I'm Not Stressed Out. I'm Just Devouring Chocolate and Napping All Day!
Actually, my friend, you might be stressed. And who wouldn't be? THIS IS STRESSFUL.
Our entire lives have been uprooted with an unforeseen, unprecedented pandemic of mega proportions in a very advanced technological and medical era in which we never thought this could happen. So to say this was a surprise for most of us, would be an understatement.
Whether we like it, or not (which probably not), it is happening. Our new normal is changing, our old routines are out and HUGE uncertainties loom. We're all looking around wondering what to do next and asking ourselves the same questions;
1. When will this end?
2. Will we be okay financially?
3. Will we be okay health wise?
4. Will someone I love be effected?
5. Is this the end of the world as we know it?
While I can't answer any of those questions for you, I can shed some light onto what stress, more specifically chronic or unchecked stress does to our bodies, minds and spirits. Sleep pattern disturbances, anxiety, and depression are just a few to note, right off the top of my head.
I'm sure you already know that chronic stress is "not good"- obviously. But did you know that when you're chronically stressed, your parasympathetic response (your fight or flight) is continuously on go mode. which makes it impossible for your body to relax and ease into our sympathetic response (rest and digest) which then, in turn, creates sleep disturbances, circadian rhythm issues, unusual cortisol level patterns and inhibits normal digestion. Wow...that was a long sentence! If you could hear me saying it out loud it would be impassioned and booming, and I'd be out of breath right now.
Moving on... Did you also know that our bodies are constantly monitoring stressors to maintain regular homeostasis and some of our bodies are working so hard that mentally we're not even aware that we're stressed but we end up with IBS, excess belly weight, mood swings, and sleep problems anyway?
We need to, nay HAVE to, check ourselves before we wreck ourselves!
Let's talk about high cortisol levels for a second. Stress creates a response from our hypothalamus that sends signals to the kidneys that then releases adrenaline and cortisol hormones from the endocrine system. When we have too many stressors we usually have too much, or even MUCH TOO MUCH cortisol. High cortisol levels can result in arterial damage, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Our poor little hearts, literally, can't even with the stress.
If that's not enough - there's more...
Chronic stress, and high cortisol levels, also inhibit digestion to the point that we can no longer absorb some nutrients from the foods that we eat including calcium. This can lead to negative effects in bone density and eventually osteoporosis and osteopenia. Along with not allowing some nutrients to be absorbed we also end up with IBS symptoms which range from constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain to cramping, bloating, indigestion and excess gas. WOW- another reason to check ourselves.
Wait, wait, wait...there's EVEN more- When chronic stress is present, your body goes into action and stress hormones take precedence over all other hormone production including sex hormones; this can affect libido, sure, but also can create menstrual irregularities including heaving periods, long lasting periods, unexpected periods, no period, painful periods...just all the different kinds of periods. Sex hormone disturbances can also cause extreme and constant fatigue, depression, increased anxiety, infertility and chronic reproductive illnesses. Yikes.
SO! Let's Recap- If we don't find ways to mitigate our stressors, our heart will be shot, we won't sleep, we'll have brittle bones, chronic constipation or diarrhea accompanied with any other lovely IBS symptoms, and we probably won't be in the mood all too often. Plus those other fun tidbits that I mentioned here and there. Wow, stress is fun.
That's mostly all physical stuff but what does stress do to us mentally and emotionally? Unchecked stress mounts in our bodies until we feel almost broken; that feeling of "if one more thing comes my way I'm gonna lose it." Maybe for some that's falling to pieces while others it's snapping. That feeling of dread and doubt and constant worry. It could manifest as a tightness in our chest, shortness of breath, overwhelming tears, and finally a panic attack. Been there, done that and I ain't never going back!
It makes us feel overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, irritable and out of control. It creates a feeling of "stuck-ness", like we won't ever climb out of this desperate hole we've somehow fallen into. But stress is a liar. We can climb out and we can stop this crazy cycle of not enough time and wayyyyy too much to do. We have to. For our health. For our families. And for our happiness.
Did my info on stress just stress you out? Don't worry, we've got this!
First things first:
Take a breath. Breath work has been tested and proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure in moments of high stress situations or in the lead time before a panic attack. Meditation can be very helpful in finding the rhythm of our breath and focusing on being present. There have been so many studies, especially within the last few years surrounding meditation and it's usefulness in stress management and breath is a huge part of meditation. Here's a wonderful meditation practice from one of our studio owners, Stephanie. Enjoy!
I like to move it, move it! Get out and move. I recommend yoga and some sort of cross-training or cardio infused strength but any exercise will do. As a yoga instructor- I tend to lean towards the practice of yoga for stress management because you really get the best of all the worlds: balancing our core with our mind and moving our joints safely while building muscle with body weight. You can do yoga from anywhere and anytime of day. It's wonderful. But I also teach strength and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fun upbeat music and movements. It really gets endorphins going. Our studio which is offering a 6 weeks unlimited classes for $60 COVID special for our virtual classes is an amazing and affordable option. We have over 30 classes a week, with offerings of Flow Yoga, Power Flow, Yoga Nidra, Gentle Flow, Chair Yoga, Strength, HIIT and Barre. So many different types of physical activity available and all from the comfort of your own home (for now). You can sign up here!
Now we get down to the nitty gritty of this post: HERBS!!! You know I love my herbs!
At Herbal Revival, we know that stress, anxiety and depression can all be debilitating and frustrating and can effect so many other areas of our lives. That's why, we carry a wide variety of tinctures, tonics, capsules, oils, hydrosols, burning herbs, creams, salves, etc. for these ailments. Here I'll show some of my favorite products:
Calm A.S.A.P- Gaia Herbs
This wonderful capsule by GAIA Herbs is packed full of beautifully calming herbs.
Passionflower: A gorgeous sedative nervine that helps soothe, nourish and quiet the nervous system to help us relax in moments of anxiousness.
Skullcap: Great herb for quieting the mind and helping to relive a tense and tired state.
Tulsi: Adaptogen- Helps us adapt and respond better to stressors. Has a relaxing and uplifting effect upon the body.
$15.99/ 30 ct Bottle
Don't Worry Tincture- Roots to Remedies
Very effective remedy from Roots to Remedies made to help reduce stress, anxiety and a restless mind.
Made with Skullcap, Oatstraw, Motherwort, Lavender and Linden this tincture is overfilling with relaxing, nourishing nervous system tonics. This blend of herbs is perfect for those who need calmness, stillness and focus and need it fast.
$12.50 for 1oz Bottle
$22.00 for 1oz Bottle with 100mg CBD
Stress Less Blend-Herbal Moon Apothecary
A fantastic tincture from Herbal Moon Apothecary- for those who have chronic stress that is now effecting sleep patterns, energy levels, mood, focus and relationships.
This tincture has a wide arrangement of adaptogenic herbs to help us respond better to stress and start to normalize our hormone secretions from our adrenal glands which is paramount in controlling stress and cortisol levels.
$18.00 1oz Bottle
Nervine Tincture- Roots to Remedies
Made with nourishing herbs meant to soothe the nervous system, as well as help it to function better. Along with passionflower, skullcap and chamomile it has lemon balm and a very effective anti-spasmodic- Cramp Bark.
A great tincture for those who need to calm their nervous system quickly. For the tired, over-worked and downright uptight. $15.00 1oz Bottle.
Stress Response- Gaia Herbs
A capsule chock-full of adaptogenic herbs to help reserve our energy levels, coping resources and overall stress responses. In a time like this, who couldn't use a product like this?
$17.99/ 30ct Bottle
Joy Tincture- Roots to Remedies
A great and uplifting tincture made with adaptogenic herbs Rhodiola and Ashwagandha which can help with our stress responses but also help us to normalize our hormone levels.
It also has St. John's Wort which is known for it's anti-depressant and uplifting nature.
This tincture is rounded out with some nourishing nervines to help soothe and calm the nervous system. A truly great pick for anyone needing a boost of sustainable energy and mood lifting!
$15.00/ 1oz Bottle
Mood Uplift- Gaia Herbs
Adaptogenic herbs, nervine tonics, anti-depressant...what else could you need in an herbal synergy meant to lift spirits and support our emotional balance?
Made with Milky Oat Tops, St. John's Wort, Passionflower, Vervain, Schisandra Berry, Gotu Kola and Rosemary leaf.
$29.99/ 60ct Bottle
If any of these products sound like they might be for you, order via our website's contact form or by calling 541-769-0833. You can also order via Facebook and Instagram. If you have more questions please let us know.
Let's all take care of one another during this time. The only way to truly care for others is to care for ourselves first. This isn't just self-care, this is putting our mental, emotional and physical health first so that we can care for others selflessly and effectively when they need us most.
Stay Healthy & Stay Awesome,
If you are in crisis or you think you may have an emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. If you're having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). If you are located outside the United States, call your local emergency line immediately.
I, Nicole C. Ryan, am not a medical professional. Nothing stated in store, in social media posts, or on this website is intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or ailment but for educational purposes only. Always speak to your healthcare provider before using any herbal products, especially if pregnant or nursing or taking any medications.