Stress: The New Normal
Is it just me or is 2021 NOT how you imagined it was going to be? I was thinking "out with the old, in with the new"! Well, the old just seemed to follow us and it won't go away. Stress is more prevalent than ever before and now on top of adults having to cope with stress, it has found its way to into the lives of our children. In 2020, the American Psychological Association statistics show that 78% of Americans agreed that the COVID pandemic was a significant additional stress to their lives and 75% of teens between the ages of 13-17 experienced depression. In times like this it is vital that we pay attention to the signs of stress and fight back appropriately.
On top of eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising, there are herbs that can help reduce stress in the body. Herbalists call them adaptogens and they are a special class of medicinal herbs that have many talents but targeting stress within the body is their strong suit. They do great at boosting immune systems and increasing mental focus, but they also balance, restore and protect our cells from the destruction that stress can leave behind. Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, Cordyceps and Astragalus to name a few, are all herbs that can be taken in tea or pill form.
Children can also benefit from these herbs and as important as it is to assist children in their stress, it is necessary to teach them how to cope with it. Introducing children to herbs and showing them how to use them when they are feeling stressed gives them power and helps them feel in control. Allowing them the independence to make a cup of tea when they aren't feeling good is the first step towards teaching them coping skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.
There is a great recipe to help with stress that is good for the whole family. It's called Midnight Milk and you can buy it already made or you can make it yourself using the following ingredients:
1/4 cup powdered Ashwagandha
1/4 cup powdered Schisandra Berries
1 cup powdered Rose Petals
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
Mix 1 teaspoon of the blend into 1 cup of any milk variety and warm until blended. It's great before bed but its comforting taste is good any time of day. I hope you all take good care in 2021. Don't forget to play and take time for yourself, even if it's just a 5 minute break to turn your face to the sun. Breathe deep and just know that you are not alone. We are all trying to manage the changing tides. Taking care of ourselves is what is most important right now and always.