Stress not only reduces our immune system, but it can also diminish our brain power. I personally need all the brain cells I can get! If you find yourself being a bit more forgetful lately, you may simply need to pay attention to brain health to combat the stress we are under.
First and foremost is our brains need water. They consist of 75 percent of water and when depleted cannot function properly. Stay hydrated, especially when temperatures are higher than normal in many places. The more active you are, the more you need to drink water. If you are hydrating, you should be urinating often. I know it is inconvenient, but it beats wondering around your house not knowing who you are or where you were going!
Secondly, our brains need protein and healthy fats to stay plump and strong. I highly recommend taking an Omega 3 supplement as most of us can’t possibly eat enough fish to meet our brain’s needs. I take it three times a day, every day. If you aren’t eating any red meat, you may want to add Glutamine (an amino acid) to your daily routine as it is important to not only brain health but muscle condition. You can get the pill form or powder that you mix in water. Include some turkey on your weekly menu as the tryptophan will improve your mood as well as help you sleep better. Good, restorative sleep helps your brain recover and recharge.
If you haven’t jumped on the probiotic’s bandwagon yet, do it! We already know it helps our digestive tract, which is where our immune system begins, but what you may not know is it is also referred to as the “second brain” because it produces millions of neurons that produce our body’s calming serotonin. Feeling anxious? Then you definitely need to add probiotics to your diet.
Another way to reduce depression or feeling blue is by eating berries: blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are chocked full of antioxidants that combat physical and mental stress by improving and enhancing your moods. Did you know in some countries they consider asparagus as a mental health food? It is loaded with potassium and vitamin A, C, E and K, all providing anti-anxiety. If you can get past the smell, then this is a great addition!
And last but not least is one my go-to’s: chamomile tea. I drink it about 30 to 45-minutes before bed time for its soothing and calming effects. The point here is to not forget brain health. What good is a strong body if we lose our mind? So much of what is going on right now is attacking our serenity and peace of mind. Nothing can take it away from us without our permission, so let’s work hard to protect our mental health.
We’ve never had control over what happens in the world, but now more than ever, we can be left feeling utterly helpless. I’m a firm believer in controlling what we can. Besides being prudent and careful regarding COVID-19, consider clearing out the chaos in your life. We certainly have enough madness outside of our homes, but let’s aim for creating sanctuaries.
One way to do that is to de-clutter your home. Tackle a drawer to start and feel the sense of accomplishment, and I bet you will want to do more! Clean out the garage and create a pile for donation or garage sale. Don’t stop there: organize your kitchen cabinets so you can actually find things! Eliminate duplicates that are just taking up space.
What about your cloths closet? If you haven’t worn something in six months or a year, are you ever going to wear it? If something isn’t your favorite and you find that you feel icky wearing it, get rid of it! Someone else may love it and need it.
I know we are all cleaning our houses like mad fiends, but keep it up. This is something you do have control over that can help your state of mind. If you read Kuma’s blog about the fire in our neighborhood (https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/kumas-neighborhood-has-a-fire/), you know the importance of being prepared. This is an excellent time to work on getting your house in order. Do you have a living will that explains your end-of-life wishes? What about documents that outline what to do in case of your untimely death, who to contact, passwords, etc.? Then there is your preparedness for emergencies, like we had with the fire. Do a full inventory of your home, documenting with serial numbers and photos to ensure a smooth recovery should something unfortunate happen.
All of these can provide peace of mind during a time that can make you feel crazy. Get in the driver’s seat of your life and do things that help you feel in control.
Remember the book Crucial Conversations? Well, we are living it! EVERY conversation seems to have varying opinions with high stakes and emotions running strong. If we aren’t careful, we can add fuel to the fire. We must utilize our knowledge of human behavior, try to understand motivators/driving forces, and apply our emotional intelligence to handle them properly.
The best companies develop these skills for effectively dealing with difficult conversations. Without safe, productive communication, we lose the free-flow of relevant information. Mistakes will happen, and we will miss opportunities.
As I coach leaders on this subject matter, I start with saying “If your heart isn’t right, then you will have a hard time having any meaningful conversations. That is why my FIT Leader Formula includes wellness and stress management. We must start with ourselves because wherever we are, we pass this on to our team. Meaning – if you are freaking out, you people will be also.
So how are you doing? It is okay to ask for help. There isn’t a manual for what we are facing right now, but your team is still looking to you for guidance, direction, and assurance. We do have the tools, though, if we will just use them. Now more than ever, pay attention to the stress indicators of each personality style. Look for signs of being overwhelmed so that you can encourage people to de-stress appropriately for their style.
Recognize that we all have different goals, objectives and motivators. Yes, we may all be working on the same project, but how we approach it will be different. Give space for individuals to process things on their own terms but remain clear with what the target. We’ll never hit what we don’t define! Communicate, communicate and communicate!
Consider word choices, tone and pace with all correspondence because each person hears it differently. Continue to emphasize solutions! Speaking of – I can help! I have assessments, tools, expertise and desire to help you maneuver through the stormy waters we find ourselves in. Give me a call today!
With new covers and study guides included, both my business books (Leveraging Your Leadership Style and Leveraging Your Communication Style) are now available on Kindle. Both of these books help you understand your unique style, how to identify other’s style, and provide tips on how to lead and communicate in manners that build bridges, not walls.