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Reducing stress and supporting your immune system

Although a little bit of stress is not necessarily a bad thing, stress often snowballs in uncontrollable
ways and may harm your body’s capabilities to defend itself. So how do we keep it in check?
Below are some tips on how to refuse stress in your daily life.

Reduce Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine

Try swapping out your espresso for a matcha tea instead to get that boost of energy without the jitters!
Some brands include Clearspring, Teapigs, Do-Matcha and you can find them on sites like Amazon
or Natural dispensary.

Reduce stress with exercise

Stress increases the levels of the “fight or flight” hormones, adrenaline and cortisol in your body.
Physical exercise can help metabolise the excessive stress hormones and restore your mind and body
to a calmer, more relaxed state. Even during a lockdown, you have few excuses for not going out for a run
or on the bike.

Pro tip: Try keeping kettlebells next to your desk to develop healthy habits.
You may be sceptical but it works wonders especially for your core strength and it’s quick
and effective. You can find plenty of online resources, such as:

Myfitnesspal
Kettlebell Workouts

For more structured work, if yoga is your thing Yoga Teach Carley Small is hosting online Yoga
Sessions every Tuesday and Thursday 8 – 9 am GMT. Email [email protected] for the invite!
Not into Yoga? Check out Complete Pilates Chelsea as they host online Pilates classes.

Try some Relaxation techniques 

The thought of meditation can be quite daunting if you’ve never tried it, but apps like Calm,
Headspace, Music Zen and Inner Balance can be a great introduction.

Indulge in ‘self-care’

You know your body and mind better than most. Take some time to do the things you love, whether
that’s curling up with a good book or taking a long bath. Time to watch again that movie from the 60s.
Self-care can even be doing the dishes if you find it therapeutic!

Sleep to boost the immune system

We all know what it feels like to wake up after a bad night’s sleep. You feel sluggish, lack
concentration and have little motivation to do anything. But did you know that sleep also has a big
influence on your immune system?

Here are my top tips to help you get to sleep better:

Go to sleep at the same time every night

In a lockdown, you have few excuses not to do this. Your internal clock will be grateful.

Create a ‘wind-down’ routine

If you have to stay at home, it can be difficult to distinguish between ‘day-time’ and ‘night-time’ as
we no longer have the routine of returning from work to signal that we should wind down. Allow
plenty of time away from screens and create a routine to signal to your brain that it’s time for bed.

Things like creating a ‘to-do’ list for the following day, some gentle relaxation exercises or reading a
book can be very effective.

Make your bedroom sleep-friendly

Create a ‘tech-free’ zone in the bedroom to avoid unwanted distractions. Your bedroom should ideally
be dark, quiet, tidy and at a temperature of around 18 degrees for optimum sleepiness. Essential
oils such as lavender, geranium, patchouli, sandalwood also help to generate great sleep.

Food

This is an entire topic in itself, but to keep it simple and accessible – research has shown that
brightly coloured vegetables and fruits can boost/modulate your immunity better than most
supplements. You should ideally aim for 10 colourful servings per day, and include fermented
vegetables or other probiotic-containing foods wherever possible.

Supplements

When considering what supplements to take, one can become overwhelmed very quickly.
Please make sure you discuss with your practitioner the use of supplements outside of standard
dosages.

By Natalia Otero Sancho

Book an appointment with our Functional Nutritionist Natalia Otero Sancho here or call us on
0207 838 6180 or email us at [email protected]

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