Tag Archives: stress

Mental Sustainability

When it comes to sustainable living, the first thing that comes to mind is probably reusable straws and planting trees. Or something along those lines. Green living goes in an out of fashion, as the human mind goes back and forth between good and bad habits.

As the school year is starting, we are all readjusting to academic life. Maybe that means going to school, going back to work, sending our kids off to school, or even just the change of seasons. The summer is over, winter is coming (overused GoT reference intended ironically) and – let’s face it – we’re all going to be watching more Netflix than we should, drinking more coffee than water, and doing our best not to have a mental breakdown.

In all seriousness, the first few weeks of September are especially stressful. Tuition and textbooks drain our bank accounts, whether it’s our own cost or for our kids. We are torn between the start of school parties and trying to start off with good study habits. Sleeping or lecture? Netflix or readings? Packing healthy lunches and snacks, and taking care of ourselves after a long day at work.

With the pressure of doing well, having a social life, taking care of a child, sleeping enough, paying for books, tuition and coffee, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In this transition period, it’s important to develop sustainable mental habits that will get you through the entire school year.

Personally, I’m a sucker for buying nice planners, and notebooks. I set my standards ridiculously high in September. I promise myself I’ll cancel my Netflix account, and keep every assignment marked diligently in my overpriced planner from Chapters. I’ll hand things in early, be on time, never skip a class because I want to sleep in…

Sounds like a load of BS right? There’s nothing wrong with having high standards, and setting goals for yourself, but the problem with what I just told you is that these habits are not sustainable. If I were to hold myself to that for an entire year, I’d go crazy.

The trick is to find a balance between what is realistic, and pushing yourself to do your best. It’s a fine line between going easy on yourself and slacking off, between challenging yourself, and overworking yourself to exhaustion.

So this September, try to find that balance. Find habits that are sustainable for you. It will look different for everyone.

Students, maybe the girl sitting next to you in your lecture has perfect handwriting and colour coded notes, but that doesn’t mean that you need five colours of highlighter to do well.

Parents, maybe there’s that crazy overachiever mom who manages to go to every PTA meeting, coach the volleyball team and bake cookies for the entire class, but that’s not who you have to be to be a good parent.

No one can sustain this level of functioning forever.

And honestly, who knows what goes on behind the scenes?

I’ve learned that it’s best not to compare myself to anyone else, and focus on what works for me. I remember hearing once that comparison is the thief of happiness, and in my experience, I really believe that it’s true.

Maybe you need to take more breaks in your studying to keep your focus. Maybe it’s okay to wake up feeling like crap and decide to take a little extra sleep. If you’re feeling stressed, recognized that you’re feeling stressed instead of burying yourself further in work, or procrastinating to the last-minute.

It’s easy to fall to one extreme or the other. There can be a lot of pressure from your peers to pull all nighters, whether it’s to study for an exam, or for a party. But finding a balance will help you more in the long term. That’s what sustainability is about.

It’s not easy; if it was, we would all be doing it. But if we were all doing it, we would be so much better off.

May September bring you strength, balance, and sustainable practices.

Series written by Chantal Delaquis

Adaptogens & Superfoods Are On The Menu!

One of the first things we were sure we wanted to incorporate into our Acorn Cafe menu were adaptogens and super foods infused beverages and food.

Adaptogens are substances from plants, herbs, and mushrooms that help our bodies adapt or balance.

That could mean adapt to stress, balance hormones, ease digestion, increase energy, or even clearing brain fog and helping memory. Adaptogens are also great at contributing to a strong immune system and have been used to fight cancer and/or manage the effects of cancer treatments.

Adaptogens are not anything new. Adaptogens have been used by healers and herbalists for thousands of years!  They are becoming more common now, as people start to look for more natural ways to deal with common issues. A very common issue being chronic stress!  We all have to deal with stress. And are all affected by it; either physically, emotionally, or psychologically. And we all try to find ways to manage it. Stress can likely be the root cause of many health issues, including weakened immune systems, digestion issues, and inflammation in our bodies.

Some of the adaptogens you will find on the Acorn Cafe menu are turmeric, ginger, milk thistle, and reishi and chaga (medicinal mushrooms.) Just to name a few!

Superfoods, of course, are plant-based foods that are loaded with nutrition! Essential for healthy diets and optimum function. There is a long list of super foods that will be found in our menu items. A couple worth mentioning are: matcha green tea and E3 Live’s Blue Majik.

Matcha is a green tea that’s processed less than regular green tea. Since they grow in shade, the natural nutrients found in the leaves are entirely preserved. The leaves are never heated.  The benefits of matcha outweigh the benefits of some of the other most popular superfoods! Matcha contains over 6x the antioxidants in goji berries, 7x the antioxidants in dark chocolate, 17x more antioxidants than blueberries, and 60x the antioxidants found in spinach. In just one teaspoon!  Try out Acorn Cafe’s matcha latte (my personal favourite,) and experience an energy burst that lasts with no crash!

E3 Live’s Blue Majik is relatively new, and has some serious health benefits! Blue Majik is the most dense superfood known, loaded with the highest concentration of proteins, vitamins, trace minerals, and essential fatty acids. One teaspoon of the fresh or frozen concentrated algae is equivalent to eating a large salad. The Blue Majik concentrate is great added into lattes and smoothies!

In addition to adaptogens and super foods, our tea menu contains beneficial herbal concoctions created by Hollow Reed, that are known to help with digestion, stress, colds, and more!

Stop by Acorn Cafe at Generation Green and let our staff create something new, just for you!

Please note that all the information found on generationgreenwpg.com is not meant to treat or diagnose health issues. We intend to provide information on our products and ingredients. We encourage everyone to do their own research and consult with a professional before diagnosing or treating a chronic condition. Also take caution if nursing or pregnant.

There are many types of adaptogens which may work differently for everyone. For alternative treatment to chronic issues, I highly recommend a consult with master herbalist, Chad Cornell at Hollow Reed Holistic.

 

 

Stress Effects & Solutions

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who deals well with stress.  I try to be aware of what triggers my stress levels, take time to practice self-care, and live in the moment. I try not worry about what tomorrow might bring.  Regardless of this awareness, it’s unrealistic to believe that I will never experience stress. It’s a natural reaction to life experiences.

I believe it’s important to reduce the stress triggers where you can, especially the repeating ones (the ones you can DO something about!) Understanding what stress does to your body helps you be able to manage the recovery of it better.

Recently I have been experiencing some stressful moments in my life, as we plan for our store relocation. I am very aware of how it is affecting my body.  Stress induced eczema, sleeping trouble, muscle tension, and headaches are a few of my bodily reactions.

When we are having a stressful experience, our brain tells our body to release hormones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response.  This release is supposed to assist us in processing the stress and help us react to it.  Unfortunately, when those hormones keep firing out, it can start to really have an affect on our health.  Above are some of the responses my body has had to my stress, but there can be even more serious conditions like weakened immune system, high blood pressure, digestive trouble and it could even affect the reproductive system.

So let’s talk about some simple ways to manage stress as it’s happening, so we don’t tax our bodies to the point of a serious health issue.

One of the simplest ways start calming our nervous system is by taking nice, deep cleansing breaths –  really deep (down to your belly) slow breaths!  Practice doing this throughout the day (it takes seconds and feels so good!) Close your eyes as you do, and if it helps-add in a mental image of a beautiful beach, trees blowing, or whatever helps you experience calmness.  I find listening to ocean sounds so soothing and can immediately feel those “good”/happy hormones being released.  For others, exercise really gets the serotonin flowing. Try dancing away that stress, move your body and shake it out! What about a good belly laugh? I think we can all recall a laughing fit and how amazing that felt! It makes me smile just thinking about it! All of these release endorphins (a natural pain-killer and stress eraser).

A couple other things that I have been using to get me through my stressful period are Bach Remedies, Four Sigmatic Reishi, and my very favourite-OM Shantea from Hollow Reed Holistic.

The Bach Rescue Remedies are available in spray, drops that you add to water, or candy-like pastilles. It is a mixture of 5 different Bach flower remedies created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises. They help us get through any stressful situation. From last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. The response this remedy creates is an emotional one, not a physical one. You just all of a sudden realize you’re not feeling that stress.

Reishi mushroom is probably the most researched of medicinal mushrooms, and is considered a longevity herb. Reishi is an adaptogen (assists the body in adapting to stressful conditions).  It basically tells your body to relax and calm down.  It is beneficial for our cardiovascular system and keeping our immunity strong.  I love that Four Sigmatic has created some amazing mushroom elixirs, including reishi, that you simply add hot water to and enjoy the benefits they offer.

Om Shantea tea is made locally in Winnipeg by Hollow Reed Holistic. It has been my personal favourite since master herbalist, Chad Cornell, first served me a cup!  A combination of skullcap, gotu kola, holy basil, and oatstraw create a blend that leaves your body and mind with an overall feeling of calm.

Life can be busy, stressful, and challenging at times so the need for self-care, self-love with a splash of fun and laughter are most important!  Find what works for you and do lots of that!

 

All Natural Stress Relief

Everyone at some point has dealt with stress and feeling anxious.  Deadlines, exams, parenting, relationships, health, can all cause stress at some point or another.  How we deal with the stresses life throws at it can greatly affect the outcome.

For some getting rid of the stress can be done by exercising, meditating, getting a massage, or even having a quiet moment alone.  For others though, stress can linger, start to cause anxiety, maybe even panic situations.  This is when it can really effect your health and your life.

Unfortunately we are bombarded with messages that there is a pill that can fix that, and since many are wanting a quick fix, or just plain want to feel better, they resort to the prescription remedy.  Usually these medications can be addicting and come with a list of unpleasant side effects, not to mention possible longterm health issues. I personally believe in exhausting all my natural resources first before I would consider a prescription.

I was excited to find a natural remedy that actually worked for stress relief, and have been amazed at just how many others have reported the same!bach-rescue-remedy-10ml

Dr. Bach formulated RESCUE Remedy nearly a hundred years ago and it is more relevant than ever! Dr Bach’s natural stress relief pastilles are convenient when dealing with stress and worrisome situations.  The formula works on an emotional level, not physical, and it’s amazing how all of a sudden you just realize your not feeling stressed anymore! Bach Rescue Remedy contains active ingredients such as Star of Bethlehem, Clematis Cherry Plum, Impatiens, Rock Rose. These flowers soothe irritability, help with shock/panic and provide a general calmness in times of stress.  Also available in liquid drops that can easily be added to water and sipped throughout the day, as well as formulas for pets!

magnesiumAnother natural remedy is a mineral that affects are neurological system and that most of us are deficient in, magnesium!

When we are feeling stressed, it causes the cells in our bodies to release magnesium which helps us feel more calm.  However, if we are continually dealing with stressful situations, and our bodies are not having time to recover, the level of stress you feel will increase because there just won’t be enough magnesium released.  In addition, our diets can be filled with foods that also tax out our magnesium.  Sugar especially is huge for causing depletion of magnesium, not to mention vital nutrients!

There are some great options for magnesium supplements, like Innotech Nutrition’s Liquid Ionic Magnesium that doesn’t just taste great, but the nano size particles can easily be transported to the cell membrane, directly through the mouth membranes bypassing the digestive system.  Same can be said for Mama Pacha’s new Magnesium lotion, rubbing onto your skin is going to absorb more magnesium directly into your blood stream than having to go through the whole digestive system.

Bottom line is, stress is not something we should allow to linger long, our health is just too important!

Workshop – Emotional Eating

emotional eatingDo you often find yourself eating less than desired foods, over-eating or under-eating as a result of emotional experiences from everyday life?

Join us Wednesday, February 19th 6:30-8:00 PM at Generation Green for a workshop on Emotional Eating, finding causes and making changes.

This workshop will be led by professional health coach & holistic educator Amanda Lily http://amandalily.blogspot.ca/p/events.html.

Amanda will lead us to explore our struggles, identify triggers, and create action steps.

Register in person at Generation Green , by email at generationgreenwpg@gmail.com or by phone 808-9848 Cost is $25 per person.

Limited seating available.

*Please note: this workshop is designed to explore your emotional relationship with food. It is not intended to replace any therapies necessary for eating disorders or the like.