Simple Stress Reduction
These times call for stress reduction! For me, some techniques are obvious: relive fun travel memories by sorting through photos to decide what to paint; immerse myself in “the zone” when I paint; enjoy knowing my paintings make collectors feel good. You can also get in the zone by working out, or reading a good book. And eating can be used to relieve stress. (This time I don’t mean chocolate, but it’s certainly worth a try!)
Chronic stress releases inflammatory substances that interfere with neurotransmission. Omega 3 fats can help because they are anti-inflammatory. Vitamin B buffers our nervous systems and research finds people feel better when taking it. People with high levels of vitamin C show less stress, and bounce back faster. Both B and C are needed for neurotransmission, so lack of them can interfere with clear thinking.
End of biology lesson; back to eating. LOL The best sources for omega 3 are walnuts, shrimp and fatty fish like salmon. Vitamin B is found in leafy greens, dairy, meat, poultry and beans. Besides citrus fruit, you can get lots of vitamin C from deeply colored produce like broccoli, tomatoes, kale and peppers. In a two-fer, we’re supporting our local small businesses to get good food. Using online or phone orders with timed pick up (plus alcohol wipes and disposable gloves!) we’ve shopped our local co-op grocery, freshly-made pasta restaurant and fish store. Ditto a local brew pub (ok, not vitamin-laden, but someone dear to me de-stresses with craft IPAs) and the conveniently adjacent cheese maker. Grilled on our home-baked bread with arugula, it becomes healthy. Or comfort food, at least.
Even if you can’t immediately improve your diet, perhaps you can get inspired by looking at a painting of some things you should eat. So here’s a selection from my infamous “produce aisle,” which tend to go like (you should pardon the expression) hotcakes. Hope it helps you de-stress!