Feeling overwhelmed? Irritable? Perhaps your skin is breaking out and you’re missing your favourite retreat and wellness centre? It sounds like you’re stressed out. We don’t blame you – these are tough times.
Stress is a natural bodily response that occurs when the hormone cortisol gets secreted by the adrenal glands. While cortisol production is normal, too much of it can affect your entire body, including your digestive system, mood, sex drive, and even your immune response.
Here are a few tips to reduce that cortisol at home, just as it would if you were here at The Sentinel, watching the sun silently set behind the mountains.
1. Get moving
From a Chinese medicine perspective, stress is often the result of qi (the TCM term for vital energy) stagnation. In other words, energy is getting stuck in various parts of the body. Getting that qi flowing through any number of movement practices is a great way to counter stress.
From a scientific perspective, we know that regular heart-thumping exercise releases endorphins. Not only do endorphins reduce cortisol, they improve mood and help you to relax as well.
2. take sleep seriously
Sleep is actually our most powerful natural stress reducer. Crucial physiological changes occur while we are in deep sleep that affect our memories, mood, and judgment significantly. Moreover, a lack of sleep contributes to elevated cortisol levels.
So, make sure you develop good sleep hygiene. We recommend between 7-9 hours of solid rest each night. Better yet, avoid caffeinated drinks several hours before sleep, set a regular sleep schedule, and make sure your bedroom is as cozy as can be.
While this may be easier said than done, teaching your mind and body to relax is the ultimate way to start actively combating stress in your life. This is what we love to share most at the Sentinel.
Every year we have renowned facilitators give workshops on everything from Wim Hoff cold immersion therapy to Women’s Expressive Dance Journeys. It’s important that you find a tool that works for you to take the edge off. Take a look at our upcoming programs, find some inspiration, and get connected to yourself!
The easiest way to tap into that meditative state right where you are in this moment is to simply pause and breathe. Get comfortable, remove all distractions, and mindfully follow the inhale and the exhale.
We promise you’ll be less stressed out in no time!