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Stress Management The secret to keeping it all together Written by Dr. Michelle Durkin, ND

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” – Eckhart Tolle. If someone asked me how I was doing over the last three months, I could easily have said “stressed”. I have taken on a couple of major projects that probably should not have been attempted at the same time; I have had two significant staff changes; and I trained for the CN Tower Climb. Add to that family commitments, full-time work hours, and running my own business and it’s easy to see how my plate got too full too fast. So what’s my secret to keeping it all together? Here are three important keys to stress management that I not only practice, but also preach to my patients: 1. Eat my veggies – I imagine how I would feel mentally and physically if


I was not eating a proper diet. I can imagine this because I see it in my patients every day. Ensuring half of my plate contains veggies is always my focus and then I build the rest of my meal around that. If I can’t get veggies in at breakfast, I aim to at least have some protein and good fat – like a smoothie with protein powder and avocado, and stay away from high-carb, grain-based things like cereal, toast, pancakes or bagels. 2. Yin yoga – I have switched from doing hot yoga to this slower, gentler version to reduce my cortisol levels by 50 percent each time I practice. Right now, I do twice a week: once a week at a yoga studio, and once a week at home using a YouTube video I found online. 3. Chunking – This involves breaking the projects I have to complete into smaller, more doable steps. I always feel myself getting overwhelmed when I look at all the things I need to

get done all at once. Once I break it down into smaller steps, it becomes much more manageable and I’m more productive if I can focus on one step at a time. The other benefit of breaking it down into smaller chunks it that I can decide which of those steps I can delegate to someone else. In recent weeks, this meant hiring a student to come into the office three days a week to do data entry that otherwise would cost me hours of time. The quote I was reminded of before I made the decision to hire was this, “If you can spend money to solve the problem, you don’t have a problem.” Now I would love to hear from you! What is your stress-busting secret? Leave a comment on my blog and sign up for my newsletter, Doctor as Teacher Tuesday. You will receive articles, recipes, and clinical pearls that I only share in email right to your inbox!

2017 hln summer edition