*#ad #NatureMadePartner This post is sponsored by Nature Made, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.*
Between my work as a busy Chicago orthodontist and trying to spend time with my husband while parenting our gorgeous son, Nikola, life these days is full of stress. Until recently, even when I was able to get into bed at a reasonable hour—and that didn’t happen so often, because there are never enough hours in the day—I often had a hard time falling or staying asleep.
I was starting to notice the effects the next day, when I was working on smiles or trying to build a Lego tower with my little guy. That’s when I knew I had to make some changes. Because if I didn’t start managing my stress, I knew it would manage me!
Let’s face it, no matter what we do, stress will happen. But I’ve learned that when things feel like they’re too much for me to handle, it all feels easier if I just stop and breathe. I especially love to use the box breath technique when I need to destress in a hurry.
Want to give it a try? It’s simple. Start by slowly breathing in for a count of 5 (or whatever number feels right.) Next, hold your breath for 5. Then, slowly exhale for 5. Finally, hold on empty for 5. And start again, continuing until you feel calmer.
In the moment, managing my breath helps me slow down and stay calm. This often helps keep stress from impacting my days—or my nights. But if I have a little more time to de-stress, I also find that taking a quick walk is a great way of coping with stress. Particularly if I can get outside for a stroll.
After all, a walk in nature offers two forms of stress management. First, as a form of exercise, walking can help your body fight off cortisol, the stress hormone. Also, being in nature lowers your heart rate and keeps your body from producing stress hormones. Meaning you’ll get a double dose of help by just stepping outside.
I’ve also learned that, sometimes, I need extra help to destress and get my much-needed sleep. So that’s why I’m sharing the top 4 products I store in my purse and by my bed, to manage stress and support restful sleep. And they’re all from one of my most-trusted brands, Nature Made, so I never have to worry about what’s going into my body.
These products have become my new go-to resources when a hectic schedule keeps my mind racing.
I love to start my day by mixing a scoop of Nature Made’s Calm Mind & Body™ drink mix into a tall glass of water. Then I’ll take a second scoop in the early evening, after work, to help me unwind from the day. This delicious drink mix offers stress relief for the mind and body by combining clinically proven Ashwagandha to reduce stress and Magnesium to help relax your muscles and body.†
If I need extra daytime support, I turn to Nature Made’s Stress Relief Gummies, a delicious and fast-acting blend of L-theanine that helps me manage stress in the moment and includes Chamomile.† Chewing two of these tasty gummies helps me feel more relaxed within 30 minutes, so I can take control of my to-do list and not feel overwhelmed.†
Now, the real game-changers come at night. When it’s almost bedtime, but I can’t stop thinking about tomorrow’s challenges, I grab a glass of water and a Sleep Longer™ tablet. After about an hour, I’ll climb into bed, and the combination of GABA & L-theanine help to calm my mind, while Melatonin helps me fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.†
But, on those rare occasions when I still wake up in the middle of the night and feel wide awake, Back to Sleep™ fast-dissolve tablets have been my lifesaver. Combining a slightly different blend of Melatonin, L-Theanine, and GABA, just one tablet gets me relaxed enough that I can quickly nod back off, without any problems.†