Dairy, the Perfect Pairing to Stress Management

Each year the American Psychological Association (APA) conducts a survey in the United States on stress in America. I don’t think you’ll be shocked to hear that the results of the 2020 survey showed Americans of all ages are dealing with a lot of stress. As a dietitian that is an expert in nutrition, my work is focused on physical health, but it’s no secret stress management and mental health have major impacts on overall wellness. With that in mind, here are a few ideas I gleaned from the report along with a few ways that dairy can complement.  

  • Practice self-care throughout the day. What does self-care look like for you? Is it sitting down at your table to enjoy a nourishing breakfast of hot cereal in the morning instead of rushing out the door? Or maybe it’s a 30-minute walk at lunch with your favorite podcast to break up your busy day? Use dairy to help fuel that quiet morning breakfast by making your hot cereal with real milk or topping it with protein-packed Greek yogurt.
  • Stay connected. A phone call on your drive home from work to your friend you haven’t spoken to in a month or taking time at the end of your day to be present with your loved ones without devices are simple ways to connect. Dairy can aid in this by providing delicious flavors and essential nutrients to a dinner shared together at the kitchen table. Maybe this One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Broccoli dish will be your family’s new favorite.
  • Reflect on three positive things every day. Whether you write them down or keep them in your mental notes, reserve time with yourself to contemplate your day. Did a new season of your favorite show come out on Netflix? Maybe your child told you how much they appreciated you. A warm herbal milk tea can help bring a cozy vibe as you unpack the events of your day.

We’re all doing our best. This year, try to stay calm and remember dairy is there to help you reset.

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