It’s been a month since I’ve written to you via Hannah’s Healthy Life Blogs – it’s been a funny old time, hasn’t it? Never before has the world experienced so much of the same grief, upset and trauma at the same time. Whilst the coronavirus has meant so many changes to all of our lives, it’s almost comforting in a way, to know that we’re all experiencing our own level of Covid related anxiety.
I certainly have been. Having moved to a new town two months before lockdown, it’s been a tough and, at times, lonely ride. (Thank heavens for essential food swaps with my beautiful next door neighbour!)
How have you been? I hope you’ve been coping ok. But if you haven’t, and your mental health has been suffering, I hear you, and you must know that it’s ok. So many of us have struggled with things they didn’t even know they worried about and others have noticed their regular anxieties have become much worse. These truly have been unprecedented times and being kind to ourselves really is crucial.
Looking after our mental health comes in many forms. To you, it might look like spending quality time alone with a trashy mag and a glass of wine, or spending cup filling time with friends that just get you. Or it might involve spending time being mindful, or it might mean a repeat prescription for antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines. Whatever it looks like, for one reason or another, it might have been difficult over the last few months.
That’s why I believe that taking certain supplements can help our mental health, when everything else is all a bit, well, not as we know it.
One of the most well-known herbal supplements that can help to ease the symptoms of mild depression is St John’s Wort. Studies show it can be beneficial, so it’s worth trying for a few months. It can interact with other medications, so have a chat with your pharmacist or GP if you’re unsure.
5-HTP is a supplement that’s capable of raising levels of the feel-good chemical, serotonin, in the brain, which has been shown to help relieve insomnia and ease the symptoms of depression.
Our brain also requires good fats called omega 3 fatty acids in order to function well, and taking an omega 3 supplement is linked with a reduction in feelings of depression and a low mood. Fish oils are a great source of omega 3 and if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you can get them from algae sources.
Vitamin D is a vitamin normally associated with healthy teeth and bones, but a lack of vitamin D is also now linked with depression and anxiety. We get the majority of our vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin, so we’re all advised to take a supplement during the winter months. But with lockdown meaning that we’re spending more time inside, the current advice is to continue taking a vitamin D supplement even though it’s summer.
We’re now open and observing proper social distancing rules so if you’d like a chat with one of our super knowledgeable staff, do pop in. We have lots of other supplement brands available in-store that we don’t have on our website including Natures Aid, Solgar, Viridian and Bioforce (Vogel).
Continue to stay safe, and to look after your mental wellbeing. It’s just as important as your physical wellbeing.