It seems like everyone has been overwhelmed lately. Life catches up to us, and stress can even be inevitable sometimes. However, there are right and wrong ways to manage stress.

Your diet and lifestyle have a great impact on your mood, and today I want to discuss a few of my favorite tips to be stress free, the healthy way.

Wondering what to avoid? Caffeine, alcohol and foods filled with processed sugars and refined carbohydrates will only exhaust you more, and spike blood sugar levels, causing your mood and blood sugar to crash.

  1. Luckily, if you are used to a double chocolate brownie or a latte to make you feel better, I have some alternatives! Move around: Yes, exercise brings an instant mood boost! We all know that endorphins will help your mood considerably. If you’re having a particularly stressful week, try waking up a few minutes early for a short yoga sequence to get the blood flowing. If you’re having trouble at the office with too many deadlines, a ten-minute walk outdoors will do wonders. Maybe take that difficult spin class or kickboxing instead of your usual gym routine to release anxiety. You’ll return to your to do list feeling stronger and more prepared to tackle the responsibilities.
  2.  Breathe more: If meditation isn’t your thing. That’s ok! Evidence shows that the effects of meditation, even for a short period are considerable. By simply closing your eyes, and focusing only on the inhale and exhale of each breath, you are successfully meditating.  It can be done anywhere! No mantras or sitting on the floor necessary.
  3. Fill up on the best nutrients: Vitamin C and antioxidants in berries, the zinc in cashews, the monounsaturated fat in avocado, and the antioxidants in chocolate (yes, chocolate!) are all fantastic for beating stress. Makes sense why we reach for the chocolate chip cookies! Just try to eat small portions of quality dark chocolate or cacao rather than the processed milk and white chocolates.
  4. Catch the zzz’s: Sleep is the key to stress relief. Our bodies and mind function optimally with proper rest. If stress is causing you to stay up late- shut off electronics earlier, meditate in the evening, drink caffeine free teas like chamomile, and try journaling. By writing down your thoughts, you can free your mind and not toss and turn thinking about what is on your plate for the following day.
  5. Soothing scents: Essential oils, flowers, and herbs can have a calming effect, naturally. Lavender, lemon and peppermint and are among the most popular to fight stress and anxiety.  Apply to your temples if feeling overwhelmed.

Rosewater is calming as well. Mix one part rosewater with 2 parts water and use as a toner or mist for your face. It’s great for the skin, and a refreshing pick me up.

But did you know that you can use these ingredients in your cooking as well? Check out the following recipes for a smoothie and spritzer with a calming twist.

Raspberry Rosewater Spritzer

rosewater spritzer

Sweet and with a slight floral flavor, this spritzer is refreshing and simple. The rosewater has calming benefits. Also try as a toner for your face! Just mix with water in a spray bottle for a light mist when you need a boost!

To make it:

  • 1 can seltzer water
  • 1 tsp. rosewater
  • Handful of raspberries
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • ice

Gently muddle the raspberries at the bottom of a glass. Fill with ice. Top with rose water, seltzer and mint leaves. Sip!

Lavender Lemon Zest Smoothie

lavender lemon smoothie

Not your typical berry smoothie! The lavender is great for stress while the blueberries boost moods with their antioxidants!

To make:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup dairy free milk
  • ½ cup of blueberries
  • 1 tsp. dried lavender
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • drizzle of raw honey or agave nectar

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Xo Kate

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