stress

Missed periods | Herbs and Home remedies

Missed periods | Herbs and Home remedies

Whoever knew the mentioning of a pineapple could cause so much controversy at Christmas. My husband and I were visiting a grand old house in Wales, on our way to a Christmas getaway. In the house was a dining room, set out as it would have been in the Victorian era. It was cold and blustery outside. Upon this table were the usual luxuries for the era, golden candelabras with nature inspired motifs and golden pineapples.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to have some of these decorations for our own Christmas?”, my husband remarked.

“Why would I want a symbol of white men raping and pillaging foreign lands on my table at Christmas?!”, I replied.

It was a tad negative, I admit, and when my husband pointed out that if we were to impose a ban on all fruits from sunnier climates from Christmas we would be missing a large portion of our Christmas pudding... I soon backed down.

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Is Christmas the most stressful time of the year?

Is Christmas the most stressful time of the year?

Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but for most of us it's arguably the most stressful. For weeks before hand we desperately cram our work in so we can buy ourselves time off. We rush about the shops..

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When the stress cracks start to show

When the stress cracks start to show

So you've had a stressful week. You had to do some extra long hours to stay on top of things and make sure you've got enough money at the end of the month. The stress has you sleeping rough all week and you've woken up groggy every morning with barely enough energy to get up let alone make breakfast. So you reached for the coffee and got on with the day on an empty stomach. By the end of the week you're exhausted, accidentally falling asleep in front of the TV, maybe you feel like you're catching a cold too. Next week you'll get back into your swing of things. 

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A herbalist's diary: is anxiety our natural state?

Have you ever watched a nature documentary and thought "geez, can't this fish just catch a damn break?!". For a lot of the animal kingdom, predator or pray, being on the look out for potential threats is their natural way of being. They don't have therapy rooms and spas to escape to from the day to day stress of nature. They don't have antidepressants or counseling to help them through the death of a relative. When is an animal free of anxiety?

I used to think being an animal looks like such a lovely way to live. How relaxing to wallow in the mud like a hippopotamus or roll in the dirt like a lion. But that freedom and fun comes at the price of long-standing anxiety. We like to fantasise that we are sophisticated humans with technology that protects us from the stress we felt in the wilderness. But the reality is that we still feel this stress every day. We are still on the look out for threats. They just come in different forms. 

Which made me wonder, is it actually ok for us to be in a constant state of anxiety? After all, animals seem to be. Then it dawned on me. They experience both things; anxiety and relaxation.

The thing is, animals are very good at being present. They relax at every opportunity they get, and they are anxious whenever that's needed. Humans don't seem to be so good at switching between these two states. We seem to get stuck in anxiety. Have you ever been on a (relatively) harmless escalator* in reality but in a terrifying job interview in your mind? Or in a (relatively) harmless lift** but wondering if the kids are eating choking hazards at nursery?

We must remember to catch ourselves when anxiety strikes in these otherwise harmless scenarios. Trust that we will get the rush of adrenaline at just the right moment and stop wasting it on the (relatively) harmless escalator or lift ride instead. It reassures me to see that we're not the only things in the animal kingdom suffering with anxiety attacks. Perhaps long-term acute stress is something we've evolved to be able to deal with. Hopefully I can stop worrying and worrying now...

 
*I don't want to scare you with the tiny number of people that die on escalators so I won't.

**Or all the people killed in lifts which fall down the shaft after a spy/baddie cuts the wires...

What are your favourite tips for getting yourself out of pointless anxiety? Leave a comment below.

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An Ode to Natural Fertility Awareness

An Ode to Natural Fertility Awareness

I used to feel like I was vulnerable to becoming pregnant. As if my fertility was a weakness which would be exploited by sperm. I felt like it could happen at anytime, and my life would be forever changed. I needed to shut that part of me down. I needed to know it was all 'under control'. 

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