5 STEPS TO MANAGING STRESS

“There’s a resilience that lives inside of you and its capable of surviving the most horrific experiences life throws at you. Believe in yourself and above all,love every piece of who you are”(Unknown)

I’m back, and after a long unplanned break, I finally feel like I’m on top of things and able to get back to blogging! What a more fitting way to return than with a blog post dedicated to the cause of my unwanted sabbatical.

                                                                         STRESS!!!

Whether it be work induced,health or lifestyle, stress affects even the strongest and most resilient of us.

Stress on our bodies is something that we all too often brush off and disregard due to the way we have been programmed by capitalism.Our society is made to believe wealth,material items and careers are paramount to a happy life. Our health and wellbeing are rarely taken into account when we are running ourselves down to the bone and forgetting about what true success and happiness mean to us.

Working as a chef,your personal life becomes secondary to the life you live in the kitchen. Your colleagues become your family (like it or not) and your family and friends are the people you pass in the hallway on your way to your room to crash.

This concept is something I have always struggled with as nothing is more important to me than my loved ones,but my chosen career has all but taken that option away from me.

Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t love my craft because I do, but it means I have to put more work into balancing things and ensuring I don’t neglect what is truly important.

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Another common side effect of stress is dwindling physical health.

Around 6 weeks ago I suffered from a bad bout of gastritis which turned into IBS ( chronic inflammation of the stomach/intestines) that left me unable to eat or sleep for days on end without doubling over in pain and being rushed to the hospital.

Having never had any health problems prior,you can imagine how difficult it was to handle with long working days,being exhausted in constant pain and on top of that not being able to taste the food I cooked on a daily basis.

I felt like an artist painting blindfolded. It’s really difficult when you rely on your palate to determine, quality,flavour and seasoning to have it completly ripped from under you.My appetite and taste buds changed too which meant all my favourite foods tasted unpleasant.

I felt defeated!

Everyone I came into contact with urged me to take time off work, manage my stress levels and get my health under control but capitalism had its hold on me and told me my health was secondary to “success”.

All of this leads me to where I am now, cocktail in hand,glancing into the turquoise waters of the Andaman sea ,crystal clear  waves lapping at my feet,not a care in the world.

                           “You just don’t need those bad vibes babes”

This isn’t the only the only thing, but has a been a huge help in making me feel myself again!

These 5 steps are what helped me,become ME again!

1.Admit you have a problem & share

There’s no shame in being stressed or not being able to cope. Even the strongest get stressed and it’s in your best interest to put yourself first and be willing to do whatever it takes to mend yourself.

Stress can trigger mental illness,decline in physical health and many things that are easily avoidable.

As they say “A problem shared is a problem halved” and I absolutely agree.Sharing your feelings with those who know you well and have a vested interest in your well-being allows for another perspective and honest insight. Sometimes a five-minute conversation with your best friend or a few wise word from your parents gives you the vigour you need to fight through the rest of the day

2. Where is your stress coming from?

Whether it’s a nightmare boss, nagging family or just the general day to day grind getting you down, enough is enough! Make it a priority to remove all toxic elements from your life. Their only purpose is to drain your life of joy and frankly, you just don’t need those bad vibes babes!

3. You are what you eat.

Your diet is hugely instrumental in not only maintaining energy levels but also consuming foods with calming properties can help on the way to relieve stress.

Whilst I had stress related health problems I switched to a vegan diet, eliminating meat and dairy and increasing my intake of probiotics.These foods gave my immune system added support and aided in smooth digestion.

4. Do whatever it takes.

Nothing is more important that your health so its time you started making it a priority!

whether you need to take a few weeks off work,get that massage you’ve been promising yourself or book a short break,just do it! remember your world wouldn’t exist without you. Cherish your beautiful body,it’s the only one you will ever have.

5.Make a plan of action.

Stress will always exist in your life,there’s no 100% elimination unless you’re a billionaire living on a private island ,and even then there are still stresses that will inevitably rear their ugly head.

Vacations only last so long,you have to find peace and serenity within your day to day. Pamper yourself once a month, dedicate some time to spend with loved ones and don’t lose yourself in the hustle and bustle a busy life brings.

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Meditation is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Speaking with friends who find meditation and yoga beneficial, I always believed didn’t have time to sit down and just do nothing. I thought my spare time was more valuable but now I realise that meditation can really have a huge impact on your stress levels. I meditated for the first time on a desert island  (Maya bay) and was able to regain a sense of peace and wholeness I haven’t felt ever. The surroundings were just incredible,white sand,beautifully clear water,and the gorgeous technicolored exotic fish dancing by the shore.

That’s my paradise, find yours and take it everywhere you go.

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