Stress & Anxiety

Stress & Anxiety

How to deal with Stress and Anxiety

We are living through unprecedented times caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19, which quickly escalated from an epidemic in China to a full-blown pandemic. The pandemic has impacted almost everyone in the world, which includes more than falling ill to the virus. Millions of people still have not contracted the virus but have family members with underlying illnesses. According to Forbes, “millions of Americans have lost their jobs. They’ve watched helplessly as their meager savings dwindled away, as they were confined to their homes”. The same article discusses the findings of a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The survey found that 25% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 thought about suicide because of the pandemic. On the other hand, 30.9% of respondents admitted that they feel anxious and depressed because of the pandemic. Everyone has had to conform to a new type of normal such as social distancing, limited interaction with family and friends, and even grief from losing family members and not being able to funeralize them like normal. Children are also anxious and nervous about contracting the virus, and some want to attend school and be around friends instead of a virtual school.

What Can Naturally Help Relieve Anxiety and Mild Depression?

Several fun activities can be done alone or with family and friends to reduce anxiousness and brighten melancholy moods. However, before taking a closer look at those activities, it is important to note that there are natural remedies like essential oils and herbs that give off a calming effect. Did you know that there are natural anti-depressants like magnesium that boost moods and help with mild depression? Sometimes, something as simple as diffusing essential oil, like lavender or cedarwood can naturally make a person relax from anxiety. According to Curious History, “essential or aromatic oils have been used by many cultures around the world for thousands of years”.

 

Essential Oils, Relaxation, and Sleep

Millions of people are already incorporating essential oils into their lifestyle, for the sole purpose of inducing sleep and relaxation. A good night of sleep is one of the most important and restorative processes for the body. A well-rested body can reduce irritability, crankiness, anxiousness, and help with depression. Most people automatically think of aromatherapy when hearing the words, “essential oils”. Aromatherapy is when you put a few drops of essential oil into a diffuser, the diffuser works to spread the oil through the air. Some diffusers run for a few hours while others can be programmed to run all night. You can use a blend of oils for the ultimate relaxation and calming effect. Aromatherapy is not the only way you can use essential oils, because some oils can be rubbed on specific areas of the body for a calming effect.

Different Ways to Use Essential Oils:

  • 1. You can place drops around your navel, palms, or wrist
  • 2. You can rub oil onto the heels of your feet
  • 3. You can rub oil onto your chest, neck, or under your nostrils
  • 4. You can dilute some oils in a glass of water as a gargle mixture
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    Essential Oils That Helps with Relaxation

  • 1.Cedarwood Oil
  • 2.Sandalwood Oil
  • 3.Lavender Oil
  • 4.Sweet Marjoram Oil
  • 5.Jasmine Oil
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    Herbal Supplements That Helps with Relaxation

    Several natural herbal remedies work to fight depression, insomnia, and anxiety. One herbal supplement that has been known to work just as well as a prescription anti-depressant is St. John’s Wort. According to WebMD, “St. John's wort is a plant with yellow, star-shaped flowers and five petals that grow in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern Asia”. Historically, scientists believed a chemical in St. John's wort called hypericin was what helped mild depression. However, more recent studies have found that other chemicals like hyperforin play a more significant role. These chemicals work with messengers in the nervous system to regulate a person’s mood. Ginseng is another herbal supplement that has been clinically proven to reduce stress and promote calmness. There are three different types of ginseng, but the most popular types are the American ginseng and the Asian ginseng. The American ginseng is mainly grown in North America and was used by Native Americans. The Asian ginseng is also called red or Korean Ginseng, but it has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The Asian ginseng is more stimulating than the American ginseng and works better to promote calmness and relaxation, brightening moods.

     

    Activities That Will Help Reduce Stress

  • 1. Meditation – is a powerful way of reducing stress, and it is not as complicated as many make people tend to think. Dr. Michael Brodsky, medical director for Behavioral Health and Social Services at L.A. Care Health Plan in Los Angeles was interviewed by U.S. News on the subject of meditation during the pandemic. Dr. Brodsky suggested that most people confuse mediation with mindfulness. “It can help you achieve mindfulness, but it's not the only way, Brodsky says. "Other techniques include deep breathing, yoga, and certain forms of psychotherapy.
  • 2. Yoga – The name yoga comes from the word, “yoke” which can be thought of as bringing together the mind, body, and spirit. Many studies have found that even short intervals of yoga in the morning, at night, or even on a lunch break, can reduce stress and encourage productivity. Experts have found that yoga is an effective way of relieving stress and it encourages a good mood, but simultaneously increases mindfulness. (Meditation is included in Yoga.)
  • 3. Running and Swimming – All forms of exercise are great because they all boost endorphins in the brain which helps reduces stress. Exercise can also be thought of as meditation in motion because most people only concentrate on their body’s movement, and not the day’s frustrations as they exercise.
  • 4. Hobbies – Since most of us are confined to our homes, it can be the perfect time to start a new hobby or revisit an old one. Many people are revisiting old hobbies like fishing, drawing, and dancing. Several activities like cost little to no money such as putting together a jigsaw puzzle. “Hobbies and self-care are crucial during the coronavirus pandemic, clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere told CNN”.
  • 5. Board Games – Board games are a great way to get the whole family involved. It seems as if everyone is thinking the same way when it comes to board games like Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, and jigsaw puzzles. The sales for board games have soared during the pandemic. It is a fun distraction for kids, teenagers, and adults.
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    How to Promote Calmness in Kids?

    Children and parents are worried about schools reopening, but some schools are not going to open fully until after the New Year. Some parents have been tasked with homeschooling their kids and working from home, which is a load of stress. Children who feel high levels of anxiety or stress may revert to earlier behaviors. So, children as old as 8, 9, or 10 may suddenly become clingy and whiny. Toddlers that have been potty-trained may have accidents and wet the bed, while others may start thumb sucking again. What can be done?

  • 1. Model Calm – Adults should exhibit calmness even when filled with anxiety and stress. Small children usually pick up on an adult’s emotions, and even though no one outwardly panic, the child can feel the anxiousness. Adults need to self-evaluate and create a mini-break for yourself to reset.
  • 2. Create a Soothing Place – It is important to create a soothing place in the house for a child, like the corner of a child’s bedroom or some other tranquil place. Kids like being in their place with their things to feel safe and secure. For example, it may be fun to build a fort in the corner of a room where a child can sit with their toys and a pet. For others, it may be a treehouse in the backyard with books and toys.
  • 3. Encourage Hobbies – It is just as therapeutic for children to engage in hobbies as adults. Some children may benefit from learning to an instrument like a guitar, piano, or drums. This is the perfect time for children and teenagers to focus on their extra-curricular activities.
  • 4. Have a Conversation – Technological advances combined with the evolution of electronic devices have drastically reduced parents talking with children. It is important to have a conversation with children and teenagers to find out how they are feeling about the pandemic. Sometimes a child or teenager may feel better if an adult clears up the confusion surrounding the current pandemic.
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    Everyone’s situation is different because some have lost family members to COVID-19, while others battle the virus for months. On the other hand, some people have not been ill or lost a family member, but they lost their job because of COVID-19. A healthy diet filled with exercise can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Essential oils, herbal supplements, and activities like mediation and yoga can help as well.


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