We are living in a phenomenal time when women can be the breadwinners and the dinner makers, the mothers and the CEO’s. No longer are we relegated to nurses, teachers and barefoot and pregnant. What else does this come with? Pressure, anxiety, over-work and too much responsibility. We are taking on the world and its stresses as well. In this high-powered woman world, here are some low key stress busters. It’s important to take care of business, but it’s even more important to take care of ourselves. No time? Think again!

Slow Food:

How many times have we rushed out of the house and shoved something stale and packaged into our mouths and called it breakfast?

-Keep healthy food in your car, in your desk and in your cupboards. Bars and nuts are great snacks and can be a full meal if necessary.

-Make sure you drink enough water not soda, which is one of the unhealthiest things you can consume. Both artificial sweetener and high fructose corn syrup are substances that are doing horrible things to our bodies.

-Eat slowly, preferably not in your car, during an argument or in front of the depressing news or a violent TV show. Stress slows the digestive system and eating under duress can wreak havoc with your stomach and intestines.

One a day:

Stressed women need extra vitamins and minerals, especially taking into account various times of the month and menopause.

-I suggest everyone take a high quality vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplement.

– The B vitamins are great at helping with stress, depression and sleep but take them earlier in the day as they can cause disruption of sleep if taken too late.

-Calcium and magnesium are especially important for women.  Magnesium can help with PMS, headaches, sleep, mood issues and menstrual cramps.

To sleep perchance to catch up!

Lack of sleep has been linked with obesity, depression and shorter life span. There are numerous healthy sleep suggestions:

-Don’t do anything in bed other than sleep (Well, sex is okay too and a great stress buster).

-Supplements like Melatonin, Valerian Root or L-Tryptophan can help as well as homeopathics like Moondrops by Historical Remedies (www.historicalremedies.com). (Note: don’t take Tryptophan if you’re on SSRI’s for depression.)

-Keep a notebook by the bed so if you wake in the night remembering that you have to do something you can do a mind-dump and get it out. Don’t dwell.

-Don’t eat or drink too late in the day as that can affect your sleep. Though people think alcohol will relax them, it’s actually a stimulant and may cause sleeplessness and dehydration.

-Remember the mind/body connection. We can only think one thought at a time so if your brain is on overload repeat something like: “I fall asleep quickly and easily, I wake up feeling refreshed.” It works!

The 3 R’s. Relax. Relax. Relax

-Find an activity that relaxes you and releases your stress.

-Work or school related tasks are not relaxation even if your laptop is with you at the beach and your text book is being read in the bath. You have to distance yourself from the tasks at hand to truly relax.

-Breathe

-Try something like yoga, dance, tai chi or gigong.

-Pay attention to your posture. Holding your shoulders up or your neck tight keeps your stress level higher and your muscles tense.

-Try to take at least 1 day per month that is just for you. Get out of your environment and recharge your battery.

A+.

Remember it’s not the amount of stress. It’s how you deal with the stress. I’m a type A personality. Because of this I’m more prone to heart issues, stress related disease and stroke. (Great…productive and on schedule, but dead).

I know my limits but the problem comes when something unexpected pushes those limits; there’s extra traffic, the cat throws up, the bacon catches on fire, etc.

-It’s those unplanned distractions that increase our negative reaction to stress, the feeling of helplessness or hopelessness. If you have a buffer, then if something suddenly happens, you can deal better than if you had everything scheduled down to the millisecond. And if nothing happens you have a few extra minutes to catch your breath and relax.

So ladies; my successful, driven and marvelous friends, take a deep breath, get your shoulders back down where they’re supposed to be and realize that no matter how much we accomplish, it doesn’t matter if we’re too unhealthy and busy to enjoy it! And now I’m going to take off my golden lariat and my bullet proof bracelets and relax on Paradise Isle with the other powerful women!