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How to Cope With Stress

Dear Dr.Kim,

Do you have any recommendations to help me cope with stress? My job schedule is busy and I want to make sure that I am supporting myself.

R.T. Victoria

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Dear R.T.

With Heart Health month upon us, this is a great time to pick some tactics to support your system and reduce the burden of stress. During busy times it is important to be mindful and take charge of your schedule. Make an effort to increase stress-busting activities as opposed to being preoccupied and letting them slide. Each day aim to do something that brings you joy. Moreover, make it a goal to devote at least 1 hour a day and a day each week to devote to rejuvenating activities or causes. Here are some ideas:

  • Exercise
  • Cook or bake
  • Book a massage
  • Explore meditation 
  • Take a bath 
  • Meet up with a friend
  • Enjoy the outdoors 
  • Take time out to read

In addition, to incorporating or increasing these healthy lifestyle habits, you can find support in supplements.

I often say if I was sent to a deserted island (maybe Survivor!!) and could only bring one thing, I might just bring a  It is one of the vitamins that can produce dramatic rapid positive effects. Many people find that it increases their energy and “lengthens their fuse” helping them roll with stress better. The B’s are involved in almost every reaction in the body and many habits such as alcohol consumption, the birth control pill, and stress deplete them.

There are several herbs that function as adaptogens and they help the body adapt to stress; they heighten the ability to cope or be resistant to the drain that stress creates. Some examples of adaptogenic herbs are  , and the Ginseng family. Adaptogenic herbs can be taken daily during periods of heightened stress and/or periodized throughout the year.

Minimizing the presence of stress in your life can be about pausing, taking stock and developing a plan to mitigate the vicious cycle. Sometimes, however, stress is inherent in the complexity of your life circumstances and then it is OK to establish a plan to help offset the burden. I hope these tips help you discover some stress blocking strategies.

There are several natural strategies that can be useful for stress support and to help “fill up your bucket.” The more vital and robust your energy and health is, the harder it is to knock it you off keel.

“Health from the inside out.”

Dr. Kimberly McQueen BSc, ND is a Naturopathic Physician in Victoria, BC. In addition to her clinic work she has been a consultant to the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, and Rugby Canada. Kim currently works with Rowing Canada, providing Sport Performance Nutrition support. P:778.433.4935 and Kim McQueen is one of the Co-founders of the nourishing Supershake, Rumble.