Charlotte Dormon, Healthista writer and wellbeing coach reveals 10 simple ways we can de-stress during self-isolation including supplements and lifestyle tips
The easy option for most when feeling stressed and anxious about life is to pour yourself a large Gin and Tonic or glass of wine, grab a spoon and a tub of ice cream, shove a Netflix box set on to zone out for as long as possible from what is going on.
This type of behaviour is totally understandable in times of crisis (such as now with us knee deep in Covid-19 chaos) and certainly may help you temporarily feel ‘checked out’ from real life mayhem.
But, the side effects of this type of coping strategy results in an expanding waistline, lacklustre skin, low mood, sleep struggles and hormonal imbalances.
So what can we do instead to help manage our stress levels and feelings of anxiety?
5 lifestyle solutions that can help
#1 Step away from the wine and feel fine
Yeah you might feel like dancing around to Madonna after a few glasses of wine, but the next day you’re most likely going to feel a bit blah mood wise and thanks to your blood sugar dropping post booze, you’re going to most likely want to chomp through tons of biscuits.
Unfortunately drinking alcohol will not help you stay strong mentally or physically as alcohol and sugar (there is a lot of sugar in wine) depress our immune system, as well as playing havoc with our happy brain chemicals like serotonin.
#2 Work it out
Try to do some exercise to boost mood and circulation each day. Create a mini routine and find something fun that keeps you fit and active that makes you feel better.
#3 Read and Write
Write, read and keep focused on anything that makes you positive.
Get some books out that you have been meaning to read for ages. Learn as much as you can – there is so much free information out there to help you study and grow through personal development.
Maybe there is a book you have wanted to write yourself? Now could be the perfect time.
#4 Feel Gratitude
Practice gratitude. Despite this being one of the most testing times in history, many studies I have read in over the years prove that giving thanks/practicing gratitude for everyday simple things we often take for granted.
This can be things such as sleeping in a warm comfy bed, plenty of hot water to make tea, books to read, the ability to be able to read, having friends and family that love us, etc.
Just spending a few moments each day to acknowledge these things and feeling a sense of love and gratitude for them are shown to support mental wellbeing.
#5 Take a deep breath
It seems obvious that breathing is just something we do, but most of us don’t use the breath as a way of controlling our inner peace.
Before you eat a meal, focus on doing some deep belly breathing to help reduce anxiety and stress.
Try to use your inner breathing as a way of controlling the fire (anxiety and stress) just holding your tummy and breathing slowing and deeply into it throughout the day will help you to feel more peaceful and helps keep our body in a more alkaline state – which is better for your immune health.
What natural supplements help?
I am a big fan of natural supplements and using them a great deal as a way of helping me cope when navigating through very choppy periods of my life.
Be that getting out of an unhealthy relationship, healing through heartache, or just super stressful times in my career when I felt overwhelmed and unable to emotionally deal with the pressure.
Here’s my personal list of my top five natural stress busters:
#1 Control sugar and wine cravings CBD
One of the most popular stress busters right now thanks to its calming benefits and for me an absolute godsend to keep my mind and body serene when going though a wave of stress and anxiety.
I add a few drops of this to my morning matcha or coffee, and always have on hand if I am craving a sugary binge, or a glass of wine post-work to easy anxiety.
As I am 100 per cent teetotal right now, due to the fact that I want to be as mentally and physically strong as possible during this time, I have found CBD in a soft drink (cue making your own CBD infused mocktail) is going to be my evening treat in place of any alcoholic drink.
Healthista readers get 20% off when using the code HEALTHY20.
#2 Take Ashwagandha to de-stress and sleep better
My ultimate stress-busting herbal hero is ashwagandha.
This adaptogenic plant helps nourish the adrenal glands, reduce cortisol and support our hormonal wellbeing. It’s an excellent health tonic for those that tend to run on adrenaline throughout the day and struggle with poor health after periods of stress.
For me ashwagandha is a herb I take to help me sleep better (as it lowers cortisol that can often make us wake up alter the night worrying about everything when you would rather be asleep and is helpful to keep hormones balanced.
Try: two capsules a day of Pukka organic Ashwagandha, £16.95 (30 capsules)
#3 Soak in magnesium to soothe you
We have heard this many times before and I don’t think there are many people left that haven’t heard about the wonders of magnesium for helping our bodies deal with stress.
Having a bath with magnesium (or soaking your feet in it if you don’t have a bath) soothes tired aching muscles and helps us feel more rested and calm and sleep a lot better.
#4 Use flower power to settle crazy emotions
Just like many other medicinal plants on this planet, flowers are not there just to look pretty, they also have incredibly healing properties, specifically effective at supporting us through an emotional shift.
I have been a huge fan of Australian flower essences for about 20 years now and find incredible benefit in using them in sprays (can be used directly on the skin or in a room), body creams (can be applied externally to any area of the body) and drops (in water or directly under the tongue) to help my mind and body stay more peaceful and resilient when dealing with what life throws at us.
I use calm and clear drops in my water or straight under my tongue when I feel overwhelmed. It helps you feel more grounded and calm and able to take on challenges with a more optimistic frame of mind.
#5 Take a chill pill
Unbeelievable Health Bee Calm supplement has a blend of natural ingredients that help the body deal with anxiety and stress.
This formula contains eight beneficial ingredients including: lemon balm which aids relaxation and decreases tension, passion flower which increases the body’s resistance to stress.
As well as magnesium which contributes to normal psychological function and to the normal function of the nervous system which is especially beneficial in periods of stress and depression.
Lastly, rhodiola is an adaptogen which means it work with the body to balance its functions, and may increase resistance to physical and environmental stress, which can lead to improved anxiety and moods.
Take two capsules Unbeelievable bee calm capsules with breakfast each day, £13.99
#6 Feed your brain and boost concentration
When your daily routine is turned upside down, you feel a bit low and left struggling to focus all day, it can be hard to not want to break up every other thirty minutes with a scroll on Instagram, to eat another slab of peanut butter on toast, or to check the latest group chat on WhatsApp as you find it too hard to concentrate.
Link Nutrition Brain Food, £21.95 contains a blend of brain and mood supportive nutrients. These include B12, B6 and Zinc and high levels of Lions Mane – a medicinal mushroom that helps improve cognitive function and reduces depression.
As well as Bacopa, an Ayurvedic medicinal plant that greatly improves cognitive function through reducing anxiety.
Take two tablets each day with breakfast to get you through the day without eating your way through the whole fridge as you are so fed up.
Charlotte Dormon is not a chef, or even that much of a cook. If it’s recipes you’re looking for – you’re in the wrong place.
But whether it’s Sunday lunch or Friday night cocktails, she’s the one friends and family turn to when they want to know how to eat out and be relatively healthy.
We’ll drink – and eat – to that.