When we were clinking champagne glasses and kissing our loved ones on New Years’ Eve, we had no idea what 2020 had in store for us. Most people had never experienced such a level of isolation. Many individuals have found themselves faced with stress, worry, and anxiety as they cope with this “new normal.”
While anxiety was already the most common mental health problem in the world, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recently conducted a national survey that indicates that half of US adults are currently experiencing high levels of anxiety. Thankfully, there are many techniques to ease the restlessness and help you to maintain the best quality of life during times of crisis. We have collected thoughts from various health experts regarding 5 Natural ways to reduce stress and anxiety to help you get through 2020!
Reducing Stress and Anxiety Naturally
Yoga – “The stress levels in our daily lives can be reduced through relaxation techniques such as meditating, deep breathing, and exercise. Yoga, and truly all physical activities that require movement and practice, is a dance between control and surrender – between knowing when to push and when to let go. Take a deep, slow, and gentle breath in and become present with the moment. The trick to reducing stress and anxiety is to create a sense of well-being and happiness from within, so keep exercising, keep meditating, and remember to breathe.” -Veronica Torres, 200HR-RYT and Doctoral Student in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of St. Augustine
Meditation– “Mindfulness teaches us to connect with our innate ability to find equanimity during challenging times. It has never been more important to stay present, act with awareness, and cultivate compassion for ourselves and others. This practice of mindfulness can move you from feeling helpless, to developing resilience during the current crisis and beyond.” –Dr. Lyida Malcolm (Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Authentic Behavioral Health, LLC/Adjunct Professor Nova Southeastern University)
Diet- “Our gut microbiome can affect our mood, and food can either help decrease or increase your stress levels. Focus on eating more whole foods to provide the nutrients your body requires. Start by limiting processed foods, which can be high in added salt, fat, and sugar. Processed meats in particular are linked to additives that can cause inflammation in the body. Also, aim to have a ‘Healthy Plate’ for your meals:
- ½ consisting of fruits and vegetables
- ¼ of the plate for protein
- ¼ of the plate for grains, with at least half being whole grains
Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks. These small changes can have large impacts on your health” – Johanna Fiallos, registered dietician and MPH.
Experiment with foods, teas and natural supplements – “For those that have mild anxiety and just need an extra tool, try experimenting with different things that can help relax you. Multiple studies support the use of calming teas (like chamomile), essential oils and aromatherapy, massages, and certain plant-based medicines for providing sedative effects. CBD has been supported for mild to moderate anxiety relief to some extent. Further research is needed on dosage, so if you would like to give CBD a try, start small and increase as needed if you feel comfortable. My company is currently working to support research in other plants showing promise in clinical trials and we hope to contribute to the availability of additional natural treatments for anxiety in the near future. For now, we start by fighting the stigma of mental illness as well as supporting the research and each other” – Guiliana Mustiga, Biostatistician, Plant Genomics Scientist and CEO of Pacha Health.
Telehealth-“Telehealth has been around for a while, but has not been openly received by the medical community and the general public. I believe 2020 will create new possibilities for care for those who have had limited access due to physical and mental health issues in the past. The genie is out of the box, let us see where the future of Telehealth takes us.” –Dr. Lyida Malcolm (Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Authentic Behavioral Health, LLC/Adjunct Professor Nova Southeastern University)
Telehealth allows counselors and psychologists to reach people remotely, easier than ever before. Look for healthcare providers if you feel you can benefit from talking to an expert.
At the end of the day…
Whether through natural remedies, yoga, meditation, diet or counseling, these methods of relaxation can help you in times of crisis or as part of your everyday routine! Find the option that works best for you and fits your lifestyle, or incorporate a little of each throughout the week. These techniques can help you, and your loved ones not only cope with the current crisis but live well and “thrive from home!”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK(8255), Text “Talk” to 741741 or chat online.https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
These services are free and confidential to anyone in the US. You can also use these services to ask for advice on how to help someone you know.
You are not alone.