Cut­ting stress be­fore you hit the of­fice

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health and well­be­ing.

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH - Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional. To read more from Dr Libby, be sure to get her monthl

Re­cently I’ve no­ticed that when I ar­rive at work I’m al­ready stressed and flus­tered. In be­tween the kids drop off and catch­ing pub­lic trans­port I some­how man­age to be­gin this process be­fore I even set foot in the door. Any tips to stop this stress? Thanks, Marie

Hi Marie, Some of the world’s busiest peo­ple at­tribute their abil­ity to re­main calm amidst the jug­gling act of life, to their morn­ing rit­ual. Whether it is five min­utes, 20 min­utes or an hour, whether it is a game of ten­nis, a walk, med­i­ta­tion, read­ing or sim­ply drink­ing a cup of tea while you gaze out the win­dow and think of the things in your life that you are grate­ful for, time by your­self can set you up for a day with more en­ergy.

I can­not en­cour­age you more to in­vest in a morn­ing rit­ual that you don’t com­pro­mise. It’s also in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to sched­ule down­time and pri­ori­tise it. It is very dif­fi­cult to be kind and pa­tient with other peo­ple when you are not al­low­ing your­self a lit­tle bit of space to do so. An­other sug­ges­tion might be to make a green tea when you ar­rive at work. Drink this away from your desk and al­low your­self the space to tran­si­tion from your ‘morn­ing’ to your work­ing day. I have a big break­fast but by the time it gets to about 10am, I’m ab­so­lutely rav­en­ous. Why am I so hun­gry and what can I do about it? Thanks, Al­lan.

Hi Al­lan, I would look at what you are hav­ing for break­fast, as there is a chance this isn’t serv­ing you, even though it’s ‘big’. Is your break­fast high in re­fined car­bo­hy­drates such as a pro­cessed break­fast ce­real? If you are hav­ing a car­bo­hy­drate rich break­fast such as muesli or por­ridge con­sider chang­ing this to a pro­tein rich break­fast such as eggs, home-made baked beans or a break­fast high in good fats such as eggs and av­o­cado.

Good fats and pro­tein are par­tic­u­larly sa­ti­at­ing which may help keep you feel­ing fuller for

longer. The other thing to con­sider is when you’re ac­tu­ally hav­ing break­fast – you may be up at 5 or 6am and there­fore are nat­u­rally hun­gry around 10am. In this case, you just need to take a morn­ing tea such as a hand­ful of nuts, a bliss ball or even a smoothie.

Food is sup­posed to fuel us and keep us en­er­gised so if you no­tice that you reg­u­larly feel hun­gry not long af­ter eat­ing I would en­cour­age you to look at what you’re eat­ing, con­sider the macronu­tri­ent groups – ie does it con­tain pro­tein, car­bo­hy­drate or fat? Then con­sider if per­haps you need to ex­per­i­ment with other foods.

Photo: 123RF.COM

Find a morn­ing rit­ual that doesn’t in­volve swords and chil­dren so you won’t get stressed be­fore you get to work.

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