Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bust That Stress

Health doesn’t have to be something that we fight for once we are already ill, health is something that we can work towards every day and in all of our lifestyle choices.
"I am completely calm right fist isnt though."

We all know the coined phrase “A little RnR” Rest and relaxation are not a luxury – they are a necessity. What’s more, they do not have to cost an arm and a leg.

Our immune system’s effectiveness is directly linked to stress, when our immune system is healthy and balanced it regulates the bodies healing processes and also protects us from disease and any infections that might affect us. When our immune system is compromised by stress factors we will suffer from blood pressure problems, "fight or flight" feelings or adrenaline,  fatigue, colds, flu, cardiovascular disorders, increased heart rate ‘palpitations’ and in case you didn’t know, stress ages you prematurely!

Here are some achievable ways in which you can reduce stress every day:

JUMP AROUND – Now I know that you are all cringing, the dreaded E word. Exercise does not have to be a massive pain, you do not need the latest fitness wear or even the best shoes. Exercise can be simple and effective. A walk along the sand, dancing in the lounge to your favourite band, you could even leave the trolley at the shop door and carry your groceries all the way to your car gasp!  Yoga is a good calm and gentle exercise option, contact your local scout hall, community centre or gym to see if there are classes available.  In Durban North the alternative is Beeline Dance Studios inside the Durban North Pigeon Racing Club, 2 Sunfield Place, at the bottom of Broadway. Contact Belinda Hellerle 076 444 5569 or for simple and effective dance classes for any age.

GET THE BEAT – We live in a world where at a once-off cost you can have 1000’s of your favourite songs in your pocket and in your ears all day. We’ve all seen the people walking along the road, swaggering and walking along in time to the music in their ears… You too can look like that. Unless you are 15 and ‘with it’ make sure that your underwear are tucked firmly into your pants! I have yet to see a ‘stressed’ person ambling along bopping to their own beat.

HAVE A CUPPA – Believe it or not Tea is very good for you. Both green and black teas contain L-theanine gives our bodies a sense of well-being, leaving us relaxed and calm. My 18 month old can’t sip my tea or coffee without going “ahh!” after each sip – even she can feel the benefit!

TAKE A BATH – Water is known as an “Aquadural” by birthing mothers, the sensation of warm water on our skin soothes the nervous system and is immediately relaxing. Invest in some aromatherapy bath salts or bubble bath and enjoy some chilled down time. Have a cup of tea and listen to some gentle music and you will be doing yourself a world of good. Also, make sure that you keep your hands clean, bacteria from hand contamination can also make us feel run down as our immune systems have to fight even mild infections.

LAUGH OUT LOUD – If you need a laugh, then find some funny websites, listen to some online podcasts (recordings) or spend time with a silly friend or two. Laughter is the best medicine. Life is so stressful and dull – spice it up with a trip to the local theatre or even to watch a comedy at the cinema. Being around positive people will also influence you and change your ‘eeyore’ mentality.
Visit:,, for some funny articles.

HAVE A BITE – Healthy foods are a touchy subject, dieticians seems to disagree monthly on what is good for you, and what is not. I personally found that the blood type diet suited me very well, I was healthier and lost weight while on it, my allergies cleared up and my skin looked lovely. You can find your own specific food allowances at if you know your blood type.

TAKE A NAP – Sleep is the number one stress reliever that we all seem to happily do away with. Make sure that you know your own body. You know how many hours sleep suits you, once again, not everyone is the same: I need a solid 8 hours a night while my husband is happy with 3 – 5 hours a night. A friend of ours who has been in the entertainment industry for 54 years has lived a long and healthy life with 3 hours sleep a night. Do what is good for you.

Make sure that you make time for yourself, not always easy for busy Moms and Dads. Whether it be time in the car singing along to your favourite tunes, lying in a hot bath, sipping on a hot cup of milo or simply sitting with a friend – do it. It is worth every bit of effort.

Sandy Bigara

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