Ugh, feeling rubbish? Not any more, girlfriend: we've got 10 top tips to sort you right out.
Solution: Delay your coffee run.
Looking hella distracted during that 11am boardroom meeting? It might be your commute coffee. Try waiting until an hour or two after you wake up to down the brew, as cortisol levels peak in the mornings between 8am and 9am. Caffeine can sometimes block this get-up-and-go hormone, rendering your money wasted.
Solution: Ring your friend and make plans.
Are you that person who catches a sniffly cold every few months? A study in last year’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that loneliness triggers a stress response in humans, which affects how we produce white blood cells – those total biology heroes at fighting bacteria and viruses. Get on the phone and ask a friend if they’re up for a pre-theatre menu deal or a Netflix night in with The Gilmore Girls.
Solution: Spurn screens.
Eyes getting fatigued of late? Computer Vision Syndrome is an actual thing, characterised by symptoms such as dry, itchy eyes. Staring at screens – monitors, tablets or phones – means you decrease your ‘blink rate’, and the less you blink the less you disperse tears over the eyeball, preventing irritating dryness. Try the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes to stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Or take very frequent tea breaks every 20 minutes. Having some eye drops in your purse won’t hurt either.
Solution: Professionals, and some self-care.
First, make an appointment with a medical professional. You may have to go see a physiotherapist too. Lower back pain is on the up and is an increasing cause of workplace absenteeism. Secondly, start examining the causes of stress in your life as pressure makes your back muscles tense up. If work is driving you up the walls, it might be time to schedule a face-to-face with your manager. Decompress with a bath filled with relaxing oils, and a podcast every second evening.
Seriously. A cuppa as the solution to life’s ills isn’t just something your mum says, it genuinely works. Studies have repeatedly shown black tea is drinkable aromatherapy. Even the process of boiling the kettle and dunking a tea bag helps with relaxation. 2009 City University London research found tea was an effective tonic with dealing with a stressful day at work due to the leaves’ biochemistry, and that the brew has psychological associations with further calm.
Solution: Cut them loose.
A deadbeat partner is bad for your health. Women are particularly prone to health issues, especially heart problems, if they’re in stressful marriages. Another eek fact? A 2005 study found that couples who argue also have bodies which don’t heal themselves from injuries, like blisters, as quickly as more chill duos.
Solution: The ride
Headaches don’t have to be an excuse to lay off the horizontal gymnastics. A German university study from 2013 found that a significant number of survey respondents experienced partial or complete relief of headache in some migraines and a few cluster headaches during sexual activity. The bad news? It was more effective for men. When will the gender equality train get into this station?
Solution: Glorious H20.
Bloating, AKA the enemy of bodycon dresses, occurs when your kidneys suss your fluid levels are dropping, so invest in a Brita to keep deskside throughout the day. Devote three days a week to making water your sole beverage of choice and see how you feel. A habit forming app like HabitBull will send you push notifications if you’re the type who needs reminding.
Solution: Move on by moving.
Doughnut binge and immediate regrets? Over-consuming sugar is often unavoidable in today’s processed paradise, and the fact the substance is addictive and emits chemicals like dopamine and serotonin in your body, a la cocaine, is another hurdle. If you feel like you’ve gone too far and predict a slump, move! A quick bout of exercise – star jumps or a five floor stairs climb – means your muscles will use the sugar in your system, instead of storing it as glucose. Research has found that older adults who walk for 15 minutes after every meal tend to have lower blood sugar than those who go on longer strolls in the morning or before dinner.
Solution: Bland eats.
Periods are a regular trial in the average woman’s life, and nausea is just another bad gift from God. There’s no cure for premenstrual digestive upsets, but altering your consumption during and before your period helps. Eat blandly. Toast, noodles, rice, fish, potatoes and bananas are all foods that won’t rock the boat. Another tip is to eat small meals more often throughout the day, so you’re not putting your gut under too much pressure.
This article first appeared in STELLAR’s September issue. Our March issue is on shelves now!
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