GRIEF & ANXIETY – COPING WITH UNRESOLVED GRIEF AND BREATHING LIFE BACK INTO ONE'S SELF
The past two years have tugged and tried each and every one of us in ways we could've
never foreseen. Navigating the unforeseen has been tricky at best. There has been the loss of loved ones, jobs, finances, health
and our social well-being.
Dealing with grief during covid makes it much more compacting and challenging
2020 began for me with my mother's death, so I was already experiencing an insurmountable amount of grief when covid engulfed the globe. The pandemic prompted authorized isolation and constant rumination with no relief in sight. After a month, I hightailed to Northern Wisconsin and self-quarantined immersed in Nature. One of my sisters was diagnosed with an acute disease near summer's end. By Christmas, all communication between my siblings and myself ceased to exist over the mishandling of my mother's estate. By November 2021, I received the unexpected news that my sister had passed away.
The grief, anxiety and countless sleepless nights chipped away at my existence. I had to get a fierce grip on handling it all for my own well-being. Most people don't think about using supplements for anxiety—or grief—for that matter, but these all-natural cures are a better alternative before trying a prescription drug. Most importantly, don't buy a cheap brand. That's a red flag for fillers—and always look at your list of ingredients! Keep it clean (if you can't pronounce it, it's most likely something you don't want entering your body).
If you take prescription drugs, please check with your doctor to ensure there aren't any interactions with the options listed below.
ADRENAL HEALTH is made by Gaia. As the name states, it supports your adrenals and gets accolades, in my opinion. Don't take your adrenal glands for granted—especially when chronic stress is involved—we all need to do a better job of supporting them. Those walnut sized glands are so significant to keeping our health in check. The main ingredients in Adrenal Health are Siberian Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Schisandra and Ashwagandha.
ASHWAGANDHA can significantly reduce stress and is hugely beneficial for depression and anxiety. Ashwagandha works well for some people with insomnia, but it has the
opposite effect and keeps me awake if taken before bed. Still, I take an
ashwagandha capsule in the mornings (with the Adrenal Health) because of its benefits.
CALIFORNIA POPPY contains sedative properties which help relieve anxiety and stress. It's also great at sharpening cognitive skills. Find California Poppy in an alcohol-free tincture form as alcohol nullifies the benefits. It is best taken before bed.
CALM A.S.A.P. is also made by Gaia. I added this one in Spring 2021 when my thoughts were spinning in the evenings after the sun went down. Tranquility replaces stress and keeps one even-keeled. The main ingredients are Passionflower, Chamomile, Holy Basil, Vervain and English Lavender. This one does contain alcohol so I used it sparingly and then kept alcohol-free tinctures of the listed ingredients (minus the lavender) until I felt it was no longer needed.
CHAMOMILE TEA is most commonly known to promote sleep. However, it is also beneficial for those who suffer from high anxiety, stress and a racing mind. This also comes in an alcohol-free tincture form if you prefer it this way.
GABA is a chemical made in the brain, but supplemented, it can decrease the stress-related beta waves while increasing the production of alpha waves. In other words, it helps balance excitation. It creates a relaxing state while maintaining mental focus, so it is a significant contributor to calming the brain and improving your mood.
LAVENDER is another excellent all-natural supplement to relieve anxiety, depression, or insomnia. You can add this fresh herb to salads or infuse it in a tea. I also use a high-quality
organic essential oil and add a few drops to a soaking tub to help relax.
MAGNESIUM comes in different forms—I take magnesium glycinate and l-threonate as they function differently. Magnesium glycinate helps calm the nervous system and
magnesium l-threonate boosts cognitive function while lowering hypertension. Adding Epsom salts to a bath further relaxes the muscles and state of mind (don't forget the lavender!). I prefer using both supplements in the mornings and in the evenings.
SKULLCAP is another excellent remedy for anxiety, stress and depression. It's also a good remedy for insomnia without powerfully sedating the body. You can drink this as tea or get the alcohol-free tincture form to have on hand for trouble sleeping due to a mind racing in a million different directions.
MEDITATING can be guided or unguided. Guided is helpful for beginners to get the most out of the experience. Focused meditation is also easy to practice during a yoga flow. You set your intention on your breath and movement, allowing your mind to clear and relax.
MOTHER NATURE is right outside our door; yet an astounding 93% of people spend most time indoors! Being in Nature allows one's senses to heighten and you pay closer attention to every sound, movement and smell. Besides, allowing your eyes to be in sunlight (sans sunglasses) for at least 20 minutes a day helps restore your circadian rhythm. Enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer!
THE GRIEF RECOVERY HANDBOOK is my favorite reading resource. This book not only covers everything you are going through—it also teaches everything no one taught us on the subject. Since it's a handbook, you have assignments to work on which allow you to step back and assess how you're processing the grief.
RELEASING TRAPPED EMOTIONS OR DOING ENERGY WORK is a powerful way to reduce anxiety and stress while coping with grief. Most people don't realize that emotions are energy and this energy can be carried on in our family lineage. In fact, I encourage people to work on releasing this type of energy regardless of what you're going through because none of us need to be carrying around excessive burdens. This was the most effective tool I had in my bag when my sister passed away since I was out of town and didn't have my supplement resources. I released copious amounts of toxic energy that was passed onto me through my ancestral lines and through everyday life. When done regularly (I was doing it twice daily) it's like hitting a reset button and disposing of all the heaviness and a great deal of the sadness.
None of us choose grief, but it's something we will all experience. Having the proper knowledge, supplements and tools can make this journey easier to manage while untangling and dealing with both grief and anxiety. As Rumi wrote, "grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom". Throughout all the loss brought on over the last two years, I've kept my eyes fixed on the bright, gleaming light, twinkling at the end of this dark tunnel.