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Supplements, Herbs & Essential Oils for Mental Health

There are many supplements, herbs, and essential oils that can help with mental health issues, but here are a handful of each that may help you:

Supplements

Vitamin D: Depression, anxiety, fatigue

Omega 3: Brain function, anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment, memory

B Complex Vitamins: Very important for the nervous system and energy. In addition, extra dosages of B6 and B12 may be require for some mental health conditions

Multi-Vitamin: All mental health conditions. May also contain trace mineral elements (iron, manganese, zinc, copper, iodine – essential for many physiological and mental functions).

Magnesium: Major role in calming the nervous system. May also ease muscle tension, decrease blood pressure, and aid sleep.

Probiotics: Good bacteria, necessary for the production of neuro-transmitters like serotonin (feelings of happiness) and gaba (calmness).

Amino-acids: Tryptophan (converts into serotonin); Theanine (for anxiety)

Herbs

Gingo: Improves memory

Ashwaganda AKA “Strength of a Horse”: Gives energy, helps to feel less overwhelmed, improves focus and organization.

Calamus (root): Helps with brain overload, mental clarity

Gotocola: Calms nervous system, increases mental clarity and memory; great for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, increases oxygen levels

Essential Oils

Lavender: Anxiety, depression, insomnia

Citrus oils (Orange, lemon, lime, bergamot ): Depression; are uplifting

Rosemary: Helps with focus, memory, mental alertness

Rose: Depression

Blue tansy: Promotes emotional stability, relaxation, calms the mind

Cedarwood: Relieves tension and anxiety, helps with sleep

Clary sage: mental fatigue, emotional shock, anxiety

Sandalwood: Calms mind racing, helps with insomnia

Frankincense: Depression, anxiety, grounding

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Avoiding Burnout

3 Questions to ask yourself

Autumn is usually a time when we all try to turn over a new leaf, so to speak. As the leaves fall, we see the new season as an opportunity to get back to an ideal routine, get things in order and take on new challenges. But have you ever felt like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? If so, you’re not alone.

During this time of year, there are always tons of new things starting that hold the potential to enrich our lives. We see ads for new fitness classes; special interest groups; book clubs; committees…the list goes on and on. And if you’re a parent, this list multiplies with every child you have. These activities are all wonderful in theory, and some of them may be just what your life needs at the moment. But sometimes we take on too much and these opportunities can end up leaving us feeling over-stretched and inefficient – which is totally not the case. We’re just not superheroes, unfortunately.

It is important when deciding on what to add to our already busy lives, that we take a reflective moment to consider a few key qualifiers:
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1. Do I have the time and energy to maintain this commitment?

It’s easy to get excited about something on September 1st, but by October are you going to feel drained and wishing you hadn’t taken something new on in the first place?

2. Am I doing this for someone else or for myself?

Of course it is nice to be able to contribute to other’s lives, but if it ends up taking away too much from our needed self-care time, consider offering yourself on an as-needed basis if applicable. Conversely, if it is something you feel your life is currently missing, then go for it!

3. Is this aligned with an immediate need or desire & how much will this add to my life?

There is something positive to be taken from almost every opportunity you could be presented with. However, figuring out what will have the best impact on you or your community can help you decide what to say yes to, and what to say “maybe next time” to.

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When we’re focused on constantly growing and living our fullest life, it’s not easy to find balance. It may help to actually schedule in times for restoration and self-care. Here’s one solution:

Our Raindrop Aromatherapy Massage is incredibly rejuvenating and uses 8 or more essential oils to help decrease stress and muscle tension, among other issues.  By actively making time for wellness in our lives, it refuels our tank, and allows us to do more of what we love.

Here’s to striking the perfect balance this fall!


You may also enjoy:

 5 Tips for Mental Health Maintenance

design-32 “Why saying “No” is an act of self-care” by LifewithMeg

 


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DIY Kombucha – An easy guide to make at home.

The gut (our digestive system) is often referred to as our ‘second brain’. It is lined with healthy bacteria which is important for many bodily functions – especially for our brain and mental health. This ‘good’ bacteria can be depleted by foods we eat, toxins, and other things we may put in our body. If you experience bouts of sadness, mood swings, memory loss, chronic depression, or other mental health issues, repairing your gut can make a majorly positive difference. This can be done by taking a probiotic. Any fermented foods and beverages are a strong source. One yummy beverage, particularly high in probiotics is Kombucha. It is a fermented tea that is inexpensive, delicious, and easy to make at home! Keep reading to learn how!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 3.5 quarts water
  • 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup if using natural sugar like sugar cane or Stevia)
  • 8 tea bags (black and/or green), or 2 tbsp loose tea
  • 2 cups starter tea from last batch or store bought Kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral flavour)
  • 1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast)

(Optional flavouring to be added after tea ferments. You can use fresh fruit, not from concentrate juice, ginger root, cinnamon stick, anise, or whatever your taste buds desire.)

  • Large pot (to boil the 3.5 quarts water)
  • 1 gallon glass jar (available at Bulk Barn)
  • Dish towel and coffee filter (or anything to cover jar while tea ferments)
  • Bottles for fermented tea/fruit.
  • Strainer
  • Funnel

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make tea base.  Bring 3.5 quarts of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add sugar. Once dissolved, add tea bags. Allow to steep until tea is cooled (cooling may take a few hours).
  2. Add starter tea.  Once tea is cooled, remove bags or strain loose tea. Stir in starter kit (2 cups previously made/bought Kombucha).
  3. Transfer to 1-gallon jar, add SCOBY.  The SCOBY may rest on top or sink to bottom – both are okay. Cover the mouth of the jar with dish towel/coffee filter, etc. Make sure entire jar is covered by the towel. You may want to secure with an elastic, especially during fly season.
  4. Ferment 7-10 days.  7-8 days seems best for optimal taste. Keep jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get jostled.
  5. Remove the SCOBY.  Before preparing to bottle Kombucha, prepare and cool another pot of tea (Remember – 3.5 quarts, 8 tea bags). You will see that another SCOBY has formed and it attached to the old, original one. The new one will be on top and is the one used for the new batch. You can compost the old SCOBY, or give to a friend to start their own Kombucha kit.
  6. Bottle finished Kombucha.  Measure out and separate 2 cups needed to start your new batch. The remaining Kombucha is strained and added to your glass bottles. Add your chosen flavouring (fruit, ginger root, etc.) to bottle before pouring in Kombucha. Leave 1/2 inch of head room in each bottle then screw on cover tightly. Store bottled Kombucha at room temperature, out of direct sunlight for 1-2 days to allow carbonation to occur.
  7. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and consume your delicious Kombucha within a month. Drink daily, and as much as you like – but remember it is caffeinated.
  8. Make fresh batch.  Clean the jar being used for Kombucha fermentation. Combine the 2 cup starter tea from last batch with fresh bottle of sugary tea. Stir well together in the 1-gallon jar. Slide SCOBY on top…and the process begins again!

*CONTACT A CARING LIGHT OR A FRIEND WHO MAKES KOMBUCHA FOR YOUR STARTER TEA & SCOBY. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at acaringlight@gmail.com

You also might like:

5 TIPS FOR MENTAL HEALTH MAINTENANCE

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More tips on probiotic supplements: Reviews.com

 


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How do I maintain my mental health?

 

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With Bell Let’s Talk Day recently behind us, there is still so much on the subject to talk about. If you’ve been experiencing seasonal blues; chronic depression; or consistently battling any mental health issues, here are 5 things you can do every day to help bring the sunshine back into your life to stay!

1. Increase your tryptophan intake.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that travels to your brain to be converted into your ‘feel-good’ hormones like serotonin (your happy hormone) and melatonin (improves sleep quality). You can get this through means of certain foods, and by taking a supplement.

Foods high in tryptophan include: Nuts and seeds, soy foods (soy beans and tofu), oats, certain meat/poultry, lentils and eggs. Try to eat them with a carbohydrate and non-saturated/non-trans fats as this will increase the amount of tryptophan that reaches your brain, thus increasing your serotonin/melatonin levels.

2. Get at least 20 minutes of fresh air a day.

A study done by the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2010 found that being in nature is a strong contributor to one’s sense of vitality, happiness and energy. (davidsuzuki.org)

“Our internal biology rewards us when we do something important for our survival. That reward is a feeling of well-being, rejuvenation or pleasure, and it is mediated by our brain’s neurochemicals. Anyone who has ever felt better by going outside in nature has experienced this reward. It is biology’s way of telling us to do it again—being in nature is important for our survival.” -Dr. Shimi Kang (davidsuzuki.org)

3. Exercise (in conjunction with #2)

We all know that exercise is good for us. But it can be hard to get motivated, especially when feeling blue or even clinically depressed. However, researchers are finding more and more about the connection between getting our sweat on and our overall mental health. Here’s one unexpected factor that just might help get us off the couch:

Exercising (especially between the ages of 25 and 45) can be a deterrent of mental degeneration later in life.

“As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t ‘cure’ Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45” -Sophia Breene (huffpost.com)

4. Sing!

It doesn’t matter how good you are! Sing in the car, the shower, or loud and proud for all to hear – singing has often been linked  to raising moods, through the release of endorphins. So crank that radio and let it all out!

5. Inhale “Happy” Essential Oils

Who doesn’t love the scent of some sweet Lavender to calm and uplift? Other oils that are known to be grounding and mood raisers are peppermint, frankincense, and wild orange. Inhale; put a drop on a necklace pendent, or rub on the bottom of your feet! You can purchase essential oils locally in Moncton at Sequoia Organics at any of their three locations. Breathe in, and enjoy!

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I sincerely hope these tips are helpful! Please do no hesitate to reach out for more info or support! Don’t forget to sign up here for the monthly ACL newsletter if you haven’t already! Here’s to a cheerful month ahead!