Stress and anxiety are common conditions in modern life. It is estimated that a fifth of all days lost at work are due to anxiety and depression in Britain, with 8.2 million cases of anxiety in 2013 alone.
In severe cases, your best cause of action should be to contact your GP for help, but for milder or more occasional cases, some of these natural remedies may help to take the pressure off of the day.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
First things first, you’re never going to feel your best if you’ve not allowed your body to rest. This is the time it uses to recharge and prepare itself for the day ahead.
Most of us will have read that simple things such as limiting or eradicating “screen time” immediately before bed can help. But have you actually tried it? I had a strict one hour minimum away from screens for an entire week and the results were genuinely impressive.
In that time away from phones and TVs, I used to do things like walk the dogs or have a hot bath, just to help wind down from the day.
2. Eat a protein-rich breakfast
We won’t give you the old cliché that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, psychiatrists and psychologists have seen instances whereby a drop in blood sugar levels can either cause or simply feels a lot like anxiety. Likewise, the same applies when skipping meals.
Eating a high-protein breakfast helps to maintain a more steady glucose level throughout the day, and combined with regular, healthy meals, can help prevent the peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels.
Snacking on nuts—such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts—as well as eating beans, white fish, and leafy greens can all help too. For an extra punch, try WelleCo’s SUPER ELIXIR. It contains 40+ naturally derived ingredients, including wholefoods, herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals and probiotics.
3. Exercise regularly
Sometimes exercise can feel like a chore. It’s really easy to skip the gym and go “tomorrow”. There’s absolutely no point in putting pressure on yourself to fit in some exercise, that will just make things worse, instead think about how you can change your lifestyle ever so slightly to get that little extra activity during the day.
Do you really need to drive to the shop or is it walking distance?
What about taking the stairs rather than the lift? Or if you’re in a tall building, take the lift halfway!
If you do have more time, try and do some kind of activity that increases your heart rate. Even if only for a few minutes. And don’t forget to stay hydrated whilst doing it!
4. Take some vitamins
My personal guess is that most of us are deficient in something. In Britain for example, a decent percentage of people suffer from a lack of vitamin D, particularly in the winter.
Obviously we’d always recommend to get as much as you can from a balanced diet—salmon, for example, is a great source for vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids, and green vegetables, beans and nuts are all great for magnesium—but it’s not always easy or practical to do it through diet alone.
Two key vitamins that have reported benefits when it comes to anxiety are vitamin D and vitamin B12. There are lots of ways to get more of both of these into your diet. BetterYou have a range of really convenient daily oral sprays and Advanced Nutrition Programme have several all-round multi-vitamin products that contain both of these and more.
5. Try some CBD products
There’s a whole host of CBD products on the market now from oils and drops, gummies, drink drops, bath salts and more. There are widespread reported benefits when it comes to anxiety and depression and with so many options, you can take a product that suits you and your lifestyle.
We’ve got a dedicated blog post on where to start with CBD if you’d like to find out more.
6. Have a go at yoga or meditating
If you suffer from anxiety but have never tried yoga or meditation then I would definitely suggest giving one or both a try. It’s truly time for you without any distractions or a wandering mind.
You don’t need anything to get started either. Have a look for videos and tutorials on YouTube that you can do at home. You can use a rug and cushions to start with, so there’s no need to immediately go out and buy all the gear.
7. Introduce probiotics into your diet
Despite sometimes being a slightly contentious product, studies have shown that probiotics—especially the strain Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus—“significantly” decreased anxiety. This particularly study also found that "probiotics significantly decreased anxiety" and that “probiotics decrease anxiety values in populations with anxiety".
Let us know your ways of dealing with stress and anxiety!