Many of us lead increasingly busy lives. With the pressures of juggling a demanding job, taking care of family and trying to have a social life. Very often we find ourselves feeling tired, stressed, and anxious and run down, which lowers our resistance to catching colds and the dreaded flu. The ‘busyness’ of life can be like a merry-go-round, you just can’t get off. Sound familiar?
So, what can you do, how can you balance out your hectic lifestyle? Well, the trick is to make little changes.
Unfortunately, if you have commitments to fulfill on a daily basis then there isn’t much you can do apart from getting organised! Evaluate your priorities and make a list. You will feel more in control throughout the day if you have order.
For a start though you need to look after yourself, so try and eat healthy and remember that ‘fresh is always best’. Processed foods can come packed with sugars, fats, salts and preservatives and may actually take less energy to digest than whole foods, meaning you retain more of the calories they contain. Preparing meals using fresh ingredients on a regular basis will have you feeling healthier, more energetic and happier in yourself. However, you’ve had a long day, you’re tired and you’re not in the mood to cook when you get home. Most of us can relate to this, so why not cook more than you need at the weekend and freeze it for future use. There are also plenty of quick and easy recipes that can take as little as 20 minutes to cook, so it can be doable and definitely worth it, especially if you plan your meals for the week.
One of the most important things to remember is to keep hydrated. Dehydration can affect your brain function, mood and energy levels so in fact can add to your feeling of overall sense of unwell. We’re always told to drink lots of water, but that’s easier said than done when we are busy and let’s face it, plain water doesn’t really inspire us to drink more! But did you know that by the time your brain registers that you’re thirsty; your body has already been dehydrated for at least an hour?
With this in mind, herbal teas are a great way of staying hydrated, especially in the colder months. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and best of all…. calorie free!
There are dozens of herbs to choose from but the following are a popular choice.
· Chamomile tea is probably the best known to help relax your nerves and soothes the nervous system, therefore helping you sleep better. It also has the ability to boost your immune system and good for digestion. Chamomile tea is packed with antioxidants which helps boost your skin health and helps with acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
· Lemon Balm tea has the ability to lift your spirits but can also have a calming effect and help you sleep. It has a lovely lemon flavour and is traditionally known to help digestion and to soothe other gastrointestinal ailments.
· Oregano tea is not necessarily known as a healthy beverage, but it is packed with antioxidants and has so many advantages for numerous parts of the body. You would benefit greatly in the cold winter months as it can relieve inflammation in the sinuses and also treat any bacterial or fungal infections. It is also ideal for boosting your immune system.
· Sage tea has quite a pleasant taste and aroma, and will calm frazzled nerves. If you have a sore throat, headache or indigestion and gastrointestinal upset, drinking a warm sage tea will certainly help relieve the symptoms.
· Thyme tea typically has an earthy rich flavour with a subtle mint undertone. Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, it can soothe coughs and indigestion, relieve menstrual cramps and aid sleep. Thyme also helps boost the immune system and prevent infections.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations of your favourite herbs and discover a unique taste. You may just hit on a secret ‘family recipe’!
If you suffer from allergies, certain medical conditions or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may need to take medical advice before using herbs.
Making Herbal Tea is so easy!
Step 1: Using fresh herb leaves, bruise or cut them to release additional active ingredients.
Step 2: Add the fresh leaves to a teapot or teacup and pour over hot water
Step 3: Allow the beverage to steep for 5-10 minutes.
Step 4: Add honey or other natural sweeteners if you want to sweeten it.
Relax and Enjoy!