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Here’s how I’m coping with stress and anxiety naturally. Like many, during the COVID-19 stay-at-home for months, I have ridden the rollercoaster of various emotions. Many of the tips I used during this time I had learned and put into practice back in 2017.
A few years ago anyone following me for very long on Facebook knew I had been dealing with my beloved Shih Tzu Ginger’s health. Around Memorial Day 2017 she fainted at the groomer and that started a bunch of tests ~ cardiac, blood, urine, etc. She was about to turn 14, had a heart murmur, and also had loose teeth and periodontal disease. September was her oral surgery where she needed to have about 15 teeth pulled.
Thankfully we had already been going to a great holistic, homeopathic vet who was able to find ways to support Ginger’s little body. We are huge proponents of the raw diet, as well as giving her good water to drink. It took months, and finally our vet felt she was healthy enough to go under anesthesia. As an Ingredient Geek I had to figure out how I would be coping with stress and anxiety naturally.
Of course I was happy that she would finally get her mouth taken care of, however, it started my mind going to the anxious “what if” places. Do you know that place? What if she’s not REALLY healthy enough? What if being under anesthesia is too much for her heart? What if this? What if that? Argh!
Natural Ways I’ve Used in Coping with Stress and Anxiety
In the past, all of the stresses could have made me lose sleep, be overly anxious, or go into a full-blown panic attack. Here’s what I used on surgery day to help me cope. Note: Don’t get me wrong, I was still very concerned ~ just not as crazy with anxiety as I would have been in before!
I prayed A LOT for the weeks leading up to her surgery, and of course throughout the day! There was so much that was outside of my control. I really needed to focus on what I could control, and leave the rest to God. This gave me peace about the situation that I would not have had without those prayers.
I surrounded myself with positive supportive people.
I’m so thankful for my friends, family, and Facebook community who prayed for us. I’ll admit that often I felt silly asking for prayers for my dog & for me fighting my anxiety. There are so many others asking for prayer because of death in the family, cancer diagnosis, ongoing chronic illnesses, etc. However, I was reminded that God wants us to bear one another’s burdens, and how can they do that if I don’t share about my fur baby and me?! During COVID-19 being able to connect with others when we couldn’t physically be around each other has also been crucial for my emotional well-being.
I did not give in to eating crummy comfort food.
Honestly, this was the hardest one. I REALLY want to eat junk when I’m stressed! During COVID-19 I gave in and drowned in comfort food for too long. When I’m starting to feel anxious and I eat food that isn’t healthy for me, it will often make me feel lethargic. When I feel tired, or don’t feel well, it’s easier for me to sink into depressing thoughts, and then fall down a slippery downward spiral that is really hard to get out of.
I used aromatherapy to help my mood.
While at the vet hospital I wore Sweet Orange Essential Oil in my locket necklace because it is my “happy” scent, and super uplifting. When we got home I diffused our Tranquility Blend (cedarwood, lavender, frankincense, sweet orange, and chamomile). This one helped relax and calm my body & mind. This also aided in more restful sleep that night.
I played music that made me feel happy and I danced.
It’s amazing how much I’ve used music and dance to help me in various situations throughout my lifetime. My current favorite is from the movie The Greatest Showman ~ singing & dancing to a couple of songs releases stress and often helps bring me out of a bit of a funk.
I’m a huge fan of the herbal Ashwagandha
I first learned about Ashwagandha when I started having adrenal and thyroid issues many years ago. It is an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine that has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol and balancing thyroid hormones. It is wonderful at calming the body. Read more here and here.
I took the homeopathic remedy Ignatia.
All of the above ways help, but when I feel like I am “close to the edge” of getting really anxious and needed just a little bit more help, the homeopathic remedy Ignatia is amazing for helping calm my thoughts, and it’s also wonderful for grief. It was my “best friend” after Ginger passed away in January 2018. If you haven’t discovered Ignatia yet, Joette Calabrese has a great article about this amazing, safe remedy.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these ways to help you cope with stress or anxiety. What other natural ways have worked for you?
My passion is to help families with Swapping Toxins for Healthy Options. I can send you a list of the top ingredients to avoid. Let’s start the conversation about ingredients in products with others ~ Contact me to speak to groups, companies, or a few friends gathered together online or in person. Making small steps CAN make a big impact.