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Mental Health — The Grow Network Community
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Mental Health

rbusby01rbusby01 Posts: 91 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Mental Health

What do ya'll use to help with depression or anxiety? This isolation is really getting me down.



  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 220 ✭✭✭

    @rbusby01 I find texting or calling a friend helps alot. I also go outside every day to water my plants and like @Gail H said I find it relaxing. I also recommend a cup of your favorite tea whichever that is (for me its peppermint).

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,382 admin
    edited July 2020

    @rbusby01 I too struggle with this, but for different reasons, some of which are coming to a head recently with unrelated events. I know it will all work out as it should in the end, even though it doesn't seem ideal at the moment.

    I do understand what you are going through. Early on, I found some of the new strange confusing everythings difficult, but I do like some personal space (yeah, I have a "bubble" that not many can enter, haha), so in some ways, that was nice. Social distancing is a bit much, but I decided to prefer to look at it as a blessing, giving me more space than usual.

    Do remember that this is temporary. Don't focus on it. Distract with enjoyable & interesting things to do.

    Fill your time with getting outside if you are able. Walking amongst trees is really important. They are not only beautiful, they give off a special chemical that is so healthy for us and relaxes us. I think that I mentioned this in an old thread about forest bathing. This is a Japanese practice that recognizes the importance of being out in nature, observing the natural world around us through purposefully engaging all of our senses to notice the beautiful detail around us.

    TGN has great resources to keep one busy. That was a great suggestion.

    @torey & a few other herbalists here can recommend some herbs to try. Herbs as mentioned above can help a lot.

    Routines can help.

    Be silly sometimes. Take time to laugh or smile at something...a memory/anything. See if you can reconnect with old friends somehow. Encourage them in their day, randomly.

    Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Tart cherry juice with a touch of freshly ground nutmeg is a good & tasty relaxant.

    I should add that I have found the most harmonious & relaxing music to listen & sing to. We play it often to relax us, ground us & encourage us. You might want to find some music that appeals to you in this way. For us, it is a capela hymns with beautiful pictures & encouraging Bible verses in YouTube. For you, you might find another genre suits. If you wish to listen to what I do, I will gladly let you know how to find what I did. It has helped our whole family immensely. It has been amazing. We are starting to sing together more.

    Hang in there. Somehow we are all in this together. You are certainly not alone in how you feel. If you need to chat, my pm is always open to members here. Supporting others is important.

    Be encouraged!

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 705 admin

    @rbusby01 sorry to hear of your situation but I reckon you're in the right place. This forum is so supportive and there's lots to learn and keep motivated. I do hope you're able to get outside and be in a natural environment. Deep breaths and being in the moment always helps. I've found EFT or tapping to help, check it out. It has certainly helped me out in stressful times. I hope your diet is ok, healthy and nutritious food helps. I've found ashwaganda and rhodiola to be helpful herbs when feeling down. They are gentle and takes a while but very worth it. When I first got on board with TGN, I did the Making Home Medicine course and the first thing I did was make ashwaganda pills. I now put either powder in a daily smoothie. Ho shu wu(japanese knotweed) is also good. Over the last 6 months I've gone from feeling unexplainably down to feeling excellent. Remember, if you're in the right head space, you can do anything! I wish you all the best.

    By the way, a big warm welcome to TGN.

  • rbusby01rbusby01 Posts: 91 ✭✭✭

    Thanks Jodie!

  • rbusby01rbusby01 Posts: 91 ✭✭✭

    Thanks Laurie! I would love to know what channel you listen to. It sounds like it would be a blessing. I'm getting outdoors every day which is helping. 😊

  • TNTX girlTNTX girl Posts: 33 ✭✭✭

    I try and keep a routine, I have to go to work(with a mask) which is kinda scary, take ashwagandha tablets and have tea with camomile or wellness herbs like Rooibos, echinacea, astragalus and elderberry. I especially keep my sleep/wake routine. Get outside! Enjoy. The breeze, the sunshine ( vitamin D) and keep moving in some fashion. We will get thru this! Hugs!

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,382 admin

    @rbusby01 It is on YouTube, I search for Mennonite a capella hymns. It is the SE Samonte playlists that we listen to. If there is an ad (they are so noisy, and we try to skip them quickly) and if there is "contemporary christian" styles, we skip them too. Oh, and if someone is really off tune, 😬 I need to skip it. That is just me.

    One of our favorite songs is "Higher Ground"/"I'm Pressing on the Upward Way" by the Smucker family. If only the distortion wasn't there at the end. It is beautifully done & the base for the end chorus is to die for. I wish that I could sing base, but I'm a soprano. 🤣 I have fun anyway.

    It has become even our kids' preferred music. Our indoor serama chickens are much calmed by it too. 🙂

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,326 admin
    edited July 2020

    @rbusby01 Welcome to TGN! I am sorry that you are suffering from the isolation. it has become an issue for so many. However, you have taken the biggest, most important step and that is asking for assistance. Too many people suffer silently and alone.

    The suggestions made about the TGN Academy courses are good ones. They will give you something to focus on that is full of positive growth. You might find some herbal answers to your mental/emotional health issues in the courses. Check through the blog articles as well.

    If you can get outside into a forested area, @LaurieLovesLearning's suggestion of forest bathing is a very good one. Following is a link if you are unfamiliar with this practice. https://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/

    EFT is a great technique as @jodienancarrow suggests. If you are allowed to see practitioners in your area, you could look into other forms of energy medicine, Touch for Health, Reiki, Body Talk, etc. Biofeedback is something that is being more main-stream accepted, even endorsed by our provincial health department. Following is a link to the Biofeedback page at the Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/biofeedback/about/pac-20384664 You can learn to do biofeedback at home.

    Nutrition is very important to focus on. There is a lot of talk about nourishing our immune systems so that we can be proactive in prevention of physical health issues but this works just the same for maintaining good mental/emotional health as well. Most of us are low in magnesium and many reports are now saying that it should be the first line of treatment in cases of depression instead of going straight to pharmaceuticals. There are many kinds of magnesium supplements, Check them out and find the one that is most appropriate for you. Zinc is recommended as a mineral to take for stress and anxiety, possibly reducing social anxiety in groups. Calcium helps keep the nerves steady. Make sure that you are getting the RDA of omega fatty acids.Vitamin C helps with oxidative stress. A B-complex vitamin is recommended for high stress situations. B vitamins are necessary for the production and breakdown of neurotransmitters involved in modulating anxiety.Most of us in northern latitudes should be getting Vitamin D supplementation for at least part of the year. If you haven't been getting outside to get your sun, then you might need a supplement. Usually a good fish oil will give you both Vitamin D and omegas. I usually recommend that you try to get as many of these nutrients in food but in times of stress we may not be able to eat properly so supplementation may be advised.

    There may be some essential oils that could help. I am not an aromatherapist but do know that lavender is one of the top relaxation EOs. But EOs are quite specific to the individual sometimes. What works for some, may irritate others. I like the smell of the forest so would personally use something like balsam fir or cedarwood.

    Bach Flower Essences work very well for some people. Rescue Remedy would be a good place to start, although there are others that might be more specific for you. Following is a link to the Bach website. http://www.bachflower.com/

    As to herbs, there are many that can help. For starters, I would suggest lemon balm tea. It is calming but uplifting at the same time. Oatstraw, stinging nettle, red clover and linden flowers also make good teas (or nourishing herbal infusions) and help support the nervous system. Oatstraw and stinging nettle are high in calcium. Chamomile is often thought of as a children's herb but can be just as effective at calming in adults. Could be blended with catnip. Motherwort taken as a tincture can be quite helpful with anxiety without being sedating. Adaptogen herbs help with stress; tulsi, astragalus root, reishi and/or one of the other medicinal mushrooms, ashwaganda, schisandra. There are many other herbs that can be taken for stress, anxiety or depression but would be based more on your symptoms. Sleep issues, digestive issues, etc. If you would like to PM me, I could make more suggestions.

    Remember that some of these suggestions may take time to have effect.

    Hope some of this helps and you are feeling better soon. You have a new team and we are all here for you.

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 436 ✭✭✭✭

    This entire time has been crazy! I love to play my flute and sing. Sometimes my husband and I play and sing together. We've recorded hymns to share with our friends on facebook and the music his kids played at school last year so they could practice with it.

    I've found WholeTones to be very calming. He's had several songs on sale for cheap during this which I bought to play for my cats as well as us. He also has a Love Giveaway right now where he has 2 long pieces that you can play for free to help everyone relieve stress and anxiety. We like listening to them.


    Another good thing is to turn off the news. If our tv is on we have it on cooking or travel.

    Niacinamide is very good for anxiety. It has helped my daughter. You can find video on youtube from Dr. Andrew Saul and Niacin.

  • mgray11mgray11 Seattle, WA 8bPosts: 83 ✭✭✭

    @rbusby01 I have been struggling with depression and anxiety and currently am dealing with a variety of health issues, childcare and employment issues (who doesn't right now?). The added complications to life that Covid has brought - as well as the constant anxiety - has not done well for my mental health. A friend of mine died on July 4th, which I didn't find out until Tuesday or Wednesday and I've been incredibly sad and angry.

    I've been taking a lot of time to be present - playing with my daughter, reading books, going on walks. I'm glad I have my daughter (and it used to be my cat or my dog) because her little heart is so light. To go back to basics - blowing bubbles, drawing, watching stand-up comedy until the wee hours (ok that one I made up, but it helps me a lot) - it feels calming to think of just the moment you're in and also incredibly difficult to accomplish.

    I hope things get better soon for you and anyone else struggling right now. They'll get better eventually 👍✌☺

  • kchiarinikchiarini Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @rbusby01, I hear you! It sounds like there are a lot of great suggestions here.

    It is a crazy time, unchartered waters. So, we need to reach deeper than usual. May I suggest that you think about, even if it's just an hour, what really lights you up? What is it that gives you joy? What works for others may not work for you. I tend to think gardening is on top of the list. This may sound strange, but have you shared your thoughts with your plants? I talk to mine, though that may be why they aren't doing so well :)

    How about trying something completely new? There are many online classes. I know I've taken advantage of classes online on Thursdays. There are so many of them, ranging from cooking, to language, to exercise, leadership, and so many others and they are all free. You may want to check out edu.perksatwork.com, and then go to Community OnLine Academy. There is one class I love: Gratitude. You can share with others if you like, or just listen. It's wonderful! Anyway, if you have any questions about it, let me know. PS: I don't make any money suggesting this. I just find it something to look forward to and it gets me out of my head!

    Feel secure this crazy time will end, as will your state of mind. Nothing lasts forever...hang in there!

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,382 admin

    Hmm. All this talk about watching news. We disconnected our satellite because the price shot up. We no longer have that. It isn't quite as strange as I thought it would be, but shows have been full fillers lately for the most part, so it's not a loss. News is rarely upbeat.

    I figure that if I need to hear the news, I can look it up, and only if I need to. I can just glance at headlines if need be. I am temporarily getting a province wide digital newspaper in my inbox once daily & I do legitimate online surveys, so I get the feel for what's out there.

  • stephanie447stephanie447 Ayurvedic Practitioner Annapolis, MDPosts: 222 ✭✭✭

    There are so many good suggestions here so I'll keep mine short and sweet. Try ashwaganda for the anxiety. For the isolation, try to see it as a spiritual retreat of sorts. Depending on your spiritual bent you might focus on Buddhist meditation, or the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius, or doing classical yoga and mantra meditation, etc.

  • Nancy CarterNancy Carter Posts: 196 ✭✭✭

    This is not something that I use but it is something that I do...each day after I wake up I write a short piece that helps me to be grounded and present with what is going on with me. Some days I look for a prompt. It may be about having meaningfulness in life, reflections on my previous week, or what I have to look forward to that day. I jot down things that I am grateful for and why I am grateful for those things. Keeping positive thoughts and ideas in my head helps distract those negative ruminations. I also took part in a study about how to look for things in our everyday life that bring AWE to us, it was very interesting as we learned how to pay Attention to something ordinary and Wait with that attention . Raising eyebrows, smiling at that particular thing and then Exhaling with that feeling of AWE in mind. The AWE stood for Attention Wait and Exhale. It was very interesting to see how the negativity of my depression seemed to fade as I payed more attention to the good or pleasant things that surrounded me. Also practicing self compassion has helped me a great deal as well.

  • moreyshadypinesmoreyshadypines Posts: 72 ✭✭✭

    @rbusby01 Thank you for bringing this to light. Yes, I think we all are a little taken back by the unexpected changes that covid has brought about. It gives us a chance to re-evaluate our priorities. The suggestions noted by the other community members: humor, reaching out to like minded people, taking advantage of on line learning, getting outside - all good ideas. Don't forget people in this community are already ahead of the curve. How many times have our ideas have labeled us oddballs? Self-reliance, sustainability, growing your own food, making your own medicines have been outside the norm. Today, we are the heroes of tomorrow. Sweet! Embrace that.

    My son has always told me that I was "eccentric" (polite way of saying odd). Okay, I'm good with that. I also can get my food and medicine from the woods, raise and process my own animals and a bunch of other things that have more value than the dollar. Eccentric is a good thing. Feel free to call yourselves "amazing"!

  • moreyshadypinesmoreyshadypines Posts: 72 ✭✭✭

    @Nancy Carter thank you for the self compassion notation - using it helps me to keep my balance. So - the focus on compassion and self care - are great concepts to remember. I appreciated your post. Thank you.

  • rbusby01rbusby01 Posts: 91 ✭✭✭

    Thank you so much Torey for all the suggestions! super helpful :)

  • rbusby01rbusby01 Posts: 91 ✭✭✭

    Thanks so much Judson! As a practicing Catholic myself, I understand the pain of being separated from the Eucharist. I'm currently living in Central Texas and our churches are open now with precautions. So, being able to go to mass again is very healing to my soul. I hope you can go again soon too :)

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,973 admin

    Our churches are open, but only at 30% capacity. They added two masses, but if you don't get there early, you cant go in. Most folks here are elderly. They get there very early and need to sit after waiting in line to get in. I'm not going to take a seat or compete with them. Besides, I have bad asthma... so I'm waiting a bit longer.

  • annbeck62annbeck62 Posts: 257 ✭✭✭

    I also find it helps instead of calling friends or family to use skype or zoom. I didn't realize how much of a difference it makes until I tried it

  • rbusby01rbusby01 Posts: 91 ✭✭✭

    Thank you so much for all these suggestions! I have noticed focusing on breathing does help! What would I do with Melissa EO. I use essential oils sometimes. Usually topical blends or diffuser. I've heard Melissa is helpful, but haven't tried it yet. 😊

  • Nancy A.MaurelliNancy A.Maurelli Posts: 44 ✭✭✭

    What a lovely variety of helpful and encouraging suggestions are in this thread!

    As an "essential" worker who is working longer/harder than pre-COVID, I have not suffered much from isolation or feeling of lack in my life (although my income WAS negatively affected for awhile). Yes, there was anxiety at first, but recognizing and accepting that this "pandemic" was outside of my control helped me to refocus on what I DO control: my own thoughts, feelings and actions! Instead of getting sucked into the bad news that reverberated on media, I chose to lean into what am able to do (many of these activities were already suggested), and find as much delight as possible in my daily movements.

    One of the most helpful actions I took was to invite friends to join in an outdoor circle to share thoughts about how we wish to move forward safely as a local community. This was very empowering, as we came up with good ideas about what we could do, vs. what we have been told we cannot do. I am in an area that has not had wildfire COVID infection, so this felt safe. If you would not feel safe with an in-person circle outdoors, you might consider something similar via an online conferencing platform.

  • Nancy A.MaurelliNancy A.Maurelli Posts: 44 ✭✭✭

    @sunflowerstressrelief Please tell us more about those wild photos! Where are those amazing trees?

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 193 ✭✭✭

    Thank you so much for your comment. Strangely enough, I am an energy worker being a Reiki master and certified in Emotion Code/Body Code, along with training in EFT and several other healing modalities. I am also an avid student of Doc Jones in a quest to become an herbalist, growing my own herbs and making them into various medications and such.

    All of that being said -- I do a lot better at helping my clients than I do at helping myself. These are long days and I am completely isolated due to being high risk. I am grateful for this thread and will try to remember to follow some of the advice given here.

    Another thing that I have found useful is actually a book that was written to help blocked artists. It is called "The Artists Way" and teaches us to write daily. It talks about writing 3 or more longhand pages daily. One of the ideas behind this is that a person is writing so much in volume that eventually one stops writing about the weather and such and eventually starts writing about the things that really matter to them. I call my own writing my "Picture pages" (a written "picture" of me, my thoughts, and my life at any given moment). There are so many benefits to following this practice that I can't list them all here, but it does seem to help with the stress of our current times.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 193 ✭✭✭

    Thanks Nancy. I do this as well in a separate "gratitude journal".

  • JannajoJannajo Ms. Pointe-Claire, QuebecPosts: 173 ✭✭✭

    Well, how old r u? I am 77, can relate. What do u eat? I eat ONLY the best for myself, what I choose as unprocessed and most healthy, eliminating many foods (never miss them one bit), say, juicing, my own, such as carrot, beet, green smoothies, but much starchy food and many salads and greens. Yes, strange to some, no dairy or meat, being inflammatory. What u eat: Most important for mental health! Then, move around, walk outside, hug a tree, love nature, barefoot, smell flowers, forest. Some type of exercise, daily, write 3 pages (I like that one, found it here), went to Wholetones, got the tunes (found here) and the forestry site (also found here), then, perhaps most important: have within your own body (called temple in Bible), the very Creator of the Universe, called God (or Jesus, His Name on earth); just, in your kitchen, perhaps, all calm, relaxed, silent, talk to Him, mention your sin, invite Him in, u can 'live in the house of mourning' (Ecclesiastes) and be just fine with it, for all the joy u have within (in Jesus, Holy Spirit!) Truly, GREAT! VICTORY! Just for u! @rbusby01 u have helped me immensely, going over this thread just now, finding so many new ideas and helps, it is God Who confirms in His Way-saying, yes, go this way! U have made me happy, bringing me here with u, being open, vulnerable, TGN, our virtual garden, our therapy & help, though our greatest Help comes from the Lord! Be well!ps. no tv, seriously, & Jesus will show u who is behind our present distress, that is a great boon also.

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