Stress Soother

So many remedies to deal with anxiety and stress have ingredients in that are totally unsuitable for those who are suffering also from depression. Many herbal remedies for anxiety and for sleep problems contain both valerian and hops, which are superb remedies but are not helpful if you are also depressed. In fact they can both increase depression as they both act on the central nervous system to slow it down.

It’s partly down to the fact that there is a perception that people with stress need to CALM DOWN. Well, this is true but it doesn’t mean they need to be put to sleep or made dopey.

As a teenager suffering from both stress, anxiety and depression I was prescribed some pretty heavy duty medicines which did nothing for any of the conditions I was afflicted by but simply made me very, very sleepy indeed. After falling asleep in class I got sent home from school a few times. I then spent the next few days sleeping off the medication and was back at school, still stressed, still depressed and with no further help available.

I’ve had various anti-depressants since and have the same reaction with certain ones that are designed to calm you down- I sleep. For days, sometimes. It’s a long way from an ideal solution and I did find the SSRIs rather helpful.

Day-to-day stress is another issue. I’ve worked my way through a lot of remedies, but these days I tend to read labels carefull. If I spot certain items on a list then I don’t buy. I have found my own ways of dealing with the anxiety and stress I get overwhelmed by, and Badger Stress Soother is a part of my armoury.

In its base of beeswax and extra virgin olive oil, it also contains a veritable garden of essential oils that are well known to deal with stress, anxiety and depression all at the same time. Oils of tangerine, lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, spearmint, chamomile and even damask rose give this useful balm its de-stressing properties without knocking you out, over-exciting you or making you feel miserable(but calm). It has a pleasant fragrance, not either flowery or fruity but a mixture of the two and is as suitable for a man as it is for a woman. It can be used as a lipbalm too, which is why I carry it around in a little tin and is also useful smeared around the nostrils as a preventative for hayfever(you can buy a balm somewhere else that also does this. Apparently the pollen is attracted to the balm because it gives off ions of some sort that act like a magnet; this hayfever balm is a LOT more expensive than Badger and if you use a Badger, you kill two bird, so to speak with one stone!)

Badger Stress Soother won’t make your troubles go away; that’s far too much to ask. But it might help you cope a little better with them and the bonus is it’s good for the skin.

Check it out at www.badgerbalm.com . They have a lot of lovely, honest products and the art work on the tins is very cute too. They don’t cost the earth and they might help. They’ve helped me, certainly.

“Now is the winter of our discontent..”

Winter….

Don’t you just love it? The sparkling snow, the cosy nights in front of a roaring log fire, the sharp smell of frost and the icing sugar look on the trees? Love snuggling up in your favourite Araan wool jumper and settling down to a good book?

No?

Me too. Of course, those are all the pluses of winter, which I do like but they’re smal compensation for the misery of the winter blues. S.A.D (seasonally affective disorder) is becoming much more recognised these days and in some Scandinavian countries, where the winter suicide rate soars, you can check yourself into special SAD wards in hospitals if it all gets too much, for some light treatment.

It’s the lack of light that does it. I’m not precisely immune to cold but it doesn’t really bother me. Remember the Arran jumper? It’s the lack of light and those long cold days of grey skies just make my depression so much worse. I’ve got a permanent battle with the old Black Dog of Depression anyway but the winter really bites deep. Once I get to the Winter Solstice, I start feeling a tiny bit of hope as the year slowly, very slowly begins to turn.

Now in late January I can see a few more minutes of daylight every day and the birds have begun to warm up their preliminary pre-Spring territory-defending songs. But it’s still dark and cold and miserable and I don’t feel much like going out when it’s blowing a gale, raining or hurling sleet at me.

My armoury against the winter blues? I have a special light box that sits next to my computer screen so as I work here, I get some of the light I need. I didn’t use it last winter and it was much worse for me. And another valuable weapon is Badger Balm’s Cheerful Mind balm. This is a balm from the very special Badger Mines www.badgerbalm.com , almost all of which I have tried and loved, but this one works very well as an anti-depressant. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a magic pill to take it all away and medicate you into a smiling zombie. It’s a simple balm made from extra virgin olive oil, pure beeswax and essential oils of: sweet orange, lemon, rosemary, spearmint, neroli, ylang-ylang, and cinnamon plus CO2 extracts of Calendula and Rosehip. It smells glorious and used on the skin as a skin cream is lovely. But as a mood balm it comes into its own. I use a little on the backs of my hands before I start typing, a little under my nose and some on my lips and temples. I carry a smal pot of it in my handbag and when I feel my mood flag, out it comes.

Not strong enough to affect those around you (good news for those with close associates who object to perfume) it lifts the mood gently but firmly. Applied regularly through the day, it’s a little lift when you need it.

Now for those who are unsure and who think aromatherapy is for the girls, bear in mind that essential oils work in a number of ways. The smell alone is one, affecting us in deep and sometimes unpredictable ways, but also the naturally occuring chemicals in essential oils have powerful effects whether we smell them or not. Some essential oils are known as anti bacterial agents more powerful than their synthentic counterparts. Some like tea tree are anti-viral. And some are known as anti-depressants. All the oils in the cheerful mind balm are recognised as anti-depressants. The most powerful of them in my opinion is neroli. Neroli is the essential oil taken from the orange flower, and is sweet but not oppressively so. I believe it to be one of the most uplifting fragrances going.

But the blend of oils used in this balm is so cheering and lively that each of the oils is perfectly in balance with the others and none dominates the overall fragrance. It’s not a girly fragrance, it’s basically a citrus and mint aroma.

If you’ve been struggling with the winter blues, try it.  It’s not expensive and it might be the  boost you may need.