Resilience is our ability to bounce back and keep going even during the most challenging times. Building resilience doesn’t mean never stopping to rest or take time out; quite the opposite. It means being aware of your capacity to cope, and taking steps to support this.
We can build our resilience by establishing and nuturing some simple nutrition and lifestyle habits.
Positive habits include:
– Making good food choices; limiting refined sugary foods, including good quality protein and healthy fats, getting those 5 colourful veggies + 2 fruits per day, reducing caffeine and drinking plenty of water…you know the drill!
Use this plate diagram to create balanced meals.
Not every meal will fit the template, but as a general rule aim to cover half your plate with colourful veggies and leafy greens, and divide the other half equally between wholegrains/root veg, and good quality sources of protein.
– Being protective about rest & relaxation time and scheduling in downtime every day. It’s so easy to end up staring at the TV or scrolling Facebook at the end of a busy day. But this isn’t relaxation time; your brain is busy processing all the information coming at it through the TV or internet. To give your mind a break try:
– relaxing in a warm Epsom salt bath
– listening to your favourite tunes
– following a guided meditation
– or immersing yourself in a good book instead.
– Getting outdoors in the fresh air and natural daylight every day. This may be for a gentle walk / jog / run / outdoor Yoga / Qi Gong – whatever type of movement you enjoy. When possible, get outdoors for at least 30mins before midday. Enjoying natural daylight in the morning helps the brain to register the change in light at dusk and start winding down for sleep.
– Giving yourself the opportunity for 7-9hrs of sleep each night. If you’re struggling to get enough shut-eye, try these nutrition tips for supporting restorative sleep.
Nutrition-wise, two key nutrients that support our resilience are vitamin B5 and vitamin C. These two vitamins are used in energy production and manufacture of stress hormones in the adrenal glands. When we’re under a lot of ongoing stress we need to ensure plentiful supplies of these nutrients to support the adrenals.
If you’re feeling the strain of ongoing stress think about which of these tips you can start to implement in your daily routine. Pick one that resonates with you the most, then after a few days of practising it add in another. And do let me know how you get on.