Stress. Trauma. Uncertainty. Fear. Christchurch, New Zealand joins the rest of the world. Mass shootings based on hate. Now we get to wonder if loved ones will return from shopping or work. Will our children be safe at school? Like so many people worldwide, we get to worry.
How can we handle this change? We’ve had the long term stress from devastating earthquakes and the tens of thousands of aftershocks. We were just managing to slip back into the regular. Cozy. Rebuilding. Now this. Grief for loss of loved ones, loss of our innocence. Anger. Stress. F**k.
The news says, “Look out for one another.” “Take care of yourself,” but what does that mean? What can we do? Because honestly, it’s all overwhelming and exhausting. Our adrenals are back into fight or flight. For the long run.
Of course, the herbalist in me has a few suggestions.
1. Step away from the computer, the phone, the TV. (Well, after reading this, step away.) Go outside look at a tree, plants some flowers, tend to the veggie garden. Go for a walk. Drop in on a friend. Say nothing, just be. Drink tea. Herbal tea, naturally.
2. Cook. With friends, family, your pet. Talk, laugh, chat. Yes, even to your pet. They’ll love it because they love you. Listen to great music. Dance while things cook.
3. A bath. With soothing bath salts. Shower. Use a sugar scrub. Treat yourself.
4. Put your jammies on. Yes, men too. Why not? Read. Play cards.
5. Accept the kindness that is offered. A hug. A friend who’s dropped by. A smile from someone at the grocery store. Maybe they’re in their jammies! I hope that made you smile. We have to choose kindness. And love.
6. Eat nourishing foods, wholesome foods. Soups. Roast veggies, roast meat if that’s your thing. Whole grains. Adrenal foods: fish, lean meats, colourful veggies, avocados, citrus, fruits. If you can, eat organic foods. Decrease sugar, decrease caffeine. Decrease alcohol. Stop artificial sweeteners. They are harder on your system than Panadol.
7. Talk to a herb nerd to find herbs and supplements that will help you.
Some examples (of herbs, supplements and herb nerds!):
Magnesium. We need magnesium during stress. Because we use heaps of it. Heaps. Take 300 mg per day for adults, children a lot less. Trouble sleeping? Take it before bed.
B-vitamins. Required for stress hormone manufacture, healthy mood hormones, digestion.
Bach flowers. Rescue Remedy. Or have one made up just for you. Yes, The Nerd has all 38 of the flower essences. A custom remedy in purified water costs $5. It'll be at markets. Want to make your own? Try Rescue Remedy with Mimulus and Aspen. It would be for shock, fears of known and unknown origin.
Some simple herbs for calming are chamomile, skullcap, lemon balm, or kava. For strength and immunity astragalus, eleuthrococus, echinacea. For your adrenals and thyroid try rehmannia, liquorice, or withania. Not sure, contact The Nerd, ask at The Apothecary, talk to Deirdre at DP Herbals, Asti Renault, or Richard Whelan. Health 2000. We're here for you in the herbal world.
Please find yourself a natural health care practitioner. You’re worth the expense, because if you do nothing you will become seriously ill. This is the long haul people and our new norm. Look after yourself.