Updated: May 14, 2020
We are proud to present, especially now, resources on mindfulness as a way in which to move through the waves of emotions that come with an unpredictable time. Our own providers, Keri Brooks, Mari Verano, and Shelby McClure, have brought together their insight and expertise to give us practical tips on what to do. We've summarized their tips below as well.
Resources from the Video:
Activate your parasympathetic nervous system to create calm.
Use ice or cold water to break up a panic or anxiety situation.
Quick, intensive exercise, such as jumping jacks or burpees, will also do this.
Taking deep breaths, using mindfulness, which can be easier with the following apps:
Headspace is free for healthcare professionals, and everyone can try it for free.
5 Senses Grounding: Sight / Sound / Smell / Touch / Taste
Imagine a safe & calm place, what do you see? What are the sounds? Smells?
Imagine a safe or soothing person from your life; describe what they look like, what they sound like, familiar smells, etc.
Create a "grounding kit": pictures of loved ones or safe environment, music or sounds, tastes such as herbs or gum or mints, tactile objects with soothing feeling, essential oils or other smells.
Nutrition & Functional Medicine:
Blood sugar balance is important - both high and low can contribute to more difficult to process emotions. This increases cortisol and adrenaline, which can induce anxiety, depression, etc.
Eat within an hour of waking up
Adaptogenic herbs normalize the nervous system, such as ashwagandha, rhodiola root, licorice root (careful for those with high blood pressure)
Caffeine alternative (coffee increases blood sugar and dopamine, which can be unhelpful): matcha green tea, has calming agent; if you want to keep drinking coffee, add fats (coconut oil, etc.) to slow the absorption
Create a sleep routine, be aware of blue light which interferes with melatonin and increases cortisol. You can also get apps to change blue light on your phone or computer, or wear glasses that filter out blue light.
If you have been sleeping really late, move your sleep time a bit earlier (15 minutes) and gradually move toward your goal sleep time.
Minerals: magnesium flakes or salts for your bath to calm the nervous system; melatonin, chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, lemon balm, peppermint. Adding honey increases serotonin!