Wellness Wednesdays with Dr. Maloof: Managing Stress in 2021

Dr. Alison Maloof, ND

Dr. Maloof’s top 5 tips on managing your stress levels in 2021.

Stress has had a major impact on everyone this past year. Dr. Maloof says “Life already offers many challenges and the pandemic has not only magnified those regular life difficulties, but it has brought about so many new challenges.”

There are many options for stress management. No two people are the same, so what works for one person may not work for another. Exploring different ones can help you find what works best for you.

Dr. Maloof’s TOP 5 TIPS for Stress Management

1) Nutrient Rich Foods: Cut out that sugar! “Often times people crave sugar when they are under stress but it causes more harm than good.” Says Dr. Maloof. When sugar is consumed it causes a dependent cycle: sugar craving -> eat sugar -> sugar crash -> crave sugar again. The cycle repeats. Eating nutrient rich whole foods that are high in magnesium can help reduce sugar cravings and support your body in having a health response to stress. Some foods include: dark leafy greens, 85% Dark chocolate, nuts & seeds, or halibut.

2) Exercise: “Movement is life” –Dr. Maloof. Moving your body supports many biochemical and metabolic pathways. Most of you have heard of the “runner’s high” which is a release of endorphins (feel-good chemicals) in the brain. You don’t need to run to get the benefits of endorphins, any exercise can cause the release of some. These endorphins help lower inflammation, increase metabolism, and help your body manage stress. Dr. Maloof says “exercise can be as simple as walking outside for 10 minutes, an at-home exercise video, or going to the gym.”

3) “Vitamin R”: “Vitamin R—rest, restore, relax is an integral part of stress management” says Dr. Maloof “and without it, our bodies do not fully heal from stressors in our lives.” Creating a habit of bringing “Vitamin R” into our daily or weekly life can be vital for lower stress levels. For each person what is restorative can differ: for some its working on a home project, fishing, or skiing, for others it can be quilting, hiking, or taking a warm bath. The question is what makes you feel restored, relaxed, and rested? Dr. Maloof recommends “Vitamin R” to become a routine for sustained stress management.

4) Meditation or Intentional Breathing: Meditation or intentional breathing stimulates the “rest and digest” part of our nervous system and lowers “flight or fight” mode. This allows the body to reduce the impact of long-term stress. Meditation for 5 minutes daily can impact your stress levels for the entire day. Dr. Maloof recommends meditating in the morning to start your day in a calm state of mind, but if mornings don’t work for you any time of day is good.

5) Adaptogen Herbs: “Adaptogen” herbs help the body adapt to stress. Herbal or botanical supplementation can be a natural support to healing from stress and to support the body with current stress. Dr. Maloof says “stress can affect my patients in many different ways and there are wide variety of herbs that can help depending on the effects stress is having on the body.” Dr. Maloof often recommends adaptogens for her patients including some of the following herbs: rhodiola, ginseng, holy basil, and ashwagandha.

**Note: Please consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice regarding any medical condition and before taking any medication, over-the-counter drug, supplement or herbs. This article is not a substitute for medical advice and is intended for educational purposes only.


About Dr. Alison R Maloof, ND
Dr. Maloof is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing at Atlas Naturopathic Health Center, a family healthcare practice in Rockport.  Dr. Maloof believes in treating her patients with a holistic approach, mapping a unique treatment plan based on your needs. She utilizes both modern and traditional therapies. Some of her featured services include: personalized nutrition, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and professional-grade supplements. Dr. Maloof treats many conditions including: immune support, tick-borne diseases, autoimmune disorders, GI disorders, anxiety/depression, chronic conditions, men & women’s health, and more.

Dr. Maloof is accepting new patients at Atlas Naturopathic Health Center. She offers complimentary 15 minute phone consults to see if naturopathic medicine is the right fit for your needs.

For more information please visit https://www.atlasnaturopathic.com or call 207-466-9079.

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