigger of tumors, whether that stress is related to your work, your family or stress in general. Any of your emotional or mental responses to daily triggers can potentially have an effect on your health and whether or not you manifest any disease, not just cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that 85 percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional element, but the actual percentage is likely to be even higher.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and forget about your personal needs. Forgetting about your own needs leads to the further demise of your health and your emotional wellbeing.
The key to changing this is to reshape your relationship with yourself and to prioritize self-care–daily self-care. I’ve given you self-care steps here for you to gradually incorporate into your daily routine. These steps will not only improve your own happiness and mindset, it will help you to improve your relationships with others, which will all result in decreased stress.
Take a nice, long Epsom salt bath to enhance cleanse and provide your body with the magnesium and sulfur it needs.
To make an Epsom salt bath: add 1 cup of Epsom salts*, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup sea salt, 1 teaspoon dried ginger and ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar (optional) to a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes somewhere quiet.
You can also further enhance this by adding essential oils to your bath such as lavender and frankincense. You can also light a candle, read a book or listen to relaxing music.
When you’re done bathing, rub coconut oil on your body to hydrate your skin.
*Find epsom salt baths already infused with essential oils at Eden Green Egypt here.
Far too often we eat when we’re stressed or feel stressed when we eat something that isn’t too healthy. Instead, indulge in a delicious guilt-free treat, whether you’re stressed or not. My favorite is a delicious chocolate avocado pudding.
Blend 1 avocado; 1 cup of almond or coconut milk; 1 TBS dark cooking cocoa and 1 TBS raw honey in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate until cold and then enjoy topped with shredded unsweetened coconut and fruit.
Make sure that when you’re indulging, you are completely mindful of the experience. It’s easy to grab a treat then get lost in other thoughts. By doing this, you’re mindlessly eating and not actually enjoying the gift you just gave yourself.
Enjoy a great print book for at least one hour! Reading is a great stress reliever. You can choose to re-read an old favorite or you can kick this up a notch and go to the bookstore by yourself to pick out a new book (one of my favorite things to do).
For this task, do not read an eBook. I want you to read a print book. Reading a book on an eReader is fine some days, but to gain all the benefits from this experience I want you to read a traditional book that comes with no distractions.
Take at least an hour to get lost in your book. Don’t think about work or kids or anything except for your story.
Enjoy the smell of the paper and savor the texture of the cover. Feel the pages underneath your fingertips.
Break loose, bust a move and work that stress out of your body. Yes, dance. Not only does dancing burn calories and aid digestion, it also amplifies endorphin production, and endorphins are the hormones responsible for making you happy.
Make a 30-minute playlist of your favorite songs and dance mindlessly.
Enjoy a walk outdoors and get some air.
I want you to pick a destination (or don’t, that makes it even better), and take a stroll through the outdoors. The location doesn’t matter, but being mindful of the experience does. Breathe in and breathe out everything that is bothering you.
You’ll gain the benefits of exercise with this self-love tactic. And if it’s sunny, you’ll also get vitamin D, which is shown to reduce cancer, contribute to strong bones and boost immunity.
Focus on being thankful for the great things and people in your life. It’s so easy to lose sight of what you’re thankful for as you go through life, but recognizing the good things will boost your mental health and reframe your outlook on life.
Take some time to write down five things you’re grateful for, as well as at least one person you’re grateful for. Be sure to take some time to tell that person how much they mean to you.
Do you often find it hard to find qualities about yourself that you like? Do you stare in the mirror during five different outfit changes, never quite happy with the reflection you see in the mirror? Do you wonder why you’re not more like your girlfriends, or more energetic like the other moms?
If this sounds like you, I want you to write a love letter to yourself and discover all of the wonderful things about yourself that you might not always recognize.
Pretend you’re staring at yourself from afar. What qualities do you see in that woman that you admire? Is she a wonderful mother? Does she accomplish any goal she sets? Is she involved in charitable organizations? Does she spend her life helping people? Does she have wonderful, thick hair? Great legs?
Write down everything that you love about yourself and make a promise to yourself to notice these things more often. This will go a long way with confidence and emotional wellbeing.