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What we have to say about your health and well being
3
Dec 2013
Steps to deal with stress

In small doses, stress can help you to stay focused and alert. However, in the weeks before Christmas, stress can become so intense that it can have an adverse effect on your health. Common symptoms of too much stress include anxiety, headache, tiredness, eating junk comfort foods, not sleeping well, and poor memory and concentration. If you recognise these symptoms, then you can begin to take some simple steps to reduce stress. Firstly, you need to look after yourself!! That means eating well, sleeping well, being active and making time to relax and enjoy yourself. Eating well. Always have breakfast. Wholemeal bread, cereals and porridge are ideal. Ensure you have 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day- try chopped banana on cereal, fruit juice or extra vegetables in spaghetti Bolognese. Try to reduce caffeine intake by cutting down on tea, coffee and chocolate. Both Vitamin B Complex and the herbal remedy Passiflora may help reduce anxiety. Sleeping well. Lack of sleep can make you feel more stressed. Try to have a regular bedtime routine, relaxing with a warm bath and using aromatherapy oils such as lavender oil in a bath or a drop on your pillow. Try a calming herbal tea such as camomile with a light supper. Some herbal remedies such as Valerian may also help. Note some medicines can affect sleep so ask your pharmacist for advice. Be active. Any form of regular exercise really does relieve stress. Go outdoors for a walk in natural daylight. Both the exercise and the daylight can help reduce depression and anxiety. Why not join a walking group, find an exercise class or sign up for a charity cycle. Positive thinking. Focus on the things you can control. Look for opportunities in life’s challenges. Smile. Be optimistic. `Don’t stress, do your best, forget the rest! So this Christmas, amid the shopping and cooking take a little time to yourself to relax and enjoy the festive cheer! Paula Morgan, Orchard Pharmacy visit www.orchardpharmacy.co.uk like us on Facebook

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