Here at Commonsense we’ve been looking for ways to de-stress, rest and recuperate after recent events in Wellington. Fortunately, we have some extremely talented colleagues we can ask for advice!
Jo Morrison is the Store Manager of our Wellington City Store. She’s a trained nutritionist and is passionate about ways to relieve anxiety and support wellbeing. Jo shared the following quick and easy tips to de-stress after shock or anxiety. We hope they help.
1. Eat Nourishing Food
If your body is stressed, your digestive system isn’t going to work very well, Jo says. In times of anxiety, it’s a good idea to eat grounding and nourishing food. “Choose wholesome comfort foods like soups, stews, bakes, and potatoes,” Jo says. “And make sure you use good quality sea salt or Himalayan salt for supporting the adrenals”.
What not to eat? Food that is difficult to digest, and refined sugar. Jo would suggest limiting too much raw food (raw salads, raw veg) and avoiding heavy foods (meats, meals high in fat), while refined sugar and the energy rollercoaster it puts you on can lead to symptoms of anxiety.
2. Essential Oil Foot Rub
Jo’s go-to for stress and anxiety? One drop lavender true and one drop marjoram essential oil, rubbed vigorously into the sole of each foot. Jo got this remedy from her mum, who is a trained Aromatherapist, and finds it a particularly good treatment just before bed.
“The lavender is like a great big supportive hug,” Jo says. And the marjoram is wonderful for balancing the nervous system.” She recommends using quality medicinal oils, like Lavender True and Marjoram from Absolute Essentials.
3. Sleepy teas
It’s bad enough feeling stressed out. Even worse? Feeling super-stressed because you can’t sleep because of the stress.
Straight after the earthquake, Jo was feeling quite jittery and found it hard to get back to sleep. She turned to a strong brew of Artemis Deep Sleep Tea. “It knocked me out,” Jo says. "I would recommend this, in combination with the essential oils, to anyone who’s having a hard time sleeping because of stress."
4. Rescue Remedy
Good ol’ Rescue Remedy is always an excellent option, and because it’s a Bach Flower Remedy there’s no way you can overdose.
“In an acute circumstance you could definitely take Rescue Remedy every 10 minutes,” Jo says. “And in the days after a traumatic event you could take it every couple of hours for stress support.”
5. Magnesium, B Vitamins and Vitamin C
Taking vitamin and mineral supplements can be a great short-term support in times of stress. Magnesium is a great place to start Jo says. “Magnesium is really the anti-stress mineral,” She says. “It contributes to over 300 different functions in the body, and a lot of people are deficient due to our modern busy lifestyles.”
Next up are B Vitamins as a complex for stress and Vitamin C for adrenal support. Always follow directions on the packaging, but it’s also a great idea to discuss your needs with our friendly Health Practitioners in store.
6. Drink lots of water
Don’t ignore the basics. If you’re dehydrated, you can feel more inflamed, fatigued and irritable. Not helpful!
7. Limit Caffeine
Avoid anything that may negatively affect your sleep patterns or promote symptoms of anxiety. Limit too much caffeine, “it’s like a whip to the adrenals!” Jo says. One latte won’t hurt you, “but maybe don’t have five cups.” Anything more, and your sleep – and anxiety – will suffer. Jo usually has a cup of coffee a day (and enjoys every last drop) but chose to switch to decaf for the time being to give her nervous system a break. Even dark chocolate, with its many pro-health constituents, can have an over-stimulating effect – so it’s a good idea to limit your intake in the evenings.
8. Get prepared
After a stressful event, your body is flooded with hormones that prepare you for flight or to fight. One way to help calm your body down is to do something.
“You can check your supplies,” Jo says. “You can find out where to go, you can check on your neighbours or flatmates, you can prepare some food, or play with kids or animals. Anything that makes you feel like you are participating and contributing to your situation. It’ll also help you avoid ‘Jurassic Park Syndrome’ - sitting on the couch staring obsessively at a glass of water for signs of ripples.”
9. Talk it out
Feeling frazzled and overwhelmed? The worst thing you could do would be to keep it to yourself, Jo says. “Talking to people – and hopefully having a laugh - is a fantastic way to release tension,” Jo says. “You’re not helping anyone if you’re keeping it inside. People want to help each other!”