Cop­ing with work stress

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH / PUZZLES -

I’ve just taken a new job and it is a lot more stress­ful than my pre­vi­ous role. I’ve no­ticed that I’ve be­come a bit of a rush­ing woman (due to a num­ber of other fac­tors). Any words of ad­vice to help this? Thanks, Sarah.

Hi Sarah. I’m sure many peo­ple can re­late to this. There are a num­ber of use­ful strate­gies you can em­ploy to help you with this tran­si­tion, but here are a few you may find help­ful.

Keep your emails con­cise and if pos­si­ble check them twice a day

You might de­cide to think to your­self: ‘‘I refuse to al­low my emails to take over my life’’. Or ‘’’ make a com­mit­ment to check them once in the morn­ing and once in the af­ter­noon – and that’s it’’. The rea­son be­ing that many of us can work from our email in­box as op­posed to work­ing on im­por­tant work that we re­ally need to be in­vest­ing our time and en­ergy into. It can also be re­ally help­ful to keep your emails as brief as pos­si­ble. With the amount of com­mu­ni­ca­tion re­ceived in the mod­ern world, this will save you so much time.

Dis­con­nect from tech­nol­ogy (when­ever and if pos­si­ble)

I be­lieve a lot of us strug­gle to find bal­ance in our lives due to a feel­ing of be­ing con­stantly con­nected. You may even find your­self mind­lessly scrolling through your phone or tablet, even when you’re at home. Switch your phone to air­plane mode for an hour or two each day. This will give you some space to re­ju­ve­nate and al­low you get things done ef­fi­ciently. Put your legs up the wall Fo­cus on bring­ing more calm to your ner­vous sys­tem – and more at­ten­tion to your breath. A great way to help you breathe di­aphrag­mat­i­cally is to lay on your back with your legs up the wall. Lie in this po­si­tion for 5-10

Keep your emails short and only check them twice a day - this will free up time for you to get on with work.

min­utes and fo­cus on your breath. Place a folded towel un­der your back or bot­tom for sup­port if you like. Take 10 min­utes to fully re­lax into this pose, it’s es­pe­cially restora­tive with some sooth­ing mu­sic.

My flat­mate is ob­sessed with raw, sweet recipes, she would prob­a­bly make around 4-5 dif­fer­ent recipes a week. Is that re­ally healthy for you? Thanks, Mil­lie.

Hi Mil­lie. When talk­ing about food, I don’t be­lieve the con­ver­sa­tion should nec­es­sar­ily re­volve around whether some­thing is ‘‘healthy’’ for us or not, it should be whether that food of­fers us nu­tri­tion or not.

As aware­ness is grow­ing around the im­pact of re­fined sugar on our health, more and more peo­ple are tran­si­tion­ing into raw, ve­gan or less re­fined sugar, sweet op­tions.

As a re­sult, there has been huge growth in raw, sweet recipes, as they tend to use more

nour­ish­ing sweet­en­ers such as dates or maple syrup. I think the emerg­ing pop­u­lar­ity of th­ese desserts have a huge cross-over with this grow­ing aware­ness of the im­pact of re­fined sugar and a move­ment to­wards eat­ing more real foods.

As many peo­ple love sweet food it’s a great way to re­mind peo­ple that eat­ing more real food isn’t just about sal­ads and green smooth­ies and that you ac­tu­ally don’t have to go with­out your favourite foods. How­ever, as with any­thing you can overdo it. Maple syrup, dates and other nat­u­ral sweet­en­ers of­ten used in th­ese raw desserts still con­tain su­gars, so th­ese recipes are still best used in mod­er­a­tion. They are sim­ply more nu­tri­ent-dense op­tions.

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. Visit dr­

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