How to drop the hustle mentality and connect with your mind, body & soul

Written by Jackie Morgan | 21 March, 2018

Jackie Morgan from Well Hub Nutrition speaks about self-love over self-sacrificing: How to drop the hustle mentality and connect with your mind, body & soul. Jackie shares her top tips on how to avoid living in your sympathetic nervous system (fight-and-flight) and focus on activating your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and repair) regularly to ensure you're optimising your health and well-being.

The world is hustle-bustle.

We glorify being 'too busy' but how is living a life in fast-forward affecting our health?

In our day-to-day lives, it can sometimes feel like we're always 'on'. We're tuned in to social media, the news, work, gossip, our phones are always at the ready. So it can become a real challenge to turn 'off'. I know myself that when I'm working, I can find it hard to take a break and sit quietly eating lunch. It feels like I'll miss out on jotting down an important idea or I’ll think about the emails that need answering. In reality, there is always something that needs to be done.

But what are the constant strain and 'hustle' work ethic doing to our health? And how can we slow down and implement a little self-care each day to nourish our soul?

When we're working hard, we rely on our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) to see us through. This SNS is known as fight-or-flight mode, a state of stress that was only designed to see us through life-threatening scenarios. Unfortunately, our body cannot tell the difference between life-threating and work-related stress. If you're under the pump at work, your body naturally falls into this supremely heightened state of stress, preparing you for the worst.

You can imagine that in this fight-or-flight mode, the everyday functioning of our organs and systems are impaired. Our SNS is not designed to sustain us long term.

When our SNS is functioning without a break we don't digest our food properly, nor do we absorb many nutrients which is why excess stress changes our bowel habits. Most of my clients find that when they're stressed they get the nervous runs all day - this inevitably leads to nutrient deficiencies as our body is not soaking up any of the nourishment from our food. Iron for women is often the first nutrient to be become depleted, causing fatigue, low moods, 'foggy brain' and sugar/carbohydrate cravings for instant energy.

When we're stressed our immune system takes a hit too. We burn through key nutrients like zinc, B vitamins, and vitamin C as they supply us with energy and sustain our immunity. This leaves us more susceptible to illness, making us more stressed as we don't want to take the time off work.

We struggle to sleep when we're living in our SNS and our cortisol levels are compromised. We might fall asleep easily but find ourselves waking with a sudden surge of energy, unable to quieten our mind. Or we might toss and turn all night or take hours to fall asleep. This further heightens our fight-or-flight state, as rest is the absolute key for calming and rejuvenating our mind.

Can you identify with any of the above? Do you see yourself getting caught up in the hustle bustle mentality?

I know I have! When I first began my business and was still studying I would get burnt out easily. But I would still force myself to get up and go the gym in the morning to do some grueling unnecessary workout before heading back to the stress of study or work all day. I would worry myself sick and catch any virus or cold going around. I knew something had to change and now I'm happy to say that so much has. I no longer long for the hustle and am quite content with the flow of my work-life balance. I haven't got it nailed yet but here are a few key changes that I've made to my lifestyle and routine, which lead me to a much healthier state in all aspects of my life.

I like to think of them as my self-care routine. I've separated my routine into 3 separate categories: mind, body & soul. I try and pick one thing from each category per day to really make sure I'm resting my sympathetic nervous system (fight-and-flight) and activating my parasympathetic nervous system (rest and repair).




Jackie Morgan

Jackie Morgan is a qualified Nutritionist BHSc ( Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) who graduated from Endeavour College of Natural Health, Brisbane in 2016. Jackie has both clinical and public experience, currently practicing as a Clinical Nutritionist in her own private practice  Well Hub Nutrition with a special focus on the Ketogenic diet and helping women heal their relationship with fat. 

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