Friday, August 12, 2011

Reduce Stress with Whole Life Wellness

Rush season is stressful for all retail professionals, as it guarantees long and busy work days. Too much stress taxes our immune system and can literally make us sick, tired and less productive. As we are faced with double shifts, crowds of guests and team members to manage this rush season, lets not forget to take care of ourselves by keeping our bodies healthy and reducing stress levels as much as possible.

Here are a few tips to ensure we all stay healthy and happy this rush:

1. Drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle nearby at all times, and take a moment to drink water regularly throughout the day and especially if you are feeling thirsty or stressed.

2. Bring lunch and snacks from home. In busy and stressful times, it is all too easy to hit the vending machine or a drive thru, but junk food is high in processed carbs, unhealthy fats and sugar which cause your metabolism to peak and then crash, making you feel sluggish. Instead, bring filling and wholesome snacks and meals from home. Here are a few examples of foods that will give you lasting energy and keep your body strong and focused:

Almonds or other nuts
Dried fruit
Granola bars
Whole grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter
Pita and hummus
Sandwiches on whole grain bread
Fresh fruit
Dark chocolate
Chicken, Turkey or Beef
Baked potato
Cottage Cheese
Leftovers from last night's dinner

3. Keep hand sanitizer at all cash registers and in staff areas. Crowded stores and handling filthy cash all day means you are going to get up close and personal with a lot of germs. Wash your hands often and especially before you eat.

4. Take breaks. Be sure to schedule break times each day so everyone on the team is guaranteed time to themselves. Take a walk, get some fresh air, listen to music or read a book on your break, and don't forget to refuel yourself with plenty of food and water.

5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee and avoid soda and energy drinks which are loaded with sugar. Resist the temptation to indulge in alcoholic beverages after work to unwind, although one glass of red wine may be acceptable...and necessary.

6. Get enough sleep. Stressful times are when our bodies need the most rest, and are often when we get the least. Try your best to get at least seven hours of sleep each night to recharge your overworked body and mind.

7. Take your vitamins. Take a high quality whole food multivitamin and mineral supplement everyday, such as Nature's Plus Source of Life with Whole Food Concentrates.  Another great way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, especially raw foods. Take a flax or fish oil supplement to increase energy and stamina as well.

8. Laugh out loud. Laughing is one of the best stress relievers, and it is said to be good for the soul. Have a laugh with your team to give you all a boost of positive energy.

9. Listen to your body. Our bodies give us subtle clues about what they need throughout the day that go beyond simply hunger or thirst. If you feel fatigued, anxious, irritable or stressed, take a break as soon as possible and recharge yourself with plenty of food, water and some "me time."

10. Breathe. Although we don't normally give our breath much thought, breathing deeply reduces stress and increases the flow of vital nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies. Inhale deeply through your nose, then slowly exhale through either your nose or mouth several times and feel the tension fading away.

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