Still in line to vote after an hour and a half wait, I can personally attest to the need for some serious stress relief today! Check out this post I contributed to from The Daily Zeel for some ideas!
After months of mudslinging politicians urging us to vote this way or that, Election Day is finally here. Off to the polls? Don’t forget to bring along these four surefire tips for relieving voter-related stress.
Yoga: Salute the Sun
If you need to relax after casting your ballot, try working off some of that nervous energy or tension with a simple yoga flow. Zeel Expert and SMARTer Bodies co-founder Melissa Gutierrez suggests something slightly rigorous, like a couple of sun salutations or, if you’re looking for a single pose, warrior 3. After holding the pose (which can create some muscle tension), Melissa recommends topping off the sequence with a few cat-cow poses to find fluidity in your movement and energy in the spine. “This little routine helps to get me to a more relaxed place,” says Melissa. “It forces me to focus and slow my breathing.”
Acupuncture: Point by Point
Endorsed by the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization, acupuncture may be just what you need to battle voting booth-induced anxiety. “There are specific points that help facilitate both an endorphin and serotonin (natural anti-depressants) release in the body,” explains licensed acupuncturist and Zeel Expert Bruce Mandelbaum. “The patient also is evaluated, and points are added to promote balance in the body as well. The treatments are pain-free and very relaxing. Change can often be felt within a half hour.”
Massage: What You Knead
Similar to acupuncture (only without the needles, of course!), massage therapy has the ability to balance hormone levels when your stress goes through the roof. “Massage has been known to reduce cortisol in the body and increase serotonin and dopamine levels,” confirms Zeel Expert Cory Moran, a nationally certified massage therapist. “Massage not only helps the body let go of physical issues but emotional and mental issues as well!”
Nutrition: In the Kitchen
“There are lots of foods that have a wonderful stress and anxiety-busting effect on the body and mind,” says Zeel Expert Natasha Uspensky. “In general, opting for grounding foods like whole grains, beans and root vegetables is great for staying calm, focused and firmly rooted. Foods rich in healthy fats like avocados, almonds or pistachios and omega-3′s like salmon and walnuts are also amazing for reversing the effects of stress. The combination of fat and vitamins B and E in these foods can have an almost immediate effect on a stressed out mind. They are also super stabilizing for blood sugar levels, which can be a major contributor to freak-outs when it gets low.”
In addition, Natasha touts the benefits of foods that are high in magnesium, like spinach and other leafy greens. Magnesium’s relaxing effect on the body and mind can “do wonders,” she explains.
Natasha adds: “A perfect stress-busting meal plan for a crazy day could be a bowl of grounding, fiber-rich oatmeal with some sliced bananas and a handful of nuts for breakfast; quinoa with roasted root veggies and salmon for lunch; and a creamy, calming tomato-avocado soup with rye toast for dinner.” On another note, she also cautions against raw veggies (“which although super energizing and creativity-boosting, can be too light and spacey for a stressful day”), coffee (“which can increase anxiety and trigger higher stress levels”) and sugar (“which can also increase anxiety, and lead to a blood-sugar crash later in the day”).