Your heart just started pounding in your chest, you’re breathing heavy and your muscles are tensing up — you’re either about to outrun an angry mama grizzly bear or an email from your boss titled “URGENT” just hit your inbox.
It doesn’t really matter which scenario you’re in. Stress is stress and your body doesn’t know the difference. It’s wired for one response — fight or flight, which causes an automatic release of adrenaline and a pounding heart.
Research shows conclusively that chronic stress is bad for our health. However, when the world we live in is a constant barrage of non-life threatening stresses that seem impossible to avoid, what the heck do we do?
We build small things into our daily routines to help neutralize the stress. The good news is that there are infinite ways to do so. Hit the gym, meditate, stretch, breath, dance, socialize, snuggle with your pet, take a bath, get a massage, bake, shop, or do anything that brings you joy.
One of the easiest things I recommend is to sip a calming, anti-inflammatory drink before bed. At night, when your body is winding down from the inevitable stress of the day, drinking something anti-inflammatory allows you to wake up with a chilled out system that’s ready to take on a new day.
These are my top 5 easy-to-make stress bustin’ bevies:
- Golden milk
What it does: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and its active compound, curcumin, has been shown in early studies to relieve pain as effectively as ibuprofen.
2. Chamomile lavender tea
What it is: Chamomile tea with a drop of lavender essential oil. (Or, these chamomile lavender tea bags.)
What it does: Chamomile and lavender have been used for centuries to help relax and settle the nervous and digestive system. Stress stands no chance against this soothing duo.
3. Tart cherry juice
What it is: Pure, unsweetened tart cherry juice.
What it does: Tart cherries are high in anthoycanins, a powerful antioxidant that cleans up the damage in your body (free radicals) caused by stress. Tart cherry juice has also been shown to help improve sleep.
4. Magnesium lemonade
What it is: a magnesium powder that tastes like lemons. (CALM by Natural Vitality, and there are other flavors.)
What it does: Stress can deplete magnesium, and magnesium plays a role in the stress response, so supplementing can help you stay at a healthy level.
5. Spicy hot cacao
What it is: Warm milk-of-choice or water with raw cacao powder, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. Easy to make up your own, or use this recipe.
What it does: Cacao polyphenols are anti-oxidants that can help reduce the damage caused by stress, particularly on the cardiovascular system. Cacao is also a good source of magnesium, which can be depleted by stress.
Drink up, and stress less.