Lifestyle: Do you have a case of the January Blues?

Feeling stressed, under the weather? Are you irritable, tired, unable to think clearly and maybe suffering a few more skin problems or digestive problems or headaches than normal?

Thursday, 13th January 2011, 1:14 pm

If you answered yes then you may have case of the January Blues. January is a notoriously stressful month and with the addition of all the panic and stress of the credit crunch this is a month when most peoples stress levels are raised resulting in a number of physical symptoms. So what can you do to offset stress?

1: Recognise your symptoms of stress. The signs of stress are many. Any health problem can be exacerbated by stress. Stress itself can bring irritability, being more emotional, raised heart rate or palpitations, headaches, muscular stress, short-term memory loss, fatigue and insomnia to name but a few symptoms. Always get any serious symptoms checked by a health professional.

2: Once you have recognised the signs of stress resolve to do something about it. Eat well incorporating foods which are high in antioxidants which can reduce the damage on the body from stress – lots of veg, fruit, lean proteins such as fish –especially oily fish, nuts and seeds and wholegrains. Have a minimal amount of alcohol or stay off the alcohol for a few weeks (one small glass of red wine daily however is recommended for its high antioxidant level) and drink water daily.

3: Exercise – exercise is great for burning off the hormones that surge through the body when you are stressed and for raising the ‘feel good’ endorphins. Exercise can also help reduce the feeling of sluggishness and raise mental alertness. Any form of physical activity that raises the heart rate for at least twenty minutes is suitable but most people find walking, sport, dance, yoga or exercise to music particularly beneficial.

4: Sort issues out. Don’t bury your head in the sand hoping problems will go away – they won’t and they will add to your stress load. If you are having relationship, financial or health problems face them and address them. Get professional help if necessary.

5: Get some advice about using some natural supplements that may assist stress levels. Traditionally supplements such as Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea and Ashwagandha, are used and a B complex may also assist stress and fatigue. Speak to a nutritional therapist or get professional help.

Directory:

MIND –Mental Health Charity -www.bedsandlutonmind.org.uk 01525 844160

Relate – Relationship Counselling -www.relate.org.uk

NHS Advice - www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Stress

Body Toning Workouts Kempston and Bedford 01234 838880

Pumpernickel Health Store - www.pumpernickel-online.co.uk

7 The Arcade ,Bedford 01234 348179

Donna Milligan _ Nutritional Therapy and Wellness MOTS www.scio-wellness.com 01234 838880.