So you've had a stressful week. You had to do some extra long hours to stay on top of things and make sure you've got enough money at the end of the month. The stress has you sleeping rough all week and you've woken up groggy every morning with barely enough energy to get up let alone make breakfast. So you reached for the coffee and got on with the day on an empty stomach. By the end of the week you're exhausted, accidentally falling asleep in front of the TV, maybe you feel like you're catching a cold too. Next week you'll get back into your swing of things.
This is what I'd call "acute" stress. It is short lived and the effects are pretty obvious. It comes about through a production of flight or fight hormones like cortisol throughout your week. But these hormones suppress your immune system and put your nerves into hyper-drive making it hard to get a good night's rest. We all have these weeks and being able to keep up is a sign you're healthy but it's crucial to acknowledge these weeks so you can take time to repair and recover. Otherwise you might find yourself sliding towards ill health. In my case that means anxiety.
If I know I'm going to be doing long hours I make sure I take an adaptogen during that week. I usually reach for the siberian ginseng by salus which is made in sweet wine. But you might prefer Rhodiola, Ashwagandha or Nettle seed instead. If my glands start to swell (this is the first sign my body gives me when I'm a bit over-stretched) then I will start to take honey and lemon tea too. If I take those and then make sure to put my feet up over the weekend then I always bounce back without any trouble.
Endorphin boosting adaptogenic hot chocolate
- 25g Raw cacao
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 cup nut milk (or full fat cows milk)
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (or single cream)
Sleep inducing chillax tea
- 5g Skullcap
- 5g Passionflower
- 1g Lavender
- 10g Hawthorn
- 5g Lime blossom
These don't work if I don't also carefully look at all the things I've got on my plate and cut back. You can take herbs till the cows come home but if you don't deal with the source of stress you're going nowhere fast.