Holistic Ways to Combat AnxietyJul 25, 2023
As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I work with clients to improve their wellness in all aspects - mind, body, and spirit.
Prioritizing stress management is so often a goal and something I think we can all agree would enhance our quality of life.
I recently shared some of my top "holistic" ways to manage stress and anxiety on my Instagram, and y'all seemed excited to dive in more!
Keep reading for actionable tips and techniques to begin adopting today...
Eat for a calm mind
Not only is it important to make sure you're fueling your body with the right things, but simply eating enough is another important factor.
Overall, the best dietary approach to stress management is focussing primarily on whole, read foods as much as possible. This includes high-fiber, colorful fruits and veggies, quality protein, healthy fats, and "live"/fermented foods.
On the other hand, when possible, try to limit intake of foods that spike blood sugar like refined carbohydrates.
Implement daily mindfulness practices
I feel like a broken record encouraging you to adopt some form of mindfulness routine, but I simply can't ignore how powerful these habits are.
This could include journaling, writing down daily gratitudes, meditation, walking in nature, etc. Not only do these provide a grounding element to your day, but they also help you build mental and emotional resilience to stress over time.
Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
While we know that too much of either of these isn't great for our health, have you really considered the role they play in your mental wellness too?
Small amounts of caffeine can provide a bit of a "boost", but be careful not to overdue it and limit consumption after a certain time of day. Likewise, as a "downer", alcohol can provide a short term "calming" effect but can actually bring about feelings of anxiety and depression as it wears off.
Both caffeine and alcohol can negatively impact sleep, which is another necessary component to stress management. Definitely something to consider if you struggle with sleep as well!
Stop the mindless scroll
I can't TELL you just how powerful this one is. As someone who utilizes social media for their work, I have to be particularly mindful of the time I spend on my phone. Like most everyone else, I too find that mindlessly scrolling and over-consuming content does nothing positive for my mental health.
Try setting a timer or creating daily limits on when you allow yourself to get on social media, and I promise you'll feel the difference.
Adopt the phone-free 30
I talk about this hack often, because it truly has been such a game changer for me personally. Check out my Phone-Free 30: The Habit Changed My Life blog post for much more info, but essentially it requires you to stay off of your phone/email/etc. for AT LEAST the first 30 minutes of your day and before bed - ideally more if possible.
Giving yourself just that small window of time to wake up/wind down properly without being inundated with information (and blue light) is vital to mitigating unwanted cortisol spikes and feelings of anxiety these devices can create.
Use this time to ease into and out of your day - make your coffee, read a book, do a meditation, you name it. Those 30 minutes go by in a blink of an eye.
Incorporate supplements mindfully
While supplements shouldn't be your first step (but rather as tools to help fill in the gaps), I do think they can be a part of a greater stress management routine. You have to start with the bigger picture shifts - reducing screen time, eating a nutritious diet, sleeping enough, incorporating mindfulness practices, etc. - but supplements can certainly be tools to push you in the right direction.
I encourage you to check out my 4 Health-Coach-Approved Supplements for Anxiety blog post for my top recommendations!
Lean into alternative medicine
When I reference the "holistic" approach to stress management, I'm really talking about the "whole person" perspective that takes into account all aspects of you and your life.
That being said, there are also incredibly powerful "holistic"/alternative medicine practices for helping manage stress that have changed my life over the years.
Specifically, I can't rave enough about acupuncture and how much it's help improve my anxiety over time. Learn more here if you're curious and want a place to get started!
Prioritize both movement AND rest
Movement is one of the most powerful ways to release tension, clear your mind, and work through stress. That being said, it's also incredibly important to make sure you're not putting too much additional stress and strain on your body, especially when you feel you're already in an anxious/stressed state.
I recommend opting for more low-intensity exercises like walking, yoga, pilates, etc. that help you tune into your body and breath without creating more stress than you're reducing through exercise.
Likewise, make sure you're also giving your mind and body the opportunity to rest, recharge, and recuperate throughout your day and week!
Any of these particularly speaking to you? Want me to dive into one of these hacks in more detail? Let me know!
The latest goods, right in your inbox.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.