My name’s Mariana Sala, a busy mum of 2, owner of Quantum Vis cafe & creator of Miss Keto meals. This is my little corner where I’d like to share what works for me on a clean keto life, recipes, wellness, nutrition & stress-management.
The headline above makes my belly feel tight . I read working mums and the word stress inevitably pops up in my mind.
I am one of those exhausted middle-aged mums who has lots and lots on and is always on the lookout for new trendy stress-relief techniques.. Turning to alcohol, food, bingeing on Instagram feeds or watching Netflix for hours once the kids have gone to bed are just some of the most common and accessible ways we believe help us unwind from a stressful and busy day. Let me tell you a secret…I have done them all, and sometimes all at once! The bad news for me was that, after a while, my stress levels ended up being higher & my sleep quality significantly worsened .
We all know that alcohol causes higher amounts of cortisol to be released and that poor sleep quality is significantly related to higher sugar intake. We are aware that prolonged screen time causes repeated stress on the central nervous system. It’s no news to mums that there is a vast range of options out there to help us deal with stress and exhaustion in more healthy, enjoyable and even cheaper ways. The key is to find what works for you and your household.
With time I got to understand that stress will always be there, we cannot get rid of it -at least permanently. I have tried numerous supplements, routines, rituals, and the like. The 5 stress relief tips below hit the nail on the head for me and my family. I hope you can find them of value! I would love to hear yours. Please feel free to share them.
Let’s dive in…
1) Morning routines help you organise your busy day ahead and avoid unnecessary stress
I couldn’t believe how much an extra hour could do to ease stress in the mornings! Getting up an hour earlier to wake up slowly, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, and plan my day ahead has proven to be a gift from heaven. I used to get up with the kids at 7 am and from that moment on the stressful rollercoaster started: rushed breakfast, half done lunch boxes, quick showers, no tidying up, no making beds, just getting out the door with my brush and make-up in my bag to do it outside work or when I was stuck in traffic.
After lots of practice and perseverance, I can call myself an “early bird” now. I even go to my pilates class at 5.15 am which means free evenings at home to relax with the family. I am back home around 6.15 am and have plenty of time to prepare the kids’ breakfast and lunch, make myself a cup of coffee and drink it while it’s hot! I check my emails while the kids are eating and even help them a bit with their chores without yelling or getting stressed. We all leave the house at 8.15 am with ease and sometimes even a smile on our faces.
So think about what you would do with an extra hour a day? Whatever your morning routine might look like, it will allow your body to adjust and know what to expect. Predictable and repetitive routines are calming and help reduce anxiety.
2) Night rituals are stress relievers for all mums under pressure
Night rituals are by far my favourite part of the day. This is when I get to really unwind and allow some alone time to reflect on the day just gone.
I usually make myself a cup of chamomile tea, light an incense and light a candle. My bedtime is always the same – between 9 and 9.30 pm. Sometimes, I read my book and sometimes I listen to an app called “Calm”. This app offers multiple body scans for sleep, meditations to drift off with gratitude and other options to have a restful sleep.
When it comes to Netflix, I try to leave that out of the bedroom and limit myself to one episode of whatever we are watching with my husband after dinner.
An evening routine is invaluable for a balanced life. Just implementing whatever works for you, just a simple set of practices will help you fall asleep easily, enter into deep sleep phases with ease, and wake up more refreshed.
3) Meditation “snacks” work wonders to slow it down and recharge
I am not one of those calm people who can sit down and meditate for long periods of time. However, through my life coaching, I’ve recently learnt that meditation doesn’t have to be that way.
Meditation “snacks” are short “time-out” breaks you can take anytime during the day. Even 3 minutes of doing absolutely nothing: no phone, no coffee, no writing, just being.
You can also try short meditations from Calm or find some on Spotify and YouTube. They say good things come in small packages, and that includes meditation. A short break -anywhere between 1 to 5 minutes is the perfect way to pause and reset.
Research has shown that these meditation “snacks” are enough to improve your mood, especially for mums when we feel overwhelmed by kids shouting, fighting, asking you for so many things at the same time. They also clear your mind, boost your brain function and even slow down the ageing process!
Give them a go for a week or two and you will start to notice a big difference in your life.
4) Tuning into your body
When was the last time you physically checked on yourself or tuned into your body?
If you are a mum like me, you probably spend 80% of your energy reacting to the environment around you. This can be extremely tiring and overwhelming. The bad news is that this is a reality for most of us. The good news is that this stage in life doesn’t last forever.
However, while we are transitioning this stage there are ways to help relieve stress and reconnect with our physical bodies:
Listening to what’s physically happening inside us can unveil so many amazing things and strategies our body uses to either compensate, deal with or simply accommodate to stress. The meditation snacks discussed above are of great help here, just a couple of minutes to slow down, breath and try to listen.
- Body Scans
The purpose of a body scan is to reconnect to your physical self and notice any sensations you’re experiencing without judgement. You won’t probably find relaxation but awareness of your sensory experiences. Think about your shoulders right now: are they tight and tense? How about your stomach? Your jaw? Are you frowning right now?
- Move your body
Yoga, stretching, dancing, walking barefoot in nature, having sex, cold therapy, moving your hips in circular motion are all great tools to let go of whatever has been “stuck” in your hardware, either feelings or emotions.
5) Nutrition and hydration are always great tools to rely on when we’re going through challenging times
How many times have you forgotten to eat or drink water? How many times have you stuffed your mouth with whatever was on your plate? What did you have for lunch yesterday? Sometimes we don’t even remember.
I frequently stop and ask myself “Am I really hungry or thirsty, or stressed? Am I in control of what I’m choosing to feed my body with today?
There is no doubt that good nutrition and hydration are essential and fundamental tools to deal with challenging stressful times. Food is medicine and we need to feed our bodies with nutritious healthy foods so that they can perform better. Food is fuel.
Severe and prolonged stress exposure can affect many bodily systems and even the way our organs function. Stress affects your gut and the digestive system.
Food holds extremely potent healing powers to relieve stress. This is when my keto diet becomes a superhero! Keto is usually associated first with weight loss. However, from its very beginning, keto has been strongly linked to mental health: mental clarity, improved cognitive function, boosted mood & more energy. Without getting too technical, GABA is a neurotransmitter that is specially known for its calming effect on the nervous system. Studies have shown that a ketogenic diet can increase GABA levels.
Keto can help alleviate stress by the increase of healthy fats and decrease in sugar. Sugar will give you a quick feel-good serotonin boost but the crash will worsen your stress levels.
I have created a range of keto pre-made meals and sweets to help busy mums to take care of themselves when time is limited and stress is high.. Miss Keto meals are gluten and sugar free, family friendly, ready in minutes, no preservatives or nasties. When this brand came to my mind, I was having a very stressful night. I didn’t have the energy to cook myself a nutritious keto meal & the supermarket had no pre-made options available for me. I didn’t want to increase my stress by eating the wrong foods and drinking that bottle of wine. If you haven’t checked them out yet, all the meals are available online and you can have them delivered to your door ready in your freezer when you most need them.
I hope this blog has added some value to your life. It’s always a pleasure to connect with you through this amazing tool.
We offer a range of frozen yummy keto meals cooked by professional chefs with love & dedication.
Our goal is to get Miss Keto to your home & save you the cooking, the cleaning…the fuss!
Health is definitely wealth so we could not be happier to have you on board this fun, delicious & healthy journey!