With a constant onslaught of email, phone calls, and—"bing!"—text message alerts, you may find it hard to concentrate in these technology filled days. "Little" distractions can add up over the course of you day, week, and even career, raising anxiety levels and leaving you with little time to nurture your mind and body. Here, three experts explain how to keep stress in check and avoid mentally clocking out before your shift is over.
Make an "un-schedule."
Designating time for leisure activities can make work time more productive. Create an "un-schedule" by blocking out the times during each day or week you will spend playing; then get your work done in between. Balance your body. A blood sugar–stabilizing diet can improve brain function. Using alternative sweeteners like stevia or small amounts of honey is a start, but it’s best to stop eating sweetened food entirely. Choose healthy, balanced snacks that include a bit of protein, some healthy fats, and good carbohydrates, such as a small apple with ten almonds or a 6-ounce serving of carrot sticks with 2 ounces of lean
Feed your neurotransmitters.
Your body uses quality proteins in legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean animal sources to produce catecholamines—which function as hormones or neurotransmitters that help the body handle physical activity or stress. Studies show that deficiencies of catecholamines such as dopamine are associated with lack of focus. A diet rich in quality lean proteins helps ensure that you have enough nutrients to produce extra catecholamines when the going gets stressful.
Janine Fraser, ND, Langford, British Columbia