Hi! I’m Jenna. Welcome to The Spark Wellness Newsletter. I’m a holistic mental wellness coach. I operate at the intersection of mental health, self-care, nutrition and REAL LIFE.
This is what you can expect to receive in my weekly(ish) newsletter:
- Strategies for managing stress and overwhelm
- Evidence-based research and recommendations you can use to take care of your mental wellness
- Recipes and insights that can help you use good mood foods to boost your energy – the best antidote to stress!
Curious? You can also check out my bio and my work here.
I've got three spots open for 1-1 clients. There is still time to take action on your wellness goals for this year and, at the same time, build a foundation for success for next year. Reply to this message and I'll send you more information.
We are Naturally Resistant to Change.
No one likes change! Our brains and bodies are resistant to change. We have built-in systems to maintain homeostasis. They keep our body functions stable and consistent. This helps to keep us alive, so it's a good thing.
Think about it from a survival perspective... if what we are doing is keeping us alive and safe in the present moment why make a change?
From this perspective, change is seen as a threat. It might be a risk to that stability. It might interfere with staying safe and alive. So, the natural reaction is to avoid change.
Even when we know that change can produce long-term benefits. Even when we know that it will take some effort to get the results we want, our bodies will resist.
Change creates stress. Our bodies naturally want to return to what's familiar because that's keeping us safe and alive. This makes it more challenging to maintain changes, especially without support.
I recently shared this reminder on social media: Kids and adults can’t learn or adapt to new situations when they’re in a fight-or-flight state.
I was talking about how it can be challenging to settle into the new back-to-school routine. ---> You can check out the post at @SparkWellnessNutrition on Facebook or Instagram if you want some strategies for helping with back-to-school or other changes in your family's routine.
But the message isn't just about back-to-school. Recognizing that it is hard to learn and make changes when people are in a state of stress, makes it easier to understand why we return to what's familiar when we feel overwhelmed. And since most women are in a state of chronic stress (frequent or continual fight-or-flight), change is hard.
The good news is we can work with our bodies when we understand what's going on.
My Holistic Mental Wellness Framework helps make change possible without adding more stress and overwhelm. It allows us to work with your body to support resilience and vitality.
First, we focus on nourishing your body with good mood foods that help you get off the mood and energy rollercoaster. Say buh-bye to cravings, feeling hyper or wired, the mid-afternoon energy slump, and getting hangry. When your body and brain are supported, you're creating stability and a sense of safety. This provides a foundation for trying something different without your nervous system protesting.
Next, we prioritize regulating the nervous system. By interrupting the patterns of chronic stress and shifting the nervous system out of fight-or-flight, your body and brain are ready to learn, communicate, get creative and take action. There's excitement instead of resistance. You're ready for the possibility of something new!
Finally, we focus on sustainable behaviours. By creating daily rituals to support new habits and making small shifts, we create space for possibility! And, we integrate practices that work in the real world so you don't feel guilty or shameful or ready to give when life disrupts your plan or you don't reach a goal.
Here are two quick strategies you can use right now:
- Make sure you are drinking enough water. When your body is well hydrated, it is better at responding to stressful situations and moving out of fight-or-flight more quickly. Here are some tips for staying hydrated.
- Take time throughout your day to stop and breathe. This is one of the simplest rituals for regulating your nervous system. When you consciously stop and take a deep breath, your body sends out signals of safety and calm through the parasympathetic nervous system. It also helps you feel more grounded and connected to your body. Even taking 60-90 seconds to focus on breathing or taking 10 deep breaths can help. Here are some breathing exercises you can try.
Take care and be well!
Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach™
Adult Educator (MEd and PhD)
Owner, Spark Wellness
P.S. If you need some support to create sustainable change, let's talk. I've got 3 spots for new coaching clients starting between now and January. Reply to this email to find out more about how we can work together to work around your natural resistance to change to meet your wellness goals.