Spotlight on Stress, Self Care and your Digestive Tract

November marks the beginning of the holiday season, for many this can be a stressful time of year. As Thanksgiving approaches, I have been thinking about self care and its importance in my life. As a busy mom, the last person on my list is usually myself. Losing track of taking care of ourselves is usually when stress and poor habits can takeover our lives. With holiday food this can be a bad combination.

Often, stressful times can increase symptoms of pain, constipation, diarrhea or urinary frequency. Our bodies respond to our feelings and emotions.  The brain and the gut are connected and constantly in communication. Stress can affect every part of the digestive system.

The gut is controlled by the central nervous system in the brain and spinal cord. In addition, the gut has its own network of neurons known as the enteric or intrinsic system. The enteric system, along with its 100 million nerves cells that line your gastrointestinal tract from your esophagus to your rectum regulates the digestive process. Stress can significantly impact the way your body carries out this process.

This is where self care comes into play. It is important for all individuals to make time to do something that will bring you enjoyment. Taking time for yourself allows you to care for your emotional, mental and physical well - being. Self care can be as simple as sitting outside and watching the leaves fall. The point is to do something that you love and that brings you joy.

During the month of November, I challenge you to make an action plan: What self care do you need? Make a list, set a time frame of when you want it done and then get it done! Take time for nice slow deep breaths, eat healthy food that nourish your body and find the time to do something that makes you smile. Your brain and gut will thank you.

If you are experiencing increased symptoms of pain, constipation or urinary frequency, here at ABLe we are always happy to help.  We can provide you with tools and exercises to decrease or eliminate these symptoms. Feel free to give us a call!