Please enjoy this guest blog post from naturopathic physician Rob Streisfeld where he discusses COVID-19 and how to naturally manage stress, anxiety, and tips on how to feel your best at home during COVID-19.
Rob Streisfeld, NMD
As this year’s holiday season rapidly approaches, more than usual we look forward to family gatherings and vacation travel. With the overshadow of the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, new anxieties arise, ranging from gift buying to simply putting food on the table.
Unfortunately, I don’t have answers for ways to pay your bills or if you should skip the large family gathering this year. What I can try to offer are some helpful tips and insights on ways to help manage your stress, anxiety, and depression.
First, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Even with isolation and quarantine seemingly never-ending, it is important to stay connected to your friends, family, and the outside world. Spending hours upon hours going down internet rabbit holes are not my suggestion, however, there are many video conferencing and chat platforms which make face to face conversations possible, even while keeping a distance. This includes telemedicine and support resources if you are feeling unwell or depressed. Many people are struggling with the status quo and there is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Sometimes all we need a shift in our mindset, or the way we are thinking. One website to help with this, www.FeelingGood.com, offers lots of good tips and tools…for FREE!
It’s also a great time to catch up on some reading, find some new recipes, and get your body moving. Our body actually produces feel-good molecules when we eat certain foods and exercise. Eating healthy, especially during times of stress, allows your immune system and digestive systems to stay strong. Get into yoga, do a 30-day fitness challenge, or simply go outside and take a walk. Dark green leafy vegetables, fresh seasonal fruit, and staying hydrated are also some general tips, as well as reducing sugar and avoiding binge eating junk food when feeling anxious and stressed. Ever notice you crave salty foods when stressed? It could be a sign that your body is craving minerals. Try some seaweed snacks instead of potato chips, and replace your everyday table salt with a high mineral sea salt, like those found at www.celticseasalt.com.
Often overlooked as effective ways to help with stress and anxiety are practicing deep breathing exercises and meditation. I make sure to emphasize “practicing,” as there is no expectation of perfection. Some people find meditating easy, while others not so much. That’s ok. The goal is to make the effort to calm the mind and body. Just like you wouldn’t expect to go out and run a marathon without practice and training, being able to easily meditate may require some training as well. You may want to start with some recorded guided meditations, easily found online, or get the whole family to do it together each day. This simple technique has been around for ages and has been shown via research to provide significant benefits to your well-being.
Sometimes our bodies need some additional support to help cope with stressful times. Unfortunately, we don’t always get all the nutrients we need from our daily diet.
There are several high quality dietary and herbal supplements that have been shown to assist and support the body’s natural functioning. You may have heard or even consumed herbs such as Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Lavender, and Chamomile as teas, tinctures, and/or capsules. Sometimes these ingredients are found on their own, or more often a combination of several herbs/ingredients are utilized. Most recently cannabidiol, or CBD, derived from cannabis/hemp has shown great potential in helping with anxiety and overall stress management which could be a beneficial way to manage stress and anxiety during COVID-19.
Finally, while I’ve shared several tips and considerations in the paragraphs above, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is unique and what works for someone else may not work best for you. You also don’t need to make big changes or try to do it all at once. Just take a deep breath, stay positive, and do the best you can. Celebrate each day and find gratitude in even the smallest of successes. Know you are not alone and reach out for help if you need it. I wish you and yours all the best in health and happiness!
Many thanks to Doctor Rob for lending his words of support and wisdom to our blog. Curious about what hemp oil might be best to help manage your anxiety? Check out our 1000mg tincture, our #1 recommended product for helping to manage anxiety and pain.
**This text has been edited for clarity and brevity.