stress awareness

Tips on How to Manage Stress During Stress Awareness Month

As April is Stress Awareness Month there is no better time than now to shine a light on stress management…

Stress is no stranger to any of us and with April being the official stress awareness month, it’s time to highlight some transformative actions to manage it.

Below, Functional Medicine and Hormone Doctor Sohere Roked provides her expert opinion on the causes of adrenal stress and the positive actions we can adopt to help reduce stress and improve our overall well-being. 

What is Adrenal Stress?

The adrenal glands are pivotal in helping the body respond to physical and psychological stressors. Associated with severe or prolonged stress, adrenal stress is believed to onset when the adrenals are burnt out to the degree that they can no longer produce adequate levels of cortisol and adrenaline to support optimal function.

An increase of these hormones activates the stress response (known as ‘fight or flight’ ) which raises the blood pressure and heart rate and can lead to fatigue or severe tiredness (with intermittent crashes throughout the day), low or dysregulated mood, brain fog and a compromised immune system.

Potential causes can include environmental and dietary influences, as well as anxiety and emotional triggers. Experiencing trauma and autoimmune conditions can also potentially chronically impact adrenal function. Here GP, Functional Medicine & Hormone Doctor, Sohère Roked, shares her top 4 recommendations for targeting adrenal stress.

Create Energy with Food

“Eating regular micronutrient-rich meals such as cabbage, asparagus, avocado, garlic and ginger throughout the day will stop your hormones from fluctuating. I recommend eating a bigger meal earlier in the day rather than in the evenings since bigger meals trigger the release of the fat-storing hormone cortisol.

“Avoid caffeine and sugary or salty foods that your body craves in this state as it leads to a drop in energy.”

stress awareness

Reach for Essential Vitamins

Dr Sohère Roked recommends vitamins B, C and omega-3 fish oils to support healthy functioning adrenal glands. Whether in supplement form or in vitamin-rich foods like avocados, grapefruits, strawberries, bananas, blueberries and oranges along with omega-3 oils which are found in oily fish such as mackerel and salmon.

“Additionally, herbs can help support the adrenals such as ginseng, rhodiola, ashwagandha, timo cordyceps, mycelium extract and L-theanine. Under the supervision of a health-care professional, individuals should take herbal supplements containing pituitary and adrenal concentrate from a bovine source to aid in the healthy functioning of the adrenal and pituitary glands.”

Be Gentre with Exercise

“It is important to get some fresh air whenever possible. 15-30 minutes of exercise a day is all you need, anything more will only put more strain on the adrenals.” Dr Roked recommends taking a stroll in nature, going swimming or practising mindful yoga.

Create More ‘Me-Time’

Probably the most important point of all, schedule a time to relax every day – even if it is only 5-10 minutes. Dr Roked suggests taking a few deep breaths through your nose as this helps to slow the heart rate down.

“Walking, hot baths, massages, reading and meditation are all simple but effective tools to help you relax. Don’t forget to have fun – we relax when we are doing things we enjoy.”