Everything is connected.
One system in your body doesn't act independently.
When something is off, it deserves further investigation (and is why you should have various health professionals on your team to best support you!)
1 in 3 Americans have issues with their blood sugar, particularly with insulin resistance. This is a condition where the body has become desensitized to insulin, frequently occurring due to prolonged imbalances with blood sugar. (More on that in a bit).
Anxiety is also the most common mental health disorders in the US, according to UC Davis.
The stats on stress are even more alarming (these stats were reported last year, so I can only imagine how much more of an increase there has been).
Let me paint the picture...
You wake up at 2 or 3 am having to pee, with your mind racing.
You eventually do fall back asleep (hopefully), and are met with your blaring alarm waking you up.
You charge into the day full speed. Maybe it's kid drop off. Maybe it's an intense workout. Maybe you roll right out of bed and hit the ground running with work.
If you do eat, it's probably a quick protein bar or a bowl of cereal.
The one thing you never forget is your coffee. You and coffee are besties after all.
You scramble through your day- maybe head to the office, run errands, make phone calls... constant, go, go go.
Then, all of a sudden you feel an onset of anxiety, met with feeling HANGRY as it's now 1pm and you know you're hungry (although you never really got that appetite).
You grab whatever you can find.
You also are sure to grab that sweet treat because after you eat you know you need it.
Around 3pm you start to hit a wall.
You grab more coffee or find yourself gravitating towards the candy at the office or the sweet treats you have at home.
Then the day starts to wind down...
You're craving carbs, sweets, and are met with that sensation of being Hangry as you not so patiently, cook or wait for your food.
Your mind is racing, you feel stressed, so you grab that glass of wine or cocktail.
You finally do eat.
But, you still aren't satisfied...
Maybe just a little more. Or something salty. Nope, salty didn't do it, let's go back to sweet.
Then, before you know it it's right around your bed time.
You hurry to get ready for bed, it's hard to fall asleep even though your entire body is exhausted.
You eventually do fall asleep- just to wake up, yet again, at 2am.
Whats happening here is a classic case of a person being on a Blood Sugar Rollercoaster. Mixed in with loads of that fight or flight, frantic energy.
When your blood sugar dips too low your body gets the signal that it needs to elevate it. The way it does this is by increasing stress hormones.
So, there you are, with an increase surge of stress hormones and no realization as to why.
Your brain can get creative in these moments, and anxiety can manifest. (Not to say anxiety is as simple as this, but, if you do have anxiety it won't hurt to support your blood sugar/ nutrition).
Another tricky situation that comes into play is when stress is elevated, it can also cause blood sugar to get a little wonky. This is how chronic stress can lead to issues related to blood sugar, as well as a plethora of issues throughout the body.
So, we want to support our body in both situations to help reduce internal stressors and help alleviate these symptoms of anxiety.
How to support yourself:
First and foremost- grab the free guide on my website if you haven't already! (It can be found through the pop up!) It goes through how to support your body through stress to avoid burnout & is filled with the foundational tips I give my clients.
The 2 biggest areas to pay special attention to:
Nutrition & Lifestyle.
For Nutrition- you probably already know I'm going to say it but, you have to support that blood sugar.
This looks like getting balance at each meal- meaning we're pairing carbohydrates with a healthy fat and a protein.
Typically I recommend my female clients shoot for ~20-30g of protein first thing in the AM to help kickstart this blood sugar support off on the right foot! I also encourage them to avoid drinking caffeine on an empty stomach, as well as, reducing their overall intake of caffeine and sugar.
Eating in this way should keep you pretty satiated between meals, however, if you get hungry/ need some extra food because of your specific goals, snacks may be necessary! When you go for a snack think of it like this mini meal. ALWAYS pairing those carbs (yup, even fruit), with a protein and a fat.
Note: you can be eating super healthy foods but still have issues with blood sugar. This can happen due to lack of balance at meals, or because of your body's specific reactions to certain foods. If you aren't sure if you're experiencing issues with your blood sugar/ if you are looking for specific recommendations be sure to register for a comprehensive assessment so I can help you out!
For lifestyle- just like with nutrition, we all have unique needs and circumstances that impact our life, especially our stress levels.
My first tip for you is to make an inventory of all your stressors to bring conscious awareness to the aspects in your life that are influencing your stress.
From there you can objectively look at your stressors and consciously make shifts and changes in them. This may mean, postponing something that is giving you stress for a later date when life is less busy, asking for help, outsourcing tasks, or simply saying no to things.
Not all stressors are inherently bad, and sometimes do require a perspective shift. For example: maybe as you study for final exams you feel the stress of it on your shoulders. However, this is a short term stress, with an end date, that will eventually end up in completion... meaning, you'll finish that class, it's temporary.
These time of short term stressors that yield to some larger accomplishment can also be tremendously supportive for our overall growth and confidence. You wouldn't be proud of the things you've achieved in life if they were easy/ if everyone could do it. Having that perspective shift can be powerful to help you through the process of achieving your next goal.
Rest and recovery are another vital component to the lifestyle piece, and something that is often neglected in this extremely GO GO GO world we live in. Making sure you're focused on supporting your body with adequate recovery (nutrition, sleep, exercise, rest) helps ensure that your body doesn't stay stuck in the catabolic state of stress.
Everything in your body is connected.
Understanding these connections, as well as your body's unique needs & language- allows you to unlock a whole new level of potential you didn't know you had.
To learn your body's language and get customized recommendations, let's work together!