This ‘second wave’ of COVID 19 may be having quite a different effect on our mental health compared with the initial outbreak. During that initial period I was feeling hypervigilant, speedy and fearful, whereas this time round I’m feeling more depressed, teary and unmotivated. I think so many of us are also feeling frustrated, helpless, overwhelmed and even angry. We are grieving the loss of the familiar structure of our lives and contact with our loved ones, at the very least!
Now more than ever, we know it is crucial to look after our mental health, but taking action can be quite difficult when you are in the throes of feeling stuck, depressed, teary and unmotivated. We need a little reminding of how to pull ourselves out of this and start the process of regaining our sense of balance; to find our new groove.
Here are a few reminders of very simple, accessible things we can do to pull ourselves out of that ‘stuck’ energy. These are the things that have kept me afloat during the last few weeks.
- Drink more Tulsi Tea to nourish, calm and rebalance (and reduce alcohol consumption).
- Nature walks + slow nose breathing to switch us out of ‘flight or fight’ mode and into ‘rest and digest’ mode.
- Connect with friends & family to make your heart and soul feel nurtured and supported.
DRINK TULSI TEA
Tulsi nurtures and nourishes the body, mind and spirit while fostering a sense of relaxation and wellbeing. These adaptogenic Tulsi Teas were made for these times; they are your much-needed friends, helping you adapt to these uniquely stressful days to regain your calm. Think of them as ‘topping up your tank’ of reserves.
Here’s why we recommend drinking Tulsi everyday:
- Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb which helps you adapt and regain balance. These herbs promote energy and endurance while also calming your nervous system, allowing you to rebalance in the midst of stress (1)
- Tulsi can improve mental clarity due to its calming effect
- Tulsi has anti-anxiety, anti-stress and anti-depressant properties = mood-boosting
- Tulsi has positive effects on memory and cognitive brain function
- Tulsi can improve sleep
- Tulsi can help prevent the development of stress-related diseases
Want to reduce your alcohol intake?
We all know that the effects of too much alcohol are not great and it can be easy to fall into the routine of drinking habitually to ‘take the edge off’. If you’d like to reduce the amount you are drinking, you could try making some Tulsi Tea instead of reaching for the wine. Not only is it stopping you from drinking alcohol by drinking Tulsi instead, the health benefits are likely to be quite noticeable. You may experience feeling less agitated, anxious, tired and moody and instead feel more calm, clear-headed, and energised… not to mention how much better your digestion and sleep will be. This of course has profound effects on our mental health and capacity to cope.
To get started, you could try our ’21 Day Tulsi Challenge’ on your own, with friends, or by connecting with us. Check out our website for details and your ‘Welcome Kit.’
My favourite Tulsi herbal blends right now are:
NATURE WALKS + SLOW NOSE BREATHING
Set yourself aside some time to walk in nature everyday if possible. Try to get away from the traffic and into a park, along a creek, a beach, reserve or a quiet, tree-lined street. Even if you don’t feel like getting out there, rug up and do it! Notice how your breathing is; it is likely to be quick and short. Try coordinating some long, slow deep breaths through you nose with your steps.
Try to lengthen the inhale and exhale as you walk. Count the steps you take for each full inhale and exhale. Aim to take five to ten steps or more for each inhale, and five to ten steps for each exhale. Try to keep the inhale the same length as the exhale.
Breathing slowly and eventually deeply into the diaphragm promotes Parasympathetic Nervous System activation (rest and digest) and sends messages to the brain that we are safe. This conscious breathing leads to feelings of confidence and of being supported versus anxiety and disconnection.
You can of course also practice this type of breath extension while sitting. For more information on the power of nose breathing and other practices, check out this podcast by Ayurvedic Guru Dr John Douillard (2).
CONNECT WITH OTHERS!
Reach out to a trusted friend. Be honest, tell a close friend that you are not coping so well. Or, simply connect to talk about something trivial or reminisce on your favourite shared experiences. Sharing the experience with others or simply being able to connect is one of the best medicines there is.
Try joining some online social media groups with like-minded people, it can be a surprisingly supportive experience to find common ground in these communities. Also, the act of offering support to others can help your own mental wellbeing and make a big difference to someone else’s life.
So, when all else fails (and even if you don’t feel like it at the time :-/) Drink Tulsi Tea, walk in nature, take slow deep breaths, reach out to connect, repeat. Tulsi Tribe, we can do this!
NOTE: Always seek professional support if you are feeling anxious or depressed for an extended period. Beyond Blue now has a dedicated coronavirus online and phone support service. (3) and a new podcast (4).
About the Author: Sarah Holloway is an ORGANIC INDIA team member with a keen interest in Ayurveda and a background in environmental resource management. She is a proud Aunty and lives near Byron Bay with her husband and beloved pooch.
- Cohen, M.M. (2014) Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum L.): A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda & Integrative Medicine.