HABITS THAT MAKE YOU BEND, NOT BREAK
Having a handle on the physiological effects of stress prepares your body and mind to respond with resilience.
GET YOUR ZZZ TIME
During deep sleep, your brain sorts and files your thoughts and experiences from the previous day, giving you a fresh perspective that enables you to problem-solve. Sleep also bolsters immunity, and it’s easier to pull yourself together emotionally when you’re not run-down or sick in bed. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Getting your 30 minutes of exercise a day triggers feelgood endorphins as well as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that quiets negative thinking. Together, these can help you through a tough time. Studies have also shown that regular exercise is a mood elevator and can assist significantly in the treatment of depression, helping you maintain a positive outlook.
Meditation can be as simple as focusing on a single thing, like your breath or a calming word. Research suggests that practising it regularly may shrink the amygdala, reducing stress and even changing electrical activity in the brain, making you more alert and calm. That’s just the kind of clearheadedness you need in a crisis.
Your body, like any other engine, needs fuel. When food is scarce, your system routes what energy it has to essentials, which can leave parts of your brain, well, hungry. It needs at least 20% of the kilojoules you absorb to solve problems effectively, so get your three squares or five mini meals – whatever keeps you on an even keel.