During this challenging year it is not only important to take care of your patients but yourself as physicians as well. Here are some reminder tips to help with stress and anxiety.
Firstly pay attention to your meditations! According to the Buddhist Robert Thurman (yes Uma Thurman’s father) in his book Infinite Life, we all meditate but just don’t know it. He cautions us to be careful where we put our attention including watching too much news. Choose to watch only uplifting TV shows and listen to uplifting music. One of the things I recommended to my patients constantly was keeping a gratitude journal naming five things per day. There are lots of positive outcomes of this pandemic. Talk about it with your friends and family. The biggest one for me is the use of Zoom to keep in touch with my friends and colleagues!
Everyone is talking about their Covid consumption habits as there is more opportunity to eat when you are home all day. In addition to getting your 6000-10,000 steps per day or attending exercise classes (if they are available in your area), changing one thing in your diet might be switching to a smoothie. Greens First Berry Flavour is my favourite mixed with Vitamin C powder and Dream Protein. Kids like this too for their afternoon snacks or pre- sports drink. If cravings are an issue Gymnema taken one with each meal can help regulate blood sugar highs and lows and helps with cravings.
If you have anxiety, irritability, insomnia, poor mental performance, mood swings and depression consider Nevaton Forte – 2 tabs at bedtime and one on rising for adults (for children 1-2 daily.) This remedy may take a few weeks to really kick in but then can be taken long term. This remedy contains St. John’s Wort, Schisandra, Scutellaria and Saffron – all wonderful adjuncts for any nervous condition. Just be aware of patients taking SSRI medications.
Magnesium is the most common deficiency in North American diets so add Mag SRT to your protocols. It is important for over 300 chemical pathways in the body including stress and anxiety, insomnia, migraine headaches and muscle aches and pains. Insomnia is a chronic health problem amongst many Canadians linked to depression and anxiety.
Simple Sleep Hygiene tips include:
– Avoid electronic devices and TV watching 1-2 hours before bed
– Read on a non blue screen device before bed ie Kobo or Kindle
– Have a hot bath with Ancient Mineral Bath Flakes or shower before bed which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Applying Magnesium Chloride Oil or Lotion with Melatonin to your feet or neck may also help. If pain is preventing sleep transdermal magnesium is very effective.
– Yoga before bed is also parasympathetic
– Overactive mind? Write everything down on a list to review in the morning or try prescribing Kava before bedtime
– Sleep aids include: calcium and Mag SRT, St John’s Wort and Valerian Complex.
Acute anxiety: Kava Forte is great for acute anxiety in adults and can prevent the usage of addictive prescription medications. Sanesco Tranquilent chewable is great for acute anxiety in children. Chewing ½ tablet on the way to school can also set children up for a calm day.
Depression: Seasonal affective disorder is common at this time of year so in addition to using a SAD lamp on your desk take St. John’s Wort until the spring. Taken at bedtime it also helps with sleep. It is also anti-viral!
Learning disabilities and poor concentration can be helped with Bacopa Complex. This is great for children who are having difficulty coping in school and have ADHD. The Schisandra and Siberian Ginseng in this product also help with adrenal gland function.
Adrenal stress: Everyone needs help with their adrenal glands when under stress that is on-going. Alternating remedies (one month on, one month off) such as AdrenoCo with Rhodiola & Ginseng or Withania Complex.
Many of the above remedies also improve the immune system including Licorice, St.John’s Wort, Rehmannia, Schisandra and Korean Ginseng (which is especially good for COPD). Boswellia Complex and Turmeric Forte are also good general anti-inflammatories which are critical for treating depression. Both Boswellia Complex and Turmeric Forte cross the blood brain barrier.
The power of healing is achieved in the act of taking steps towards treating the underlying causes. There is always something positive that can be done in spite of what you don’t hear on the news!