How to Cope with Stress and Uncertainty in Times of Crisis (Podcast)

The Diet of Common Sense Podcast

Welcome to a new episode of The Diet of Common Sense Podcast!

Listen to the full podcast episode below or on Buzzsprout:

 

The Diet of Common Sense is a common-sense approach for active people to stay healthy, improve energy and mental power! It’s the nutrition of entrepreneurs, busy professionals, and other active people who lack time but value their health and well-being.

Here’s the place where nutrition and research meet common sense.

The Diet of Common Sense Podcast aims to keep you on top of the latest news and research. It brings you simple and actionable information to help you make the best decisions for your health and well-being, despite your limited time. Healthy Living, Simplified.

 

I am Sarah, a passionate health entrepreneur and designer of The Diet of Common Sense – a healthy living approach for entrepreneurs, busy professionals, and people with active lifestyles.

Over the years I looked into evidence-based research and natural approaches to healthy living, experimented and simplified them to match my ideal lifestyle. I understand the importance to fuel our bodies right for good performance, energy, and mental power, and I encourage like-minded individuals to be the healthiest version of themselves.

So, nice to meet you and I’m here to support you especially in these challenging times we face now. I believe now more than ever we need to look at our health from a different perspective and step change the game.

 

In this podcast episode, we’ll talk about how to cope with stress and uncertainty in times of crisis. This is an evergreen topic that you can further apply to other stressful situations in your job or life in general, but now more than ever we need a reminder on how to cope best with the unknown.

I also want to share some of my resources, free for my podcast listeners. I want you to make the most of your time spent at home, and information is power. And of course, I want you to become the healthiest version of yourself yet. So stay with me and I’ll point you to the freebies by the end of the podcast.

 

I hope you are well during these times. We face conditions unmet before, which took us totally by surprise.

Uncertainty and life challenges induce stress and anxiety for everyone, but not everybody is affected to the same extent. People view things, think and behave differently, so it’s normal that their response to stress and uncertainty is different.

And with what’s going on in the world right now, and what we see in the media, we are collectively facing times never encountered before. It’s normal to have fear for our lives, both physically and mentally, however, we need to make sure we focus on the things that we can control and do our best to minimize the potential side effects of this situation.

How long will the crisis last? Is my family safe? Will we stay healthy during this health crisis? Will my business or job be affected and to what extent? Will I have enough money? How do I fight the feeling of boredom in my home for so long or my family’s expectations? And on and on, on repeat.

Stress sets your brain on fire. Stress is a proven neuron-killer, and a silent productivity and wellness killer. Long-term stress puts your health at risk or worsens already-existing health problems such as heart problems, weight gain, memory loss, depression and anxiety, chronic fatigue. Stress can have damaging effects on key areas of the brain.

And the truth is: we cannot control or influence what’s going on in the world, but we can control our immediate environment and the way we respond to the situation. And this should be empowering enough. Focus on the things you can control.

Like in business right? Or how Stephen Covey put it “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

 

Here are some quick thoughts on what you can actually do and how you can reframe this challenging situation by doing things that are in your control.

1. Lifestyle, especially what you eat, can have a big impact on your health. It may be a good moment to make some lifestyle changes, as you have more time and this crisis should be a reminder for all about how important it is to stay safe and healthy.

Work on your immunity and your mental health. And both start with a healthy, balanced diet.

You are what you eat. Generally speaking, food is to your body like fuel is to your car. And you cannot perform like a Ferrari if you’re fueled with cheap gasoline, right? You need premium fuel to stay healthy, boost your immune system, and it also helps on the mental level.

Bad food with poor nutritional value leaves you tired, causes mood and mental health issues and weakens your immune system. On the contrary, healthy whole foods, rich in antioxidants, healthy oils and quality proteins, help your body and brain fight off free radicals that weaken your immune system and promote diseases. Simply put this way, you age faster with unhealthy food. And yes, quality food can also keep your brain healthy and happy, and increase the production of the happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine.

The key to brain happiness? Start to develop a better relationship with „brain foods” such as greeny leaves, berries, healthy oils (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, walnuts, chia seeds), fatty fish rich in omega 3 (salmon), beans and lentils, some fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, and kombucha. This is it, in a very simplified manner.

2. Another important lifestyle factor that can help manage stress and anxiety is sleep. Statistics show that about 50-70 million US adults experience problems falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or insufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation can affect your mental health on a regular basis, increasing the chances to develop chronic conditions and even mental disorders. Here are the potential consequences: memory issues, trouble with thinking and concentration, decision making and creativity are impacted too, mood changes, a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, potential accidents, weight gain, risk of heart diseases, low sex drive, mood swings. Generally speaking, poor sleep weakens your immune system, making it more vulnerable to colds, infections or other health issues.

So as we have more time now, why not sleep more? Go to bed earlier? Develop or improve our bedtime routine? Create a bedtime routine that encourages relaxation. Practice digital detox at least one hour prior to bed – meaning to stay away from all electronic devices that stimulate our brain and affect the quality of sleep.

3. Get out for support to family and friends – we’re all in the same boat, even if we temporarily practice social distancing. Social distancing means more online opportunities and you can actually be connected with people one call away, one app away. A social network is a source of support, reduces stress and depression, and conversations offer mental stimulation. They also help reduce the rate of memory decline in elder people.

Laughter is the best medicine. When we laugh, endorphins and dopamine – the happiness hormones – are released in the brain. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, and protects your brain from the damaging effects of stress. Laughter improves your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, makes you feel happier, boosts your immune system, eases anxiety and depression, and even add years to your life.

If you don’t have a wide support network, you may have a pet. Or why not get one now? The mental health benefits of owning a pet have been proven by many scientific studies. Dogs and cats help with depression, anxiety, and stress management. They boost your mood and happiness, decrease cortisol level, and help you stay active.

4. Work on your mindset. It will serve you for life.

Change what you can, accept what you can not, and be smart enough to know the difference.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou.

Personal development Growth mindset

Here’s how to stay positive and rewire your brain for positive thoughts:

It all starts in your mind. Every thought releases brain chemicals. Being focused on negative thoughts slows down your brain, affects your brain’s ability to function. It even leads to anxiety and depression. On the other hand, being happy improves your ability to be more cognitively alert and productive. Positive thinking decreases cortisol and produces serotonin, which creates a sense of happiness, meaning and well-being. Happy brain, happy life.

Inspirational thoughts – positive quotes can rewire your brain for happiness, for example. They can reframe your thoughts to feel happier. They can relieve stress and anxiety which affect your brain, and actually they can strengthen your mind to become more resilient to stress. They can also offer you motivation and help you stay positive and perform at your best. They help with personal growth too.

For example, I’ll mention again Stephen Covey’s quote “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” Does it motivate you to become the architect of your life? To empower you to make better decisions?

It all starts in your mind. Every thought releases brain chemicals. Happy mindset, happy brain, happy life.

5. Learn new things or skills (learn a new language, take different courses or listen to podcasts and audiobooks from your area of interest) – this way new cells become incorporated into brain circuits used for learning. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change when you learn and experience new things. It will also keep your brain active and fight off boredom. And it may also give you a feeling of control and personal satisfaction when working on yourself and your abilities. And yes, on a more practical level, it prepares you for today’s and tomorrow’s competitive environment.

These are my 5 best tips for dealing with stress and anxiety in times of crisis. What else should we add to the list? Please let me know in the comments below.

 

In the beginning of the podcast, I was telling you about the resources I give away for FREE to support my community in these times of crisis. These include:

*** My Welcome FREEBIE – The Food Recipe E-book for Busy People featuring Recipes To Kick Start and Encourage Your Healthy Eating Habits for Life.

Discover 30 simple recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (all under 30 minutes preparation time) and experiment how easy and delicious healthy meals can be!

It can feel so empowering to work on your health and wellness during these uncertain times. Remember: you are what you eat. And all of them are quick and easy, I promise – maximum 30 minutes for each recipe.

Let me tell you a secret 🙂  My favorite is the Wake-Me-Up Coffee Smoothie. A mix between coffee and a light breakfast. Good for at home or to go.

*** For a limited time, you can watch my mini-courses for free on Skillshare. These include:

Minicourse 1: Healthy Eating Hacks for Busy People

Learn the secrets that make healthy eating simple and delicious, especially for entrepreneurs and people who lack time. I think now more than ever we need to eat healthily, increase our immunity and stay safe!

If you have a hectic life and are always on-the-go, you may find it hard to go shopping or prepare your meals, do you? Sometimes our busy lives become excuses to skip meals or eat food with poor nutritional value. The value of this section is that it puts you on the fast lane to better health and well-being. Right from day 1. It gives you shortcuts and hacks to better food choices.

Minicourse2: Brainy Foods and their Impact on Brain’s Health and Happiness

Brainy People, here is Your Food for Thought: we’ll talk about The Superfoods for Brain’s Health, Memory Boost and Mental Performance. The correlation between high levels of mental performance and nutrition was proven by various studies, suggesting benefits for both the cognitive function and well being. They can also help fight anxiety and depression caused by these uncertain times.

Learn how to make your brain work at its full potential with brain foods.

Like a car performs at its best with quality gasoline, so does your mind function best with brain foods. Research supports this fact – that what you eat influences your brain’s function and how you feel.

Minicourse 3: Love Yourself More – The Ultimate Self-Care Guide

How to Develop Daily Mini-Habits to Look and Feel at Your Best

What are the secrets of a relaxing day at home? Get inspiration from the ideas in this mini-course to spend your free time in a creative and rewarding manner.

You will understand why me-time is important for your physical and emotional well-being. Learn how to manage stress and anxiety with a sound self-care routine.

Also, you will find out examples of self-care activities that will reward even your most stressful days.

Minicourse 4: The Truth About Coffee – How Much Coffee a Day Should You Drink?

Coffee Lovers, this Topic is for You! We’ll Explore the Benefits of Coffee, based on Science. How Much Coffee is the Optimal Amount to Get all the Benefits, but Avoid the Negative Side Effects? What is „The Tipping Point” where the risks outweigh the benefits?

The Answer might Surprise You. This Course is for Everybody who wants to have a Good Relationship with … Coffee.

So, for a limited time, you can get all these resources – for free. You can get the Welcome Freebie – The Food Recipe E-book for Busy People and you can also unlock free access to the mentioned 4 mini-courses. All you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter now using this form:

 

And to make this stay at home safe and entertaining at the same time, here’s a healthy challenge:

Coronavirus Has Caused a Hand Sanitizer Shortage. What Should I Do?

Using hand sanitizer, together with proper cleaning hygiene, helps prevent the spread of Coronavirus, and other viruses and bacteria in general. So what should you do when you run out of your hand sanitizer supply?

How about: Make your own Hand Sanitizer with Essential Oils?

It’s a 5 minutes’ recipe. It’s easy and fun, and here’s what you need:

• rubbing alcohol (99 percent alcohol volume)

• aloe vera gel

• a few drops (3-5) of essential oil(s) with antimicrobial properties, such as Tea Tree / Lavender / Peppermint / Eucalyptus / Frankincense / Thyme / Oregano  (I recommend brands such as AromaTech or Rocky Mountains Oils)

• a glass bottle

Mix and shake well before use!

 

That’s all for this episode! Thank you for listening!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to unlock access to my Welcome Freebies – The Healthy Recipes E-book for Busy People and the 4 mini-courses: Healthy Eating Hacks for Busy People, Brainy Foods and their Impact on Brain’s Health and Happiness, Love Yourself More – The Ultimate Self-Care Guide and The Truth About Coffee – How Much Coffee a Day Should You Drink? To unlock access to these goodies, subscribe using the form below:

 

We know that times are tough now, but we have to be tougher than them.

Be safe. If possible, stay at home. Unlock my freebies for information and entertainment.

And most importantly, take care of yourself first. Your health, your well-being. You know the saying: Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others? Do that!

Especially now we need more support to handle all this phycological pressure. We can do it together.

Subscribe to my podcast and newsletter to stay in touch during these tough times and beyond.

 

To your health and success,
Sarah

 

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Important note: this information is for educational and awareness purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any mental health condition. If you consider that you or someone you know may experience a mental disorder, seek or kindly advise them to seek professional medical help.

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