If you are feeling stressed right now you are not alone! We are all together in fighting this pandemic. How we handle our stress however is very individual. Some people are keeping busy and on schedule with daily activity or even working out like crazy. Other people are surrendering to the unwelcome changes. The good news, there is no right or wrong way to handle this. It’s our own way.
What is appropriate no matter where you are with your stress management and daily activity, a chill out walk in the woods or outdoors on the (safe) roads for 30-90 minutes can be anabolic or stress reducing. If you have local paths near you, explore them! Get into the woods if possible or near water.
These are known as “green or blue space”. Research on exposure to these environments has shown to decrease cortisol levels which leads scientists to believe this means a reduction in stress. Elevation in cortisol is your brain and body’s response to stress and its quest to maintain homeostasis. Elevations in cortisol happen during extremely stressful situations (like pandemics!) and clears in the body naturally when the threat has been managed.
Our natural, life sustaining cortisol production happens in a diurnal rhythm, highest during the early morning hours which aids in waking up, a little blip around 4pm and low during the late evening. Our pituitary gland and adrenal glands send chemical messengers to each other to add or clear cortisol throughout the day based on what kind of day we are having.
Emotional and physical stress affect our cortisol levels. If we are constantly experiencing stress, we have constantly elevated cortisol and this wreaks havoc with our sleep routines and eating patterns. So, your pandemic baking addiction might have a source.
Let the anabolic effects of walking in the woods or near a body of water do their job. Share what you are doing with us on our Facebook page. If you are working on the front lines as some of our clients are, this may not be at all possible but if it is, remember even a very short walk around your neighborhood or building will provide you mental and physical benefits.
Wishing you strength and peace.