Long-term stress can make us physically sick and psychologically as well (short attention span, loss of focus). Here is a QUICK GUIDE that can help you tackle the Stress and Sleep Issues.
Long-term Stress vs. Short-term Stress
Nobody in today’s society is immune to short-term stress. Our bodies can handle short-term stress. However, long-term stress creates health issues, psychological disturbances and should be addressed.
Stress is part of our fast pace society habits that we created over last decades, the phone in or hand constantly, notebooks, coffee to go, everything fast and efficient, always on the go. To a certain extent our bodies can handle it, but this tempo can become too toxic and our body goes on strike.
Know that we all have a different threshold for stress, so measure it based on your inner feeling and body responses, not comparing yourself to other people.
First Aid Kit when Dealing With Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia
- Changing the Programming that no longer serves you (working on your thought patterns and belief system).
- Emotional Healing Therapy to process the stuck emotions and the unhealthy programming. We can learn the emotional root cause from your parents or primary caretakers, but also can be deeper and generational (dealing with stress of our ancestors, involvement in the war etc.)
How did your parents handle stress? How did your grandparents handle stress? There are several modalities that will help you get in touch with your emotions and process them such as Inner child work, Emotional Freedom Technique, Parts Work (Internal Family System Therapy), Metaphysical Anatomy, The Journey, Breath work Session for processing the emotions, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Fight, Flight or Freeze Response: Functioning daily in fight, flight, or freeze response can be detrimental to your health. Solution in this case is to focus on balancing the instinctive responses of our bodies and activating them when it’s really needed and not on a daily or hourly basis.
Tip: EFT is easy to start with and you need to learn the basics and is also easy enough to do without a therapist. I like to a use it also when I have little time, sometimes even 15 minutes of tapping relaxes my mind and so I can fall asleep.
3. Breathwork, Cold Exposure and Physical Exercises can work on the level of your nervous system. It is great for stress release, mental clarity, breaking unhealthy habits, improving your energy levels and also for processing stuck emotions.
4. Meditation will definitely help to cope with stress long-term. To learn meditation and use it to relax your mind can take some time. In my experience you are reconditioning your mind and learning a new skill. I would suggest learning mediation once you are not in an acute phase of anxiety. Try a home study meditation e-course that will teach you to build your peace of mind step by step.
First Aid Herbal Remedies for Stress and Sleep Issues
When you decide to address stress emotionally and change your programming. It’s a good idea to support your body with some herbal remedies as well.
- Adaptogens for stress and hormonal balance. They regulate body’s stress response and you can take them during the day on long-term basis, not as an acute solution for sleepless night. List of Adaptogens, that help your body deal with stress: Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Maca, Tulsi, Holy Basil, Ginseng, Chaga Mushroom, Reishi, Schisandra, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Licorice Root, Siberian Ginseng. Rotate the different adaptogens every 6- 10 weeks. Take adaptogens for the period of 3 months and check for changes in your stress responses.
- Other Herbal Supplements to lower down the stress levels:: Gaba, L-theanine, Hops, California Poppy, Skullcap, Hops, Kava kava, St. John’s Worth, Valerian Root, Passion Flower, Melatonin, 5HTP, L-Tryptophan, Magnesium (it’s good to combine more types of Magnesium Citrate, Malate, Taurate, L-threonate, Glycinate). Kava Kava, Turmeric can be helpful for pain relief.
- Vitamins: B complex, B12 if you are on plant-based diet, Vitamin D (take together with fat, because Vitamin D is fat soluble)
- Essential Oils: Lavender, Valerian, Jasmine, Bergamot, Holy Basil, Chamomile, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Clary Sage or Geranium
- Calming Teas: Camomile, Jasmine, Bergamot, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Jatamansi, Clary Sage, Neroli, Sandalwood, Lemongrass Oil
- Microdose Marijuana: If you truly struggle with a lack of sleep, marijuana may be a good option to tackle your sleepless nights temporarily. Especially if you can handle the mind-altering states, you will not experience after effect like after alcohol or pharmaceutical sleeping pills. However, in my opinion, it is good to see it as a temporary option while you address the deeper issues that are causing you lack of sleep, so it doesn’t become your long-term coping mechanism.
Create a Healthy Daily Routine
- Create a healthy Daily Routine. It can be as short as 20-30 minutes and consists of 10 minute exercise with 20 minute meditation. At the end you can add short Breath Exercise. Even if you skip a day or two and come back to it, you are doing great.
- Try to avoid electronics before bed time and limits the amount of coffee and alcohol, especially before bedtime.
- Running, Walking, Yoga, Qigong or Gym. Move your Body during the day (that can be part of our daily routine). Even if it is just for 15-20 minutes a day.
- Sauna, Bath tub with Epsom salt, Walks in the Nature or Aromatherapy. Don’t forget to include some Relaxing time regularly!