Anxiety and Mental Health Tips for the Naturalist in You
It’s been an extremely nervous time. If you’re struggling to manage the stress of life or have given up on getting a handle on the pressure you’re under, simple changes can reduce your pain.
Prioritize quality sleep. Try to make your bedroom a dark oasis of cool, quiet calm. If that’s not an option consider adding a canopy to your bed for privacy and dark, get a sleep mask to enjoy darkness and consider a headset to keep your space as quiet as possible. If you can’t wear a headset and sleep well, consider using a sound machine to help you block out distractions.
Deep sleep is the cycle where your brain sheds toxins. If you struggle with anxiety that leads to insomnia because the wheels won’t quit turning, you’re likely not spending enough time in deep sleep to fully cleanse your brain. Shutting down these thoughts can be easier with a CBD supplement or sativa strain edible before bed. If you find you can fall asleep but can’t stay asleep, consider taking a CBD gummie as well as an oil dose under the tongue. By the time the oil wears off, which takes a couple of hours, the gummie kicks in.
Take time each day to get away from screens and enjoy emptying your brain. For example, you could require that the television, computer, tablets and phones all get turned off at 8 pm. Read a paper book for 15 to 30 minutes, then light a candle and turn off your electric lights as you prep for bed. Turning your brain off is much easier if you can get comfortable and relax in natural light. Do this before you crawl into a warm, comfortable bed in a cool, quiet room
Watch Your Diet
Keep an eye on everything you eat that is processed. This includes
- anything high in processed sugars
- foods high in sodium
- any foods containing ingredients that have more than five syllables
- anything that comes in a wrapper
- soda with sugar or artificial sweetener
If you’re struggling with chronic physical or emotional pain, keep a journal and consider starting an elimination diet to track how you feel as you remove highly processed foods. For the first week, take out sugary foods. During the second week, cut out white flour. Give yourself a few days after each product elimination to allow you to resettle; going without artificial sweetener can make you feel better in 10 days, but the headache on the first day can be pretty rough.
Arrange your day so you can walk or move your body through space for at least 30 minutes a day. You can break this down into six different five minutetrips or take one 30 minute walk early in the day. Hydrate well in each exercise session. Consider treating yourself to a couple of reusable water bottles and keep them filled up, swapping them out as you empty each bottle.
It’s very easy to get dehydratedand once you’re out of water internally your kidneys, liver and gutare working a lot harder to clear toxins. Support these hard-working organs with extra water each day.
Watch Your Habits
Your brain is built to build on habits. Once you’ve built a habit, whether it’s good or bad, you’ll automatically revert to it unless you make a conscious choice to change it. If you’re used to hitting the snooze button, you’ll build a habit of being late or running behind. If you’re used to getting up early and going for a walk with your water bottle, you’ll build a habit of checking exercise off your list and starting your day full hydrated.
To build a new habit, you need to determine what the trigger is that’s leading to the behavior you don’t like. For example, if you get home, sit on the couch and watch the news so you know what to worry about, your trigger is “arriving home”. Instead of sitting on the couch, try going to your room and picking up a craft or an instrument or a creative project. You’ll find two things:
- You’re not worrying about what you saw on television
- You actually have time for your hobbies, crafts and creative pursuits
- You can get more done in the evenings or after work
Now that you know your triggers, you can arrange new responses to each trigger. If getting tired brings on feelings of anxiety or a depressive sense of hopelessness, a nap or going to bed early can truly be a matter of life and death. If eating sugar leads to agitation and obsessive thoughts, changing your diet can greatly improve your life. Start with the everyday basics to support your best mental health.