Almost 1 in 3 people in New Zealand say they have had personal experience of mental distress* and in our current lockdown situation, our health providers are doing everything they can to give us valuable help resources such as Mental Health Foundation’s website tools
Not so long ago, in pre-COVID-19 days we put together a Q&A with one of our Medical Herbalists about stress. It seems just as pertinent now as it did then, so we have made a couple of updates. We hope you find it useful.
We asked Medical Herbalist and Artemis Herbal Research and Technical Advisor, Laura Bylsma, about stress – what is it and how self-care remedies can support us.
What exactly is stress?
Laura: Stress is a physical and emotional response to a demand (stressor). It could be a real threat – and the current threat of COVID-19 is real. But it could also be a response activated and perpetuated by our own negative thoughts and beliefs. ‘Negative self-talk’ is a phrase commonly used to describe this.
Not all stress is bad. Our nervous system is designed to respond, to fire up our adrenal glands and to recover quickly.
The problems occur when we can’t ‘turn off’ those emotional and physical responses and we stay on ‘high alert’ with our adrenal glands constantly stimulated for long periods. Unsurprisingly more of us might feel like that at the moment.
So why is that bad for us?
Laura: Signs of prolonged stress can include poor quality sleep, digestive disturbances, blood sugar imbalances, low immunity and hormonal and fertility issues. In a nutshell, a cycle of too much stress means your mental and physical wellbeing is compromised and challenged.
When I get stressed I feel really wound up. But my daughter says she’s stressed and then she just hides under a blanket on the couch – really?
Laura: There are two ways that you can 'feel' stress. Feeling "wired and tired" is common in our fast-paced lives, when you're pulled into a constant state of being busy, but you just keep going. And even when you are in lockdown this is still entirely possible.
But if you take the wired away, you just feel tired. And "low and slow" is the other side of the stress spectrum, indicated by lethargy, low moods, and mental exhaustion.
So what can I do?
Laura: Identify your stress type. Then try and reduce the stressors in your life. Of course if you are really under threat this may not be possible. So try and focus even more on good nutrition, exercise and rest – the key ingredients for good health.
You can also get extra support and nourishment for your nervous system and adrenals using all natural plant based remedies.
Wired and tired? Try Artemis Rest and Relax Tea
Formulated to support your adrenal glands and calm an anxious mind, this will help to turn off your fight or flight system, which can keep your mind buzzing, and help activate your rest and digest system.
Low and Slow? Try Artemis Stress Relief Tea
Containing pure St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), this tea is like insulation for a jangled nervous system. St John’s Wort is a hero plant ingredient. It helps to reinforce healthy neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin - our 'happy' chemical.
For centuries teas have been used as traditional remedies to support good health. Easily absorbed, gentle on your digestive system and with no risk of addiction, Artemis teas are 100% natural, organic, non-GMO with no artificial ingredients or additives.
We know that many of our retail partners are closed for the duration of our Level 4 Covid lockdown. But pharmacies remain open. If you are not heading out on an essential visit to your pharmacy, you can order these teas online from us here or www.bargainchemist.co.nz and www.pharmacydirect.co.nz
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your health professional. Artemis Brands Ltd, Dunedin.
*Survey: Wellbeing and Mental Distress in Aotearoa New Zealand: Snapshot 2016