Wishing you wellness for 2024!

As we welcome a new year, the excitement of a fresh start also brings challenges of readjustment. Returning to school and work after the holiday period involves adapting to new routines and schedules, as well as managing a new workload. Read on to learn about the impacts of this transition on our physical and mental health, and how you can nourish yourself to thrive in the back-to-school and work season.

Common challenges people may face when attending school or working include stress, fatigue and fighting off sickness. To minimise the impact of these challenges, it is important to take steps to care for both your mind and body.

Supporting Your Overall Wellbeing

Incorporating naturopathic principles into your daily life is about making healthful choices – ones that make you feel good from the inside out! From eating nutrient-packed foods to lifestyle choices and using herbal medicines, these practices can support you to sail through the school and work year.

  • Nutrition: fuel your day with nutrient-rich foods, especially protein in the morning to sustain your energy, and healthy fats like avocado, fish, nuts, and seeds for cognitive support.
  • Herbal Medicine: explore the calming and focusing benefits of medicinal herbs to enhance concentration, reduce anxiety, adapt to stress, and support quality sleep.
  • Lifestyle Recommendations: prioritising activities such as regular exercise, time outside in nature, connecting with others and practicing mindfulness can support your mental and physical health.

Managing Stress and Mental Health

The return to school and work can be stressful at times and may lead to overwhelm. Below are some holistic strategies you may find useful for reducing stress:

  • Mind-Body Techniques: practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, journaling, and time outside have all been shown to alleviate stress. Engaging in one of these exercises can be as simple as taking 10 minutes from your day for a walk outside or to write out your thoughts.
  • Adaptogenic Herbs: adaptogens have been rising in popularity for their ability to support our bodies to cope with stress. You may have heard of herbs like Ashwagandha, Schisandra, or adaptogenic mushrooms like Reishi, Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane. Each of these medicinal herbs have unique qualities, just as we all have unique needs. This is why it’s helpful to discuss with a naturopath which adaptogens and other herbs would suit you best.

Boosting Immunity

A robust, healthy immune system can help you to fight off those nasty colds that go around communal places like the classroom or workplace. Getting enough nutrients, keeping your body hydrated and active are a few ways you can nurture your immune system:

  • Vitamins and Supplements: some of the key nutrients for immune function are vitamins A, C, E, D, zinc, and magnesium. We can get these through our diet from foods like green leafys, fruits, veges, legumes, nuts & seeds, as well as through supplements when there is deficiency or when you need an extra boost. Herbs such as Echinacea, Elderberry, Astragalus, and some of the adaptogens mentioned earlier are also supportive for immune defences.
  • Hydration and Circulation: drinking enough water and moving your body regularly are important for a healthy immune system.

Prioritising your wellbeing is essential for a fulfilling and fun year. Incorporating some of these ideas to support your body and mind will assist you to manage your stress and feel your best. I encourage you to check in with yourself often, and to ask yourself:

  • How am I feeling?
  • What is one thing I want to include in my routine this year?
  • What sounds like something I would enjoy doing to nurture my body and mind?

Wishing you wellness for 2024!

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