Natural Remedies & Tips to Manage Your Anxiety During the Holidays and Into the New Year
Anxiety can be an annoying, frustrating, paralyzing, and completely scary emotional experience. According to the Oxford dictionary, to be anxious is to experience worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiousness can be a temporary emotional experience, or it can develop into something a bit more serious.
Experiencing anxiety can you leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control. For individuals who tend to feel anxious often, it can turn into various forms of a mental illness (or emotional disorder) called an anxiety disorder. There are many types of anxiety disorders such as: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Agoraphobia and Separation Anxiety Disorder to name a few.
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, but when it happens for longer period of times, more intensely, its important to see a professional.
Symptoms related anxiety and anxiety disorders look like
· A sudden feeling of panic and fear
· Uneasiness, nausea, or cramps
· Sleep-related problems — excessive sleep or sleeplessness
· Cold or sweaty hands or feet
· Numbness in the hands or feet
· Shortness of breath
· Increased heart rate
· Chest pain
· Dry mouth
· Hot flashes or chills
· Sudden trembling
Regardless if you experience anxiety from time to time, or deal with it more intensely, you can always use good reminders on how to manage it.
This time of year can bring on so many stressors that increase anxiety. This time of year can bring a wave of all types of emotions. It can be times of excitement and festiveness, but also times of sadness, emotional heaviness, and anxiety. Between holidays, gatherings, spending, family, loss, and transition into new year, its no wonder people are so overwhelm.
I’m a big believer in having a tool box of go to rituals, activities, practices, and remedies that supports you managing your psychological hygiene.
As both a clinician and a holistic practitioner, I have gathered many tools to help me manage my own Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I love finding natural and homeopathic solutions to my physiological challenges.
In no way is this formal medical advice. Please check with your physician before incorporating any of the following.
Herbs, teas, and tinctures , oh my!
I want to share with you, my story and relationship with anxiety, and take you on the journey that has shaped my particular practices. I love using the power of herbs to manage my mood.
Now my mood management has always been very important to me. I experienced depression since I was a young child. That was always very apparent and clear for me. However, I first became aware of my anxiety in my late teens/early twenties. I had my first panic attack in 2007 while in college. I had 2 jobs, served as a leader in several organizations, conducted research, took a full course load, and had a well lived social life. I did a lot, and when I got to the point of my chest feeling like it would cave in, or my thoughts becoming too rapid and intense insomnia, I went to the local co-op, and got essential oils.
My mother often burned oils and incense as I grew up, and even though she didn’t always tell me which scents she was burning, I knew that they were effective. Therefore, I incorporated burning oils and incense regularly.
I had my next anxiety attack in 2008, and so I decided to start taking yoga, learn breath work, and see a therapist . After such an experience, mindfulness became a core part of managing my anxiety, even if it couldn’t always help my depression. I meditated, journaled and practiced yoga regularly.
Over years, I experienced some pretty intense traumas, and developed PTSD, which was also connected to traumas I experienced as a child. So my anxiety intensified and there were many times I went to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking, intense exercise, and distraction aka, staying busy. Around 2013, I had a series of panic attacks, and they began to increasingly happen more regularly, so I knew something had to change.
I decreased the use of the unhealthy coping tools, and re-introduced what I knew to work in the past. I also began incorporating herbal teas.
I had my first anxiety related skin outbreak in 2016, and this changed everything. I had an intense panic attack, and 3 days later, I developed a stress rash which lasted on my body for 6 weeks. To stabilize my nervous system, I began getting acupuncture regularly, taking Chinese herbs, intaking herbal tinctures, utilizing teas, of course incorporating mindfulness and getting rest, and doing a lot less. For the sake of being able to function, my body forced me to listen to it, and give it nutrients to help stabilize it, when my mind was having trouble.
Needless to say, I manage my anxiety fairly well. I can regulate my body when I feel a panic attack coming on. I listen to my body when I need to incorporate rest. I have my remedies on deck when I need them. More importantly, I have completely shifted the type of stress I allow myself to experience.
Therefore, most of these tips, come from personal experience, as well as research.
I find so much power in the use of herbs because anxiety isn’t just emotional, but there is a physiological response occurring because of the emotion. Depending on the level of your anxiety, herbs may help.
When interacting with herbs, its usually in the form of oils, which can also be used in candles and on incense, tinctures, tea and raw form. My preferences for immediate relief are tinctures and teas. Using essential oils are like an added bonus for me, but aren’t my go to, outside of my bedroom. However when I experienced intense anxiety in the midst of mourning, I had aromatherapy bracelets and used oils topically. Remember, any of these herbs can be used to relieve anxiety, no matter the form, they just enter the blood stream differently, and last various lengths of time.
Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking different parts of the herbs or its root in alcohol or vinegar. Tinctures are to be ingested either under the tongue or in water, juice, or tea.
My Fave tinctures
*my fave brand is herb pharm
- Xiao Yao Sang (Chinese Herb Blend)
My Fave Teas
*fave tea brand is Traditional Medicinals
My fave herbs for anxiety and depression
- Licorice root
- Holy Basil
- Ashwagandha root
- Eleuthero root
- Rhodiola root
My Go-To non-herbal practices
- breathing exercises
- saying no
- imparting emotional, intellectual, and physical boundaries with people that increase stress or anxiety
The important thing to know is that you must be proactive in finding the remedies and practices that work for you. Every body is different. During this time, please take the time to slow down, and be present. Take the time to be gentle. Take the time to see a therapist. Take the time to be mindful of who you’re around, and what you’re doing. When it comes to anxiety, your breathe is ALWAYS the most important tool you have. Learn to regulate your breathing, hone your thoughts and ground your spirit.
If you are having trouble and feel you may need medical attention, please visit a doctor. If you are open to exploring your anxiety with a professional, look for a therapist in your area. This does not replace professional medical advice.