This article is part of the Mommy Overwhelm series. Yesterday, we shared some everyday activities to unload stress, on Thursday we'll be sharing some Parenting Affirmations.
It can be hard to parent in Western Culture, often we are alone, isolated, if not physically, then emotionally. There are times we are so busy caring for our family that we forgot to care for ourselves, and then we get spent.
Here are a few herbs, supplements and foods that can help you overcome or avoid this feeling, and parent in a balanced, together sort of way, without getting overrun.
Make sure to read my article on short self care activities to help you deal with everyday parenting stress.
Flower essencesWhen I first heard about flower essences I wondered how on earth such a thing could work. I actually found it to be just that bit too new age for our family. But after several recommendations and some guidance, I gave it a shot, and found it to be extremely effective. If you are treating emotional states, you will get the best rests with little over a long time, so you do have to keep up the routine.
There is a Bach flower essence for every type of emotional setting you would like to change. Just go over their questionnaire to find out which ones are apt for your.
It is a good idea to have their rescue remedy handy, for whenever you feel like you are spinning out of control. If you're having trouble falling asleep, they have a special rescue remedy for nights too.
FoodsOranges - high vitamin C levels in this fruit reduces stress
Dried apricots - naturally high in magnesium
Avocados - help lower blood pressure
SupplementsB Complex - taking B vitamins helps you handle daily stresses better
Bee pollen - gives you more energy, which can be pretty useful after a couple of sleepless nights. It is also particularly effective in dealing depression
Magnesium - eases anxiety and helps deal with/avoid anger outbursts, which are a symptom of continued stress
|Image: Khairil Zhafri|
Chamomille - probably the most widely available and best known herb for it's calming effect.
Bare in mind that herbs do not work in the same way medication does, some have to be taken over time to have the best effects.
Lemon Balm - proven to be effective to reduce stress short term and makes you feel more calm and relaxed
Green tea or black tea - contains theanine which helps relax the mind
Ashwandanga (Indian Ginseng) - is the ayurvedic remedy against stress
Passion flower - lowers anxiety
Make sure you get good quality, organic herbs. You recognize good herbs by their scent and lifelike color.
Basil - de-stresses by reducing levels of serotonin
Other considerationsStress is very bad for the immune system, so if you are really overwhelmed for extended periods, it can be interesting to look into immunity boosters.
The best way to handle stress is to avoid it, routines and rituals will help you with this. Changing your expectations is another way of avoiding frustration. Also add daily practice of self care to your routine, to arm yourself against the stresses of parenting. Physical activity is also very effective against stress, so incorporate a healthy level of activity in your daily life. Avoid stressors like caffeine and alcohol. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable by eating small amounts throughout the day will also greatly improve your capacity to handle stressors.