Just this week a friend of the family was brutally honest on her blog. She shared about her battle with anxiety.
Just a few days earlier, another friend was on social media asking for suggestions on how to deal with this very same issue.
I think if we’re all honest it is a pretty big problem for women these days.
So I’m gonna take the first step, stop pretending everything in my life is social media perfect, and come along side both my friends and so many others with a hearty, “Me Too!”
I have struggled with severe, crippling anxiety attacks. So much so that I have been on prescription medications for years.
But I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to be ashamed of anxiety, nor do you just have to muddle through. There is hope!
First let me say… if you are in a crippling place, go to a doctor and get help.
Don’t be too proud. Medication won’t solve the problem but it will get you to a place of relief where you can start to address the issue with more natural and longterm solutions.
The best news is you have many natural options to help you in the fight!
There are herbs and foods that will help support and strengthen your body and mind and give your adrenal glands the rest and replenishment they need.
Plus add in some simple lifestyle changes and you can kick anxiety to the curb!
Eat Good Food:
Stop eating processed food- this is not an easy thing to do, but it is the best way to give your body the nutrition it needs to heal itself.
Reduce sugar drastically- sugar is inflammatory to the entire body, including the brain.
Expand your mushroom horizons past white buttons or portebellos and choose: Reishi, Chaga, Shiitake, Oyster, Porcini, Maitake, Shimeji, or Chanterelle just to name a few.
Get lots of nutrients- melatonin in tart cherries, tryptophan in turkey, anti-oxidants in fruits and veggies, magnesium in almonds and cashews, Vitamin D in farm fresh eggs. (Shameless plug… Fox & Glove Farmstead sells awesome eggs!)
Eat Healthy Fats- butter, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, oily fish.
Learn to like and eat fermented foods: Kombucha, sourdough, kefir, kimchi or sauerkraut. Neurotransmitters are made in your gut so ferments support your nervous system by strengthening gut health.
Prayer and Meditation- Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
Practice deep breathing techniques- this is my go-to favorite! Breathe in through your nose as deeply as possible. Hold this breath for a count of 7 and then exhale as slow as possible through your nose. Repeat.
Make small lifestyle changes- a set regular bedtime and rise time, get regular moderate exercise, introduce tech free times (especially close to bedtime), go outside, take tiny breaks throughout the day to regroup your thoughts. Set a day of rest once a week.
Lemon Balm and skullcap (as a cup of tea) with a drop of wood betony extract added- 3x daily.
Adaptagen/tonic herbs: Ginseng, eleuthero, ashwagandha, and rhodiola all strengthen and tone, feed and nourish your body systems. Take a tonic with these herbs in them daily.
Holy Basil (also called Tulsi)- eat fresh daily or use as a tea.
Other nervines to quiet the mind: Chamomile, Hawthorn, passionflower, oats
*Start with one or two herbs in small doses and build from there with a less is more philosophy.
Make Use of Essential Oils:
Frankincense in a diffuser- it can calm the mind and enhance breathing.
Lemon balm in a massage oil- can reduce panic symptoms.
Mandarin in the bath- can relax and calm.
I am not a big supplement fan. I would rather get what I need from food and herbs but if you’re not opposed, then the following options are a good call.
Probiotics with up to 10 billion live organisms per dose.
Vitamin C to help produce norepinephrine.
Vitamin B5 to help with serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine production.
A multimineral combo (calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc) to help control stress hormones (cortisol).
Take Baby Steps
Don’t think that you have to do all of these things all at once. Pick one or two things from above and start small. The idea is to reduce anxiety not create more.
Maybe switch out the Parkay for actual butter or find a blend of kombucha that you like and drink that instead of soda.
Take a stroll on the weekend, practice your breathing while laying in bed and drink a cup of your chosen herbal tea blend at bedtime, eventually working your way up to three cups a day.
Diffuse essential oils instead of chemical fragrances. Take a daily supplement.
Little habits make way for bigger and better things, one baby step at a time.
I would love to hear your stories about anxiety. How do you handle it? Do you have encouragement for other women? Leave a comment or question below. Let’s support each other and help kick anxiety to the curb!