My son’s teacher called today and she asked to speak to Isaac because she missed him. The generosity of spirit made me cry – I realised my body is undergoing stress due to this change, even if day to day I feel OK.
That underlying stress has a huge impact on our body and the way it functions.
If you struggling with the 3pm dip – either tiredness or looking for something sweet, processed or carby to eat in the afternoon then stress is the reason why.
It has ZERO to do with your willpower or inability to stick to healthy eating.
It is actually your body trying to keep you alive.
Your brain is assessing your environment every second to work out if you are safe and depending on what it interprets, it chooses how to respond.
This is an age old system in place to keep you alive 1000s of years ago.
The system is designed to create stress to help us run on the rare occasion our life was under threat…for example, because we were about to be eaten by a tiger.
That has now translated into modern life. The tiger has transformed into emails, work, social media, children, money, mortgages, family, news, friends… and now, of course – Coronavirus.
The stress of modern life and Coronavirus triggers the Sympathetic Nervous System (let’s call it the red zone). It is your natural stress response as your brain tries to figure out how to adapt.
And when you are in your red zone – you are designed to run.
Your body shuts down all unnecessary systems like immune and reproductive. It slows your digestion and metabolism, raises your blood pressure and pulls energy from your glucose stores (of which you only carry 2500 calories).
By 3pm those stores are starting to dwindle. Your body will get tired and ask for more fast release energy (sugar, carbs and processed food).
See – not your willpower, simply your body trying to keep you alive.
So…what can you do?
The answer lies with your Para-sympathetic Nervous System (let’s call it the green zone).
In the green zone your body is calm. All systems are working efficiently and you are pulling energy from your 130,000 calories of fat storage. You don’t need to find more energy because you have enough.
Creating routines and systems to help you stay in your green zone as much as possible is what helps you thrive and overcome the 3pm dip.
Calming things like reducing caffeine (which puts you in your red zone), deep belly breathing, yoga, meditation, nature, resting, being kind to yourself.
These are not things that are nice to do – they are ESSENTIAL for your wellbeing and health.
How are you doing with your self-care right now ? Are you doing all the things you need to do to help you stay in the green zone?
Please know there is support if you need it. My clients are thriving right now with structure, education, accountability and support with their health and wellbeing through lockdown.
Pop me an email if you have any questions or would like to hear about about my programmes
P.S. Here is a video of a recent FB Live I did explain how your nervous system impacts your eating: