Monday, 26 September 2016

How I'm Not Sick, Tired or Struggling... Too Much!

Hi there friendly friends and welcome back to the time of the day when I have been studying for a number of hours that I have no intention of counting, or accepting for that matter and my brain is in that stage where one might describe the contents feeling a little like... jelly?

It's literally leg-day. For my brain. Brain-day.

Anywho, today I thought I'd ponder a bit on this whole most-stressful-time-in-my-entire-schooling-experience specifically on the fact (and touch wood here, because I DO NOT want to jinx myself!!) that whilst the vast majority of my fellow year 12 peers have experienced some form of flu/ infection/ bacterial, viral, scary, painful fun in the past few months leading up to and including exams, I have somehow managed to dodge all this??

At the beginning of the flu season when literally, and I mean l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y, every person I would talk to had some form or other of the sniffles (or, you know, bronchitis), I just sort of accepted that the inevitable would amount and I would have a few days to a week feeling not so sparkly, I'd shake it off as best I could and be sweet again.

The time past and I seemed to be the only one not stuffing mountains of tissues into my blazer pockets as I arrived at each class.

Alright-y, I thought, so it's going to hit me later, like usual, when everyone's recovering it's gonna get me good and in true Steph-style I shall suffer my late-blooming illness that's almost become yesterday's news.

Still nothing.

Half my exams down and I watch as people saunter in, slightly more pale, a little thinner perhaps, looking not so sparkly themselves and yet I stood as I always did during school; fit, fed and happy, yes- my brain filled with an inconsiderable amount of facts and figures, leaving me slightly dazed and staring off into the distance but I was still feeling pretty... good?

Fully aware that this jar of nutrients is the main cause for all this health! :P :D

Yes, I still have my second half of my mock/ trial exams to go (next week- this is like a little study break week) and then of course the final FINALS! So we shall see how we fair but in the mean time I want to delve deeper into what I believe has kept me fighting fit and healthy during this extreme stress-inducing, immune-lowering time:

1. I sleep.
Yes, clap clap to me. I know, what a hero. They should probably just give me an award now.
No, but seriously, I am a baby and like a baby sleep is a priority to me.
I don't stay up late to study (you know how much of a morning person I am- past 6:00pm and I'm out. Done for the day. The brain has gone night-night! Seriously just ask my mum about some of the looney things I say after a long day of study) and I also don't stay up late watching movies/ tv/ on my phone etc. Partly because I'm up at like 5am every morning (thanks natural body clock) but also because I know how good I feel when I am truly and fully rested.
It also helps me kick butt during my workouts! ;)

2. What else helps me kick butt during my workouts? What I'm eating. And with that I am certain that the way and types of foods I've been eating during this time has been the main benefiting factor to keeping me happy, healthy and ready to tackle anything.
 Say hello to the gloriousness that is this smoothie bowl- banana mango smoothie base (more like ice cream) topped with uncooked, crunchy peanut butter granola- best. breakfast. ever.
 ^What it looks like when I'm actually about to eat it! ^

 People often see stressful times as a time for extra treats. To forego a nice home-cooked, well-rounded, nutritious meal for a quick drive-thru take out that you devour in 30 seconds without even tasting/ savouring the flavours and leaving you with nothing more than a greasy mouth and spiking blood sugar levels.
Lunch from the other day featuring raw carrots, cherry tomatoes, capsicum, mashed avoid, wholegrain brown rice and quinoa crackers and steamed peas and corn- YUM!

I fully believe in treating yourself and looking after your mental and emotional wellbeing just as much as your physical, but truthfully friends, this has been a time when I've stepped up on my diet game, not dropped back and added in extra green smoothies, extra veggies, extra antioxidants, fruits, wholegrain- the whole shebang!
Just a whole bag of raw, shredded mixed beetroot, carrot, and broccoli stems popped into a bowl with some spinach, capsicum and peas and corn :)

If I felt a little lethargic/ fatigued I'd plate up a bowl of oranges. Soups, stews, salads, roast veggies, veggie sandwiches, beans, oatmeal, raw fruit and veg- they all make daily appearances in my meals and I've honestly never felt better!
 One of my all-time favourite meals- simply roast veggies (pumpkin, parsnip, swede, beetroot, sweet potato and regular potato) drizzled in extra virgin olive oil with some spinach hiding underneath and lentils mixed throughout

Take this time as an opportunity to challenge yourself to see how many amazing, vibrant, colourful foods you can fit onto your plate, how many vitamins, minerals, body-loving nutrients you can stuff into your blender,
I mean, I think I win- but you can try!! :P ;)
how many delicious, home-made meals you can truly sit down to and enjoy every flavour and richness that is lost from reaching into a spotted with grease brown paper bag.
Pumpkin is SO GOOD!
3. Finally, I've also taken a step back. I know these exams are a big deal and the most important ya-da-ya-da-ya-da, but honestly it is not the end of the world and I'm not going to go into a stress-induced panic attack over them because in the bigger picture they are an awesome opportunity for me to reveal how much I've learned and really shine from all of my hard work!

So yes, my friends, I honestly believe that through my consistent exercise, proper eating and bigger-picture thinking, I've definitely come out of this time in the best way possible, keeping my body as happy as possible and listening to it whenever it requires my attention.

Move your body my friends. Find the exercise you love (have you tried Blogilates? Some of her videos for cardio are dancing!!), do it often and consistently, feel the benefits!

Eat the foods your body truly craves for wellbeing. The colourful veggies, the rich sources of proteins, healthy nourishing fats, delicious, flavourful wholegrain carbohydrates, nature's candy- fruits! Eat good foods in abundance- fuel your body, brain and happiness! Trust me, your brain is your biggest energy consumer!! Especially during times of intense brain-day!

Take a step back and truly appreciate everything around you for what it is. Life is good. Live it.

I hope this has shed some light on what to do in times of stress/ hard times of the body and truthfully it can be applied to any situation really! I'm no expert but this is my highly certain hypothesis as to why I'm surviving in a strong and healthy manner and I hope it can help anyone out who might be struggling at the moment!

Your turn:
What are your best tips for handling exam stress/ any stress?
Do you make diet changes during different periods of your life?
Fav meal you've eaten recently?

That's it from me today folks, I hope you have a truly wonderful day, do something you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

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