How to increase energy and mental resilience?

Judith Eppacher belly2brain
I am Judith Eppacher, the “working mom next door”. For two decades, I have been “juggling” family, work, and lifestyle. As a mother, I often reached my limits, especially during the years as a single mom. Thus, I know what it means
  • to feel fatigued,
  • to feel burned out,
  • to suffer from a lack of energy
  • or to have your hormones out of whack. 
Frankly, from a medical point of view, none of those symptoms were severe in my case. Nevertheless they were still unpleasant enough to do something about it.
Thus began my journey to learn all I could about nutrition, self-awareness, and mindfulness. Today, I feel stronger than ever and see a crises as a chance to “grow” and become more flexible and resistant.
Winds of change – a dynamic process: A crisis can be perceived as a threat or a chance! It’s up to you.

“When the winds of change blow, some people build shelters and others build windmills.”

Chinese proverb
reslilience - how to become stronger when hard tiems hit

Crisis - threat or chance?

The pandemic of 2020 was such a “wind” that hit us out of the blue! For many, it struck us like a sudden tornado, completely uprooting our lives. It has created lasting economic challenges, companies, and most importantly people. We fear for our health, our jobs, our security, our freedom… Now, our resilience is being put to the test. The truth is, many of the changes we saw coming, have now accelerated big time. I would say, collectively we are being thrown into ice-cold water.

Do I catch a cold from an ice-bath, or does it actually make me stronger?

The popular method of Wim Hof, the Iceman, has become the ultimate biohack. Before diving into icy water, you should really consider getting appropriate training. The recommended form of preperation consist of specific breathing exercises, that enable the body to better withstand the “shock-experience”. Done appropriatly, ice-bathing can boost your immune system and give you an energy kick. However, if you have the perception that freezing water gives you a nasty cold, guess what, you might prove yourself right. If you want a deeper understanding of the science behind alternated breathing and the effect of cold baths, I recommend watching this YouTube Video.
I guess the Wim Hof Method is currently at the peak of its popularity. Please keep in mind that strong breathing and ice-baths need to be conducted with caution in order to prevent any harm. Luckily there are safer and easier ways to pump up your health. Here are a few daily activities that have a detoxing, and even toning effect on your body. Additionally, they have an uplifting effect on your mind.
  • Breathing techniques: strong deep breathing, followed by slow deep breathing
  • Taking a 20-second cold shower, after a hot morning shower
  • Practicing HIIT workouts at home (High-Intensity Interval Training), like 12-Min PACE or HIIT for women.
  • Using a rebound trampoline in the morning.

Is there such thing as healthy stress?

Unfortunately, there is also“under-cover” stress that we often do not even recognize.  It is what keeps us running in high gear in our fast-paced society. We seem to be constantly in overdrive. It is like being chased by a tiger non-stop. Often, we do not allow ourselves to take deliberate recovery-breaks to keep our nervous system on an even keel and thus maintain a healthy balance. We have lost that sense of living in sync with our circadian rhythm.

Handling our energy and our resources is all about balance and keeping our system on an even keel. A bit of adrenalin kick, followed by recovery or rest-and-digest, is just the kind of “micro-crisis” our body needs to promote brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF), which may improve our nerve connection and our mood. According to numerous studies, positive stress, like exercise-induced stress from HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), can – according to numerous studies – promote the growth of beneficial BDNF.

The power of recovery

 In order to keep physically and mentally fit, we need to keep active. Having said that, before you “chase that tiger”, you have to properly prepare yourself with the right training. Finally, you deserve recovery. Our body will always long for balance. If you are familiar with heavy workouts, you know it is safe to begin with, a warm-up session and give yourself a recovery break afterwards.

A few years ago I worked-out almost daily for a couple of months. We then went seaside for a few weeks. When I returned back to Austria, friends would ask me, why I had built so toned muscles. No, I didn´t train for a triathlon in Spain. But instead, I gave my body a break. The anabolic effect of the parasympathetic nervous system arranged the rest.

Our body and mind can withstand a lot of pressure. We are pretty robust, but constant stress is an enemy to our resilience. It weakens our immune system, our physical and mental health, as well as our cognitive function. Now, when you add emotional stress to chronic stress, you might hit the roof. The crises that hit us with the beginning of the pandemic, has become a continuous emotional threat from many perspectives. “Stress” is so omnipresent, you can almost smell it! On the other hand, it is no surprise that resilience has become the latest buzzword in 2020.

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Resilience -
the art of being strong,
no matter the weather

Stress relief and resilience for body and mind, have been my focus for years.
Let me show you, how to withstand pressure.
Get trained in becoming even stronger when crises hit you.
Learn to adapt to changes with least resistance.
Strengthen your roots, by boosting your gut health and mental health.
I wish I would have known everything I know now earlier in life. Nevertheless, I am happy that I now have got the tools to:
  • boost immunity
  • boost energy and mental health
  • boost performance and productivity
I have created belly2brain for going deep into following hot topics:
  • Gut-brain connection
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy)
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Brain Gym effective and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
  • Self mastery

Now it comes down to you. In order to meet your needs, and create valuable content and coaching material, please help me to find out where life is challenging you and what you need to become stronger and withstand the winds of change in 2021. So feel free to reach out to me and share your pains (or even gains) on this topic. Simply leave a comment or send me an email. I am doing my research, based on following questions:

  • Do you feel overwhelmed by daily demands? If yes, do you manage to turn the percieved “tiger” into a ” cuddly kitten”? (reframing threat)
  • Are you aware of the gut-brain connection?
  • Do you practice stress relief activities, like meditation? Maybe you would like to, but you cannot get your head around it. What lets you down, what keeps you from doing whats best for you?

The purpose of this website is in sharing valuable content, whereby I am collecting in-depth research-based information globally around the topics of nutrition, lifestyle, and self-improvement. I am open to any collaboration including affiliates, interviews, or guest blogging!

Fit for the day

Proteinreiches Frühstück

Daily energy-booster

Bloodsugarfreindly coffee break … enjoy coffee before two pm: coffee contains polyphenols that act as prebiotics. Rather, I add some licorice root or cocoa nips to the coffee powder. Almond butter or coconut oil replaces the milk. Speaking of nuts: they are a great coffee break snack. They give you energy without sending your blood sugar into a crazy “roller coaster”.