Day 4: Stress “First Aid” Secrets
Stress itself is a big energy drain and it can be hard to get a handle on it in our lives. In Chinese medicine, they explain that emotional stress blocks the free flow of energy through the body, like wires that have gotten tangled up. When energy does not run smoothly we feel frustrated, drained, impatient, and tired. Learning to keep stress from disrupting your energy will help you to have more energy both short-term but also long-term.
Here are two things I have found to be effective to keep your energy flowing.
1. Slow Breathing to Restore & Calm
Anything that helps you to take long slow deep breaths and go into a state of relaxation will allow your nervous system to restore itself. Relaxation creates energy and reduces fatigue.
Other activities that induce relaxation include restorative yoga, meditation, soothing music, acupuncture, massage, being in nature, taking hot baths, talking with someone who is a good listener, or anything that you feel is fun, inspiring and loving for YOU.
Here is a powerful breathing technique from the yoga tradition to calm and restore. I do this as well as something similar called Qi Gong which utilizes slow breathing. Don’t think you need a lot of time. I practice for the three minutes it takes for the kettle to boil waiting for my tea. I share this because you don’t need a special time for it.
You can add 2 minutes of slow breathing at the end of your shower, after a meal or after you brush your teeth, in the car before you pick up your child from daycare or preschool.
Use this if you’re having anxiety to calm and center yourself.
I also use slow breathing techniques when I start to get worked up about something with my son or my husband and I feel frustration brewing.
2. The Anti-Stress and Fatigue Vitamin
B vitamins are the number #1 most important vitamin for combating fatigue and stress. While many multivitamins contain B vitamins. It’s important to take larger amounts in more digestible forms if you are dealing with fatigue and exhaustion or going through a high-stress situation. Avoid taking vitamin B in the evening since it can interfere with sleep and lead to more fatigue.
B vitamins are critical to the fluid functioning of our nervous system and cell metabolism. They are also used up by our bodies quickly and in higher amounts when we’re under stress. If you’re a new mom and have been sleep-deprived for a while, your body is using up a lot of B vitamins. If you’re a working mom juggling parenting and work, you’ll need even more support for all the demands upon you.
If you or your family has gone through or is going through economic stress, illness in the family, a death, a divorce, any kind of intense emotional loss, or even positive stress like going to graduate school or starting a new job, these intense life events demand higher amounts of B vitamins. Taking higher doses of highly absorbable B vitamins was one of the primary ways I cured myself from postpartum exhaustion and depression.
If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue, take additional B-complex vitamins including sub-lingual B-12 in addition to a multivitamin. I like to use natural food based not synthetic based B vitamins. These are better for breastfeeding as well because you are less likely to get the strong flavor of synthetic B vitamins to influence the taste of breast milk. B6 can cause nerve damage in very high doses, so be sure to keep your intake of B6 below 1000 mg/day.
I always keep a good B-complex on hand to take whenever I have more demands on me or I start to feel fatigue settling in. To recover from long-term fatigue, you may want to take B-complex daily with B-12 for several months.
I have also noticed that when my son goes through a growth spurt, he gets cranky and resistant. This is a time he needs additional B vitamins than are in his multivitamin. For about a week I give him extra Bs’. This does the trick every time and his mood evens out.
Here is a synthetic B-complex in higher doses specifically used for dealing with fatigue. If you’re breastfeeding, you may want to go with a food-based B-complex such as Premier Research Max B-ND due to the high odor of most synthetic B vitamins.
End Fatigue Daily Energy B Complex is a synthetic based B complex, but it is a high potency formula created specifically for fatigue. It contains a blend of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12 as well as niacin, folic acid and pantothenic acid. This supplement comes in vegetarian capsules and is gluten-free‚ sugar-free‚ dairy-free‚ soy-free‚ salt-free, yeast-free and contain no artificial colors or flavors.
Day 4 Summary
- Learn slow breathing practices
- Take several micro-moments in your day to restore
- Get extra B-complex
The Next Step…
Tomorrow I’ll wrap it up by exploring how to unlock more energy by honoring your unique gifts as a mother and explain the importance of supporting the adrenal glands with adaptogenic herbs.