Coping with Anxiety During the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be an exciting time of the year. For most, it’s a time of celebration, reunions with family and friends, and making memories. However, for some, it’s a season of heightened anxiety and depression. This time of year can come with an array of demands, including unrealistic expectations, financial stress, and high amounts of socialization. Although many find the holidays overwhelming and stressful, those with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder may find this time of year triggering. 

Coping with Anxiety During the Holidays
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we love from companies that we trust. Furthermore, we are not medical professionals and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

 Understanding your worries can help you prepare and cope with the season. Here are a few tips to help you manage your anxiety during the holidays:  

Don’t Abandon Healthy Habits  

    • Don’t forget to be kind to yourself during the holiday season. This time of year, it can be easy to forget about your self-care needs. Taking care of yourself by being physically active, eating properly, and sleeping well can improve your overall well-being. 
    • Schedule a time during the day to unwind. While you may feel like you must be on the go constantly to be productive, allowing yourself to relax can help you calm down and accomplish more throughout the day.
    • Find time to do things you enjoy such as take a walk, read a book, or practice yoga.  

Organize Your Finances  

    • Gift-giving can take up a lot of time, money, and energy. Creating a budget can help minimize stress by reducing surprise spending. Try making homemade gifts or suggest a gift exchange to help lower expenses. 
    • With the holidays requiring a lot of spending, looking into the cost to refinance your home can be an option to reduce your monthly spending. Taking advantage of the record low mortgage rates can help you ease your financial stress by having more money to put towards high-interest credit card bills or save up for home improvements you’ve been hoping to accomplish.  

How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression

Use Your Support System 

    • Between shopping and many social gatherings, remember it’s okay to ask for help. Saying no in situations where you may feel overbooked is okay. Friends and colleagues will understand if you’re unable to attend every event.  
    • Understanding your stressors and talking through them with a loved one can help you sort through your thoughts. Writing your feelings down in a journal may help you prioritize your problems and concerns.  
    • If you’re feeling lonely or stressed, try reaching out to friends, family, or professional help. There are many support groups you can reach out to that can help you get through difficult times.  

Have an Anxiety Plan of Action  

    • You want to hope for the best, but also plan for the worst. Having a plan of action when your anxiety does arise can help calm your “what-if” worries.  
    • Determine how you will respond to your growing anxiety.  

Many feel stressed over the holidays. If your anxiety starts to take a toll on your overall well-being, it might be worthwhile to reach out for support. Remember to not overdo yourself and be realistic with your expectations. When battling anxiety, make sure to set aside plenty of time to focus on yourself too, during and after, the busy holidays.  

What is a Medical Binder & Why Do I Need One?

Have you ever left a medical appointment with advice from your doctor, only to forget exactly what they said a few days later?  Having a medical binder can help you avoid forgetting important information like this. When kept updated, it can also help keep you safe during an emergency and provide some organization during important life events, such as pregnancy or big moves.   

What is a Medical Binder
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

What is a Medical Binder?

A medical binder lists all of your health information and can house important medical documents. During an emergency, it can act as the single source of truth for those trying to care for you. This is especially important if you’re unable to communicate for any reason.  

However, a medical binder doesn’t need to — and shouldn’t — only be used in times of emergency. It can come in handy for organizational purposes as well. If you keep it up-to-date, you could end up helping yourself and your healthcare providers a great deal.

If you visit multiple different providers or take numerous medications, you should use a medical binder to keep the information straight. This can help your providers keep track of overlapping prescriptions, and avoid the dangerous effects that multiple prescriptions can cause. Keeping a medical binder for as long as you are able is also useful for your loved ones.

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What to Include in Your Medical Binder? 

You can include any health information you feel is necessary in your medical binder, including insurance details, written advice or research from providers, and specific health trackers. You could also include: 

    • Basic health information like allergies or your blood type
    • Medicine chart
    • Appointment history
    • Important contact information

Basic Health Information Sheet

A basic health information sheet should have the standard information that you would usually need to receive medical treatment. In case of emergency, a healthcare clinic, hospital, or emergency responders would benefit from information such as: 

    • Your full name
    • Emergency contact information
    • Allergies
    • Date of birth
    • Blood type
    • Immunization records

This information can help healthcare professionals give you the best possible care as quickly as possible. You may also want to make a copy of this form in a smaller size and laminate it to keep in your purse at all times. 

Basic Health Information Printable
Click to Download a Free Printable!

Medication Log

According to WebMD, more than 50% of Americans take an average of four prescription pills. However, taking multiple medications can be dangerous. Some types of medication overlap may even have deadly consequences. Keeping track of exactly what medications you take is especially important when you’re pregnant, as some medications may affect the development of your baby. 

Likewise, documenting your medications can also help you and your doctor figure out which ones have worked in the past, and which haven’t. If you’ve switched doctors and are in a prescription experimentation phase, supplying your own records can help you avoid repeating medications. 

Medication Tracker Printable
Click to Download a Free Printable!

Blood Pressure Log

Many are unaware that they have hypertension (or high blood pressure), but it has damaging—and even deadly—effects over time. According to the CDC, 1 in every 12 to 17 pregnancies experiences high blood pressure. 

One way to avoid problems from high blood pressure is to keep track. Purchase a home blood pressure monitor to record your own blood pressure. Remember, home monitoring isn’t an adequate substitute for doctor’s visits, but it can still be helpful for healthcare professionals to gauge the effectiveness of treatments. 

Blood Pressure Log Printable
Click to Download a Free Printable!

Being aware of your medical conditions and treatments before a big life transition — like moving homes, having a child, or planning for retirement — can help alleviate stress and worry. These changes may influence your healthcare providers or the amount of healthcare you receive. Tracking doctors visits for current conditions and logging your present healthcare needs in your medical binder can keep you on top of your health — no matter what phase of life you’re in.  


Author Bio

Abby Christensen is a digital marketer who helps RetireGuide create helpful pieces of content worth sharing. When she’s not soaking up the latest digital marketing news, you can find her reading, playing with her pooch, or organizing.

Does Having a Mental Health Disorder Mean You Need Treatment?

Mental health is the membrane for doing the communication, learning, thinking, emotions, and self-esteem part. Mental health is also a primary key to personal, emotional well-being and contributing to community or society. So many people have a mental illness, but they are not showing and talking about it, despite having several mental health treatment options.

But mental illness is nothing to be regretful of, it is a medical condition just like diabetes and heart disease. And these mental issues can be treated very nicely and properly. So many professionals are understanding and expanding how the human brain works and treatments that provide people to control or manage these mental health conditions successfully.

Does having a mental health disorder mean you need treatment?
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Mental illness does not separate. It can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, social status, geography, religion, spirituality, ethnicity: background, or some other aspect of cultural identity. As there are many teens who go to teen mental health treatment for their cure. While mental illness can take place at any age group, three-fourths of this illness starts by age 24.

Mental illnesses have many forms. Some are mild and only interfere in limited ways with daily life, such as specific phobias (abnormal fears). Other mental conditions are so severe that a person may need care in a hospital.

Mental illnesses are conditions that affect your thinking, feeling, mood, and behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic).  They can also work on your ability and functions of day-to-day lifestyle.  Do we need medical help if we have any mental disorders or illnesses? This is a very well-asked question, which may save many people’s lives.


Some Mental Health Disorders

Many different conditions are acknowledged as mental illnesses. The most general types include:

Anxiety disorders

People with anxiety disorders react to certain situations with concern and fear, as well as with physical signs of panic or anxiety, like sweating and rapid heartbeat. An anxiety disorder is diagnosed if the person’s comeback is not applicable for the situation, only if the person can not handle this type of response, if the person cannot control the answer, or if the anxiety alliance with normal functioning. Anxiety disorders involve generalized panic disorders, social anxiety, and specific phobias.

Mood disorders

These types of mood disorders are also known as affective disorders, involving the feeling of overly happy or head seek feelings of sadness or fluctuations from extreme sadness to extreme happiness and vice versa. The most common mood disorders are cyclothymic disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder.

Psychotic disorders

Psychotic disorders hold distorted thinking and awareness. There are two most common types of psychotic disorders, which firstly contain hallucinations- in which the experience of blare or images which are not real, like hearing the voices of someone and imagining the appearance of a person or an object. And secondly is delusions, in which there are some false fixed beliefs that the patients accept as actual incidents, despite evidence to the contrary. Schizophrenia is also an example of this psychotic disorder.

Good Mental health Tips
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Eating disorders

This eating disorder includes extreme behaviors, emotions, and attitudes involving food and weight—some expected and binge eating disorders.

Impulse control and addiction disorders

People with drive control disorders are unable to endure impulses or appetite, to perform acts that could be harmful to others as well as for them also. Kleptomania (stealing), Pyromania (starting fires), and compulsive gambling are cases of impulse control disorders. Alcohol and drugs are familiar entities of addictions and substance abuse. Often, people with these disorders become so indulgent with the objects of their obsession that they begin to ignore their day-to-day work, relationships, and responsibilities.

(PTSD) Post-traumatic stress disorder

PTSD is a condition that can rise the terrifying and traumatic events, such as physical or sexual assault, a natural disaster, or the unexpected death of a loved one. People with PTSD often have frightening and lasting thoughts and memories of the event and tend to be emotionally anesthetized numb.

Postpartum Depression Triggers
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Types of Mental Health Treatment Options

Treatment for mental health disorders is appropriate for all humans, gender, and age. In addition, this treatment targets to reduce underlying causes, symptoms and make the condition manageable. It can be a combination of treatments because some people have better results with a comprehensive approach. Following a diagnosis of mental illness, there are various types of treatment options available at the present time. You can also have a word with your doctor to find a plan together.

But sometimes, this type of treatment plan depends on the diagnosis and seriousness of the illness. It is usually created to the individual’s needs and cannot be generalized. It is essential to consult a mental health professional before starting any form of treatment. Here are some standard mental health treatment which may help you to treat proper treatment in your illness;

Medications

There are various categories of medications that help to treat problems like anti-anxiety medications, mood-stabilizing, mental health disorders, and antipsychotic medications. Another potential benefit of medication in the recovery of mental disorders is that it may positively impact your mental illness. Because sometimes the consumption of any substance abuse can give you mental disorder so that medication can be an excellent option for mental health conditions.

At the same time, recovery from illness will assist you to stop the symptoms which are commonly taking place in changes in your relationships, sometimes the hormone levels in the body, and some negative emotions like some of your loved ones are facing this same disorder which includes anger, low self-worth, frustration, depression, etc. While counseling can help with handling these emotions, a holistic approach requires medication. People may try hardly any medications at different doses before finding something that’s right for them.

The Postpartum Depression Drug | Brexanolone (Zulresso)
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Psychotherapy

This type of treatment provides the opportunity for you to talk about mental health issues within your feelings, experiences, ideas, and thoughts. Therapists in the first place act like neutral mediators and sounding boards, which helps to teach and learn the strategies and techniques to oversee the symptoms. Therapies are the best medicine for every disease or disorder, and psychotherapy and motivational enhancement therapy can play a significant role in recovering this illness. This type is best for the person who knows their level of symptoms and experience of their health issues. Therapy treatment can also be beneficial for addressing symptoms of psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Residential and Hospital Treatment

Some people may need a critical care unit of this intensive treatment at residential or hospital treatment facilities. These programs allow an overnight stay for all-out treatment. There are some daytime programs and sessions where people and patients can take part in some long and short treatment periods. This mental illness can be treated very well in these two extents, which significantly depends on your symptoms.

Online Cognitive Behavior Therapy
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Support Groups

These types of groups play a significant role in someone’s life. You have to take care of your surroundings with whom you are talking and living around. These small things make a big difference in one’s mental illness. Group therapy is also a very successful treatment in the world of disorders. You can plan an adventure sport or a picnic. Talking and spending time with sober and healthy groups will divert the mind from another type of disorder, illness, or any type of addiction.


In Conclusion

As we see, many people in the world are facing the problem of mental disorders because of many reasons, but there is nothing to be frightened of; there are some treatments mentioned in the above article, which can help you recover from this addiction problem. And you can also live a sober and healthy life.


Author Bio

Monika Heft is a passionate blogger who explores the field of addiction recovery. With the help of her blogs, She provides information and knowledge about various types of addiction recovery. For more info visit https://evolvetreatment.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Evolvetreatment
https://instagram.com/evolvetreatment/
https://twitter.com/evolvetreatment
https://www.linkedin.com/company/evolve-treatment-centers

 

Tips for Choosing a Proper Gift for a New Mom

In the first few months after the baby is born, moms are very busy and do not possess time for themselves. Every so often they don’t have time to sleep or spare a little free time. What to give moms? If you are trying to come up with the ideal gift for a new mom, you are in the right place. We have designed creative and useful gifts that mom will surely like. There are classic gifts like baby diapers, clothes and blankets that have become traditional, but we went a step further and found gifts that every mom will adore!  Find out below how to select the best gift for a new mom!

Tips for Choosing a Proper Gift for a New Mom
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Professional photography

New moms need to record every moment with their baby. Photos of a newborn baby become precious family memories. Moms are very grateful when they give away a voucher for professional photography or organize the arrival of a photographer at their home address. These photos are kept for life.

Personalized necklaces

Personalized necklaces made of silver or gold carry a dedication in the form of a name or initials. You can give a new mom a piece of jewelry with the baby’s name written on it, and we believe she will be delighted! You should think about what she prefers to wear, whether it is bracelets, necklaces or earrings. This kind of gift is a good investment because they will wear it proudly.

Comfortable pajamas

Moms need to feel good and comfortable in the beginning. At home, they will usually wear a nightgown, bathrobe or pajamas. Choose a piece of simple clothing and made of natural materials. In addition, you can consider new leggings, warm socks or slippers that have a light and soft sole.

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Grocery shopping

Moms don’t have much time to spend shopping, so bringing groceries will be a gift for a new mom that will make them very happy. You can also surprise your daughter, friend or sister, by sending her a basket full of fruit. Fresh fruit gift hampers are a gift that moms can’t resist! After pregnancy and childbirth, they need a lot of vitamins and fresh fruit to keep their immunity strong and be able to cope with the new schedule.

Cleaning service

If you pay for a cleaner as a gift for a new mom, she will be very grateful. Moms have little time and try to be with the baby as much as possible. Cleaning and maintaining a home can be very hard and stressful in the first months. If you do not want to pay for additional cleaning services, get organized with friends and family.

Moms require more rest

For the first few months, mothers are sleep deprived and tired. Taking care of a child for a few hours a day can help moms dedicate themselves or go to the hairdresser. They can only sleep or take a warm bath that will relax them. This free time is precious, and mom will be very happy that she found an extra hour or two to go for a manicure or do something she didn’t get to do.

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Massage

Moms need a massage that will relax them, and that will relieve back pain. The masseur can also come to your home address. A gifted massage will make mom more rested and calm. Massage is the easiest way to relax and achieve good health. This method of treatment has been used for more than 5,000 years, and masseurs say that regular massage improves general health, mental and physical condition.

Free evening with a partner

Although the first months when the baby arrives are very hectic and stressful, moms claim to enjoy every moment. However, every so often they require a dinner with a partner where they will be able to get closer, talk and enjoy food. Dinner for two and baby care for a few hours is a gift that moms can hardly wait for! That is an opportunity for mom to get dressed and shine again in high heels.

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Coffee maker

All new parents need a little extra caffeine! Many moms do not have the time to prepare delicious coffee and spend time in the kitchen. A coffee machine can help them with that! If your coffee machine is currently inaccessible, consider a standard coffee maker that has a lower price.

With these gifts, new moms will be able to relax and find a little more time to spend alone or with their baby. Instead of traditional gifts, select the really useful and functional ones. That will mean something to your mom in the upcoming weeks or months.


Author Bio

Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, but her ultimate passion is fitness and health. She is also a bibliophile and her favorite book is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter. 

 

4 Tips to Staying Healthy After Childbirth

Staying healthy after childbirth isn’t an easy task because carrying a child changes your body, your mind, and your emotions. The postpartum period can be especially challenging since you are adapting to physical and emotional changes while learning how to care for your little one and dealing with a new reality of motherhood.

Also, you and your partner need to adjust to your new roles as parents and a different family system. From healing after childbirth to sleep deprivation, the first six to eight weeks after giving birth can be overwhelming. During this intense time, it’s important to be gentle with yourself and prioritize proper self-care. 

The four tips listed below will help you keep you focus on staying healthy after childbirth. 

4 Tips to Staying Healthy After Childbirth
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Eat Smart

Your body endures a lot of changes during pregnancy and birth. This is the time to nourish your body with the right food choices. A well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet will give your body the essential ingredients it needs to function properly. 

It is not unusual for new mothers to be too tired or busy to skip meals even when they feel hunger. It’s tempting to reach for sugary and fatty foods, especially when you are pushed for time and energy. 

Remind yourself that getting proper nutrition is an integral part of staying healthy, particularly if you are breastfeeding since most nutrients your baby needs come from your breast milk.

Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, and stick to lean protein sources and whole-grain foods.  Varied, nutritious, and tasty is what you should go for. Having plenty of chopped fresh fruit and vegetables at the reach of your hand will help you stick to a healthy eating regimen.

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Keep Up With Your Prenatal Vitamins 

After your baby is born, you may benefit from keeping up with your prenatal vitamins, especially if you are breastfeeding.  Pregnancy depletes some nutrients in the body, like folate and calcium. And breastfeeding increases your daily recommended dose of many nutrients.

Even with a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet, vitamins are a good way to ensure you meet your recommended intake of critical nutrients and your nutrient stores are replenished. To support your body in restoring the nutrients it might have lost during pregnancy, your doctor may recommend you to take your prenatal vitamins for at least six months postpartum, even if you are not breastfeeding. 

In addition to taking supplements, there are more ways to ensure  that you’re staying healthy after childbirth. Thanks to medical advances, it’s now possible to collect stem cells at birth and undergo placenta stem cell treatment in case the need arises. This revolutionary treatment shows promising results in dozens of conditions, including heart conditions and kidney failure, so prior to your childbirth, consider placental tissue banking for future medical or therapeutic use. 

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Take It Easy and Prioritize Rest

Getting rest can be challenging for new mothers, but it is necessary for both physical and mental health. Carrying a baby for nine months puts an enormous strain on the female body, and the act of giving birth can be hard on your body as well.

So, how can you help it recuperate with an infant to take care of? For starters, focus on feeding your baby and taking care of yourself, and ask your loved ones for help. Allow them to take over most responsibilities you used to handle. 

If you are struggling with sleep deprivation, developing a regular sleep routine for your newborn will help you both get a good night’s rest. Don’t use the time when your baby sleeps during the day to clean or do other chores. Utilize that time to get some sleep too.

Also, it’s essential not to be stuck in the house all day long. Get outside, even if it’s just for ten minutes a day. It will make a huge difference over time. Fresh air will help both you and baby rest better and that is so important for staying healthy after childbirth.

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles 

There is still some taboo around birth and postpartum bodies that we need to address and normalize. The aftermath of giving birth often includes weakened pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery affect this group of muscles, tissues, and ligaments significantly.

The bladder leakage is usually temporary, and as you heal, you will probably see improvement, but it may take months to go back to normal. You can speed up the recovery process more quickly with Kegel exercises designed to target pelvic floor muscles.  If you are dealing with more severe issues affecting your mental wellbeing, make sure to see a pelvic health therapist.

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit
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New moms have a lot on their plate, and a daily self-care routine is a necessity. Ask for help and accept it when offered. Also, remember that even a few minutes here and there can add up during the day and make a difference in your recovery and your health status. Simply prioritize staying healthy after childbirth, both physically and mentally.


Author Bio

Stephen Jones is a freelance writer and a new father. “Becoming a father for the first time is not easy, but it is so much happiness that complicated things are handled in the best way because the baby is the fruit of love and he brings great satisfaction.” Stephen enjoys writing about health, food, nutrition, and children’s health for other parents. “Freelance writing has always been my passion so I combined the two and hopes to be able to share my passion with others!” Check him out on Facebook  or Twitter.

References

Easy Ways For Moms to Practice Preventive Health Care

You’ve had so many appointments during your pregnancy that going to another one is the last thing you want to do. But now that the baby is here, you’ll need all the energy and strength you can muster. You can’t take care of anyone unless you take care of yourself first. Luckily, you can try these easy ways to practice preventive health care.

Easy Ways for Moms to Practice Preventative Health Care
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

See Your General Practitioner

Spend a day scheduling appointments and setting reminders as they get closer. When the reminders appear, you can arrange for child care or get ready to bring them with you. Don’t miss yearly checkups. They can screen for all kinds of things and catch them in time to treat them. Among these tests:

    • Blood pressure
    • Blood sugar
    • Cholesterol
    • Colon cancer
    • Depression
    • Genetic testing for breast or ovarian cancer
    • Mammogram
    • Osteoporosis
    • Pap smear

If you notice other symptoms that seem to linger too long, get them checked out as soon as you can.

See a Therapist

Having a long talk with your oldest friend or your mother can prove incredibly therapeutic. But they aren’t trained professionals who can provide expert advice. When you’re raising kids, you may feel overwhelmed and alone. Your insurance plan may cover weekly visits to a mental health specialist. Take advantage of it. Even if you don’t have specific complaints or problems, a therapist knows how to listen for developing issues.

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See a Chiropractor

Don’t take your spine for granted. After all, you ask a lot of it: you often pick up children, breastfeed, work long hours at a computer, or fall asleep with your neck in a weird position. Don’t wait to make an appointment until you’re in pain. A chiropractor can make small adjustments to ensure your spine stays aligned. They might also help with headaches or other aches and pains.

See a Dietician

Don’t feel like cooking? It’s easy to slip into bad habits like eating empty calories or forgoing meals. But you still need the nutrients you were so careful to ingest during pregnancy. Check in with an expert who can help you put together a manageable and balanced meal plan. It’s an easy way to practice preventive health care that will keep you on track and remind you that your child isn’t the only one who deserves to thrive.

Postpartum Appointment Tracker
The Postpartum Plan Workbook.

Author Bio

Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
 

Depression and Addiction: How to Deal With a Dual Diagnosis

Depression and addiction have a complex relationship, and the disorder can happen together. Though, depression is most common among those who are battling an addiction to alcohol or drugs, any substance use may trigger or enhance feelings of loneliness, sadness, and hopelessness linked with depression. It is also estimated around 1/3 of people with depression will also have a drug and alcohol addiction. But those suffering from depression have a low level of emotional course, which does not go quickly. However, clinical depression is a severe mental health issue that has severe consequences for people suffering from it.

Depression and Addiction: How to Deal with a Dual Diagnosis
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Depression and Addiction: How to Deal with a Dual Diagnosis
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Depression affects millions of people and keeps them from living happily with a healthy lifestyle. While many individuals who experience highs and low depression symptoms throughout their life, clinical depression can last for weeks, months, or even some years. People coping with depression find themselves moving towards drug or alcohol use as a solution. Although those substances will temporarily ease the emotional pain, they can become addictive.

The more a person consumes drugs and alcohol, the more their body becomes dependent. Over time, drug and alcohol addiction will boost the symptoms of depression and which can lead to health problems. However, the treatment of addiction is possible through drug and alcohol rehab centers that help eliminate the habit.

Dual diagnosis: Depression and Addiction

Substance abuse is widespread among individuals who are suffering from a depressive disorder. And alcohol is a central nervous system depressant; using alcohol will trigger depression symptoms like sadness, hopelessness, and lethargy.

Moreover, many individuals coping with depression will reach for drugs or alcohol to enhance moods or numb painful thoughts. As a result, depression and addiction abuse will feed into each other, and it will boost the heighten the condition of both, making each worse.

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When an individual is suffering from depression and addiction, a dual diagnosis can be made by any combination of a mental issue and an addiction to drugs or alcohol. A dual diagnosis which includes depressive disorder, is among the more common forms of the problem.

Depression will stand at a higher risk of accidental injury, self-harm, and sometimes suicide. Moreover, depression also restrains the immune system, which weakens the body, making you more exposed to physical illness. When you add drugs or alcohol, the risks increase significantly to your physical and emotional health.

Understanding Depression

Individuals with depression find themselves facing a battle every day. Many elements of addiction will overlap the symptoms of depression, which makes it necessary that people get the care and treatment for both disorders.

People with both depression and addiction may mimic a lack of lifestyle habits that include-
    • Ignoring social activities or hobbies
    • Refusing any acknowledgment of an addiction problem
    • Recognizing negative issues with personal relationships
    • Detaching themselves from the society

For every individual suffering from depression, it is enticing to feel that high occurs with taking drugs or alcohol. In the long run, this substance abuse to ease depression signs will even cause more harm to one’s life.

Types of depression

There are two significant types of depression- endogenous depression and situational depression. However, the signs of both types of depression are similar, and in many cases, its treatment is also equal. But a significant difference does exist in both the depression types.

Endogenous depression

Endogenous depression is the one in which a biological predisposition of depression is present. Usually, there is a family history of depression that reveals a genetic tendency towards depressive illness. While this depression can occur with or without any particular stress, intensifying pressure will cause a more acute depressive episode.

Postpartum Depression Triggers
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Situational depression

This type of depression can occur without a genetic or biological predisposition to depression. Situational depression is triggered usually by a single incident like job loss, illness, or any other problem. However, this type of situational stressors is not always present in the lives of those who have a biologically depressive illness.

Symptoms of Depression

The signs of depression vary depending on its type. However, a co-occurring disorder involves alcohol, and addiction to other substances can increase those symptoms’ seriousness. People who suffer from depression will have around a ten percent lifetime suicide risk. But when depression is combined with addiction, the risk can arise.

Common and severe symptoms of depression:
    • Loss of interest in any work, social life, and hobby
    • A feeling of uselessness and hopelessness
    • Irritable
    • Sleeping issues
    • Weight changes and appetite issues
    • Hasty behavior
    • Hallucinating
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Consuming drugs and alcohol to fight depression

Depression Becoming Entrance to Addiction

Depression is often known as an entry to drug and alcohol use, which becomes an addiction. People who experience depression will use alcohol and drugs to rescue negative thoughts. And if the person is consuming drugs and drinks daily, there are high chances that they will become addicted.

Signs of addiction include the following:
    • When your body turns addicted to drugs and alcohol, you will require more to achieve the same impact as at the beginning.
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    • When you decrease the drug intake and start showing signs of being nervous, cold sweats, or become agitated, or experiencing tremors.
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    • Leaving you feeling guilty or sad after you abuse the drug, even though you are using it to feel better in the first place.
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      • The craving to use will occur when you stop using the drug, recreating your cravings and withdrawal symptoms, leaning you back to the drug again.
    Online Cognitive Behavior Therapy
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    Recovering from Depression and Addiction

    A dual diagnosis is complex to treat because each disorder can build up the symptoms of the other. Though, people who drink excessive alcohol will not cure the effects of depression. Drinking alcohol can worsen depression symptoms. The need to conceal depression overcomes the alcohol’s side effects.

    However, to treat an individual with a dual diagnosis, a high level of complexity involves. It is well known the individuals who have a dual diagnosis won’t get the care they need in a traditional rehab program.

    The only program that will work is to handle the issues, drug and alcohol addiction, the detox process, counseling, and aftercare planning. An integrated Dual Diagnosis program will include counseling, education, support, and prevention from depression and addiction issues.

    Advice for Depression and Addiction Dual Diagnosis

    People who don’t receive the proper treatment for dual diagnoses like depression and addiction will find their chronic conditions persist and impact their quality of life. So, it becomes essential to get the help you need by finding a specialized treatment center that can help to overcome depression and addiction.

    You will have to find a center with a medical professional and addiction specialist team who understands the complex nature of Dual Diagnosis. The center should provide various crafted programs to help the patients achieve lifelong sobriety and treat all co-occurring disorders.


    Author Bio:

    Emily is a sensual blogger who explores the field of addiction recovery. She provides information and knowledge about various types of addiction treatments and recovery, through her writings.

11 Alarming Ways Postpartum Depression Affects a Mother’s Health 

Postpartum depression affects a mother’s health in so many ways.  It’s not simply a phase that a lot of new mothers go through. It’s a serious condition that needs prompt attention, support, and treatment. When uncared for, mothers with this condition can experience a plethora of health symptoms—physically, psychologically, and socially. 

Here, we discuss the common signs and symptoms one in eight mothers go through due to postpartum depression. For those who are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek immediate professional care.

11 Alarming Ways Postpartum Depression Affects a Mother's Health
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
11 Alarming Ways Postpartum Depression Affects a Mother's Health
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Fatigue and Lethargy

The first few months after giving birth can be some of the most exhausting periods in a new mom’s life. They often need to stay up all night to feed the baby and cope with the new setup at home. While fatigue can feel normal for these new mothers, it’s also a potential symptom of postpartum depression. 

Lethargy often gets the best of many people, especially for mothers of newborns. They can feel tired, exhausted, and weary all the time. Nothing can seem to lift their energy. When this happens, spouses should offer help any way they can.

Unexplained Pain and Body Aches 

The body can go through a lot throughout pregnancy and after giving birth as it returns to its non-pregnant state. This includes getting heartburn and constipation. However, this only often occurs within the postpartum period of three months after delivery. Causing pain long after delivery is another way that postpartum depression affects a mother’s health.

For new mothers who experience unexplained stomach pain or headaches, it’s best to get plenty of rest and consult their doctor on the best course of action to take. 

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Lack of Appetite 

People with depression may find themselves uninterested in eating. This loss of appetite is also one of the reasons they experience other symptoms, such as weakness and fatigue. Since these new mothers lack the proper nutrition, they may get too tired or exhausted to care for their babies. Eventually, it can deteriorate their physical and mental health. 

While babies still get the best nutrition from breast milk, it’s the mothers with postpartum depression that take the blow with this debilitating symptom. 

Urinary Incontinence 

Urinary incontinence, or difficulty in controlling the bladder, is a common health problem among women who have just given birth. This often occurs among those who’ve had a vaginal delivery. While this is normally a temporary problem as the pelvic floor muscles go through the process of recovering, this isn’t the case for some women. 

Long-term postpartum urinary incontinence can contribute to other health-related concerns, such as fatigue, back pain, and depressive symptoms. 

The last thing these mothers need is to feel more down in having to wear bulky adult diapers. There are incontinence undergarments for women that look and feel like regular underwear but have great absorbency. With these garments, they can feel both comfortable and confident wearing them.

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit
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Excessive Sleeping 

It’s not news that mothers of newborns get sleep deprived for months. Babies need round-the-clock attention, from feeding them to putting them to sleep without making a fuss. With this, new mothers may not feel their best for the first few months postpartum. 

But if sleep deprivation becomes a persistent condition even three months after delivery, this could be a symptom of postpartum depression

It can be difficult to spot this condition, especially when many mothers consider lack of sleep as a normal part of motherhood. But if it already interferes with their way of life, then it may be high time to reach out for help.

Difficulty Focusing and Making Decisions

Early signs of depression among postpartum mothers include having trouble focusing and making decisions. This can start with being forgetful most of the time, not bothering to take a shower, or not knowing which chore to do at home. 

Oftentimes, suddenly forgetting something or losing your train of thought isn’t just the “mom brain” acting up. It can be a serious sign of postpartum depression, and one that needs proper medical attention right away. 

6 Warning Signs That it's More Than The Baby Blues
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Difficulty Bonding with the Newborn 

Women with postpartum depression may experience indifference toward their children. They may feel guilty about feeling disconnected from their baby when they shouldn’t. 

Mothers going through this disconcerting situation should understand that this doesn’t mean they’re bad mothers. This is a common symptom of postpartum depression, a clinical diagnosis that needs ample treatment. Otherwise, it could negatively affect the way they deliver care for their child.

Withdrawing from Others 

Postpartum depression affects a mother’s health by isolating them.  People with depression tend to isolate themselves from family and friends. For mothers experiencing this condition postpartum, they may often feel like nobody understands their current situation. Their natural course of action would be to withdraw from others and keep their “depressing” thoughts to themselves. 

When a loved one seems to isolate themselves, it doesn’t hurt to be the one to reach out to them. You may not see it, but a simple act of asking them how they’re doing can make a difference. 

How to Talk About Postpartum Depression
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Feeling Unmotivated 

New mothers may feel unmotivated doing other things, especially when they’re so tired all the time. But if this feeling lingers for a couple of months after giving birth, there may be an underlying psychological cause. 

Women with postpartum depression may lose interest in doing the things they liked doing before giving birth. This may include watching their favorite TV shows, working out, or hanging out with their partner. This sudden shift in mood and habits is something to watch out for. 

Postpartum Psychosis 

When left untreated, postpartum depression may lead to postpartum psychosis. While it’s a rare condition that only occurs in 1 out of 1,000 deliveries, it’s a serious illness that requires immediate medical care. 

Mothers with postpartum psychosis experience a break in reality. This means they start having delusions or hallucinations. They tend to get irritable or hyperactive and get rapid mood swings most of the time. 

This may be caused by a family history of bipolar disorder. It’s also possible that these women have had a previous psychotic episode, even before their delivery. 
10 Mothers Who Lost the Battle to Postpartum Depression

Suicidal Thoughts 

Thoughts of hurting themselves or their baby aren’t new when it comes to postpartum depression. Spouses or family members need to spot such signs right away to keep the mother and the baby safe. Postpartum depression affects a mother’s health in such a severe way that often suicide feels like the only way out. 

It’s a medical emergency, and it’s imperative to seek medical attention the moment they spot the signs. 

Helping a Mother With Postpartum Depression 

People can pass a ton of judgments on new mothers when that’s the last thing they need during such an overwhelming phase of their lives. The best thing for family and friends to do to help women with postpartum depression is to listen and lend a helping hand when they need it. 

Of course, it’s always best to suggest seeking professional help so they can get proper treatment early on.

14 Ways to Help A Mother with Postpartum Depression
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Author Bio

Kimberly Hatcher works with LL Medico and supports Women’s Health by providing information and resources, particularly for postpartum mothers who want to achieve their health and well-being goals.

How to Treat Depression Without Medication

Globally, more than 264 million individuals suffer from depression, with about 5% of the UAE population being affected. If you or a loved one is currently experiencing symptoms of depression, read on to learn how you can treat depression without medication.

How To Treat Depression Without Medication
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
How To Treat Depression Without Medication
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What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes an individual to feel continually sad or lack interest in life. While it is normal for people to feel sad or depressed at certain times throughout their lives, depression is characterized by intense feelings of sadness that last for weeks and inhibit an individual’s ability to live their life

Generally, when someone is experiencing depression, they have symptoms for at least two weeks. These symptoms may include being intensely sad and feeling tired or lacking energy for the majority of the day, as well as feeling hopeless, pessimistic and worthless

Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much and having no interest or pleasure in many activities are other common symptoms. A weight change may also occur. Finally, individuals who are experiencing depression may regularly think about death or suicide

That being said, not everyone’s depressive symptoms may be the same, and their severity, frequency, and length can also vary. For many individuals, these symptoms may occur in patterns. Commonly, depression can occur in alignment with changes in the seasons

The Postpartum Depression Drug | Brexanolone (Zulresso)
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What causes depression?

While doctors haven’t yet found out the exact causes of depression, it is generally considered to be the result of a combination of factors that include: brain structure, brain chemistry, hormones, and genetics. For example, individuals who experience depression often exhibit a physical difference in their brains from those who don’t suffer from depression. 

Additionally, neurotransmitters (chemicals in your brain) play a significant role in your mood. When experiencing depression, these neurotransmitters aren’t operating the way they usually should, affecting your brain chemistry. Changes in hormone levels can also trigger depression symptoms. Finally, while the exact genetics aren’t known, there is a strong correlation between individuals who experience depression being related to other individuals who suffer from it. 

Depression is an incredibly complex disease that can also be caused by stressful life events, medications, and other medical problems. In many cases, depression occurs alongside other medical or mental health problems, including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, substance use disorders, and eating disorders.

How is depression diagnosed?

When diagnosing depression, doctors can use a number of different methods. First and foremost, they may start with a physical exam that examines an individual’s overall health to determine whether there is another medical condition. They may also do bloodwork to investigate hormone levels.

Additionally, a psychiatric evaluation will be conducted in which a doctor asks about thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns that shed light on an individual’s mental health. From there, a doctor will check symptoms against the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) that lists the criteria for depression. 

While only a physician or mental health professional can officially diagnose depression, if you think you are suffering from depression, you can take a self-assessment and then share the results with your doctor. You can also perform a quick online depression self test to see if what you are feeling is something to be truly concerned about. 

If you think that you or someone you know is suffering from depression, it is crucial to talk to your doctor immediately. From there, they will be able to evaluate you and suggest treatment or refer you to a mental health professional.

What to do if you think you have postpartum depression
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Can you treat depression with lifestyle changes? 

While there are medications that can help you treat depression, many individuals prefer to treat depression without medication. In many cases, individuals can effectively manage their depression through natural remedies or other tactics. That being said, depression rarely goes away on its own, so if you or a loved one has symptoms of depression, it is critical that you take steps to address it and don’t aim to handle it on your own. 

In some instances, lifestyle changes can make a significant difference when it comes to managing depression. As sleep and depression have a relationship, maintaining consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can help. Similarly, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol is also advised. 

One Year Postpartum & Still Depressed
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Research has shown that regular exercise can help to prevent and treat depression without medication. At the same time, certain nutrient deficiencies (such as a vitamin D deficiency) can play a role in depression symptoms. A well-balanced diet that contains the right mix of nutrients is also essential. For this reason, you want to make sure you are eating fish, nuts, and probiotics – all of which may be beneficial when suffering from depression. 

Stress is often a significant cause of depression as it increases cortisol levels (a brain chemical). If you are repeatedly stressed, look to incorporate stress-relieving activities into your daily life. Some options include journaling, deep breathing, exercising, meditation, and time management. 

Finally, when you are feeling depressed, it can be common to withdraw from other people. However, during these periods, you don’t want to go it alone. Therefore, you must continue to speak with friends and family and tell them what is going on and how you feel. Depending on your support network is crucial in ensuring that you don’t further intensify feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

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How does neurofeedback therapy for depression work? 

If lifestyle changes don’t work, then you may want to consider neurofeedback therapy for depression. Research demonstrates that this treatment is often an effective and viable option for individuals who suffer from depression, as well as anxiety and other related symptoms, including sleep disorders and attention difficulties. 

Neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive way to regulate and measure your brain waves and to retrain them through conditioning. This is one way to treat depression without medication.  This program enables you to retrain your brain to overcome depression and start living life to the fullest. 

During a neurofeedback therapy session, electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors will be attached to your scalp to monitor your brain wave activity. In a session, with the sensors still on, you watch a TV show, and whenever you produce healthy brain activity, the TV screen becomes bigger, and the audio, clearer. These are considered a reward for your brain. 

Throughout your neurofeedback therapy sessions, you start to be able to independently control your thoughts and emotions to move away from depressive thoughts. Once your therapy sessions are completed, you will be better equipped to process your emotions. 


Do you suffer from depression? If so, what treatments do you use (or have used in the past)? Have you ever considered neurofeedback therapy for depression? Let us know your thoughts and any additional insights in the comments below.


Author Bio

Dr. Upasana Gala is the founder and CEO of Evolve Brain Training, an award-winning neurofeedback-centered institute that focuses on using non-invasive brain training techniques to maximize the brain’s true potential. Earning a doctorate in Neuroscience from the revered Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Gala has spent over a decade trying to unravel the way neurochemical and neurophysiological changes in the brain affect the way we interact with the world. Her goal is to share her knowledge, encourage others to tap into and expand their brain’s capabilities, and dispel any myths surrounding our most complex organ.

 

How to Use Essential Oils for Depression and Anxiety

Aromatherapy and essential oils offer a ton of mental health benefits.
Essential Oils for Depression and Anxiety 1
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Essential Oils for Depression and Anxiety 1

In this time of social distancing and quarantining, many people are feeling the negative effects of distance from their loved ones, routine and everyday life. The simple pleasures that we took for granted, like coffee with a friend, leisurely strolls around the grocery store or afternoon walks through public parks won’t be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. With all of these stressors (and more) constantly running through our minds, it’s no wonder that we need some additional at-home self-care solutions. 

Especially for those that were already struggling with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, being constantly home-bound with nothing but your thoughts can lead to not-too-good feelings regarding yourself, your surroundings and your life. Though there isn’t an all-encompassing at-home remedy to stopping these negative thoughts in their tracks, there are several ways you can prioritize your mental and physical well-being while quarantining.

How to NOT feel isolation while in self isolation
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One of these solutions lies in using essential oils around your home as aromatherapy.

Especially now, having a relaxing, cozy space you can truly decompress in is more important than it ever has been. These following five essential oils will help make your space, and your thoughts, much more comfortable to be around for long periods of time. 

These oils can be used in a variety of ways: through diffusing, incorporating into baths or lotion, topical application with a carrier oil or inhaling the scent directly. The best way to use each of these oils is included with the description of the oils below!

Lavender 

This is perhaps one of the most well-known essential oils, and for good reason. This earthy, herbaceous scent is a fan-favorite among aromatherapists for its abilities to combat the symptoms of mild depression, ward off insomnia and ease the grip of anxious feelings and thoughts. 

To see how lavender can help you, try diffusing in your bedroom before going to sleep or applying topically with a carrier oil in the morning to pulse points, specifically wrists and behind the ears. 

Postpartum Insomnia
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Sandalwood

If meditation or self-reflection is included in your self-care routine, try diffusing sandalwood during your me-time. This warm, woody scent has shown in studies to increase both mental clarity and focus, making meditation easier while exposed to this scent. Sandalwood has also shown to have a calming effect on the limbic system, along with sedative and mood-calming properties that enhance quality of sleep. 

To incorporate sandalwood’s healing properties into your routine, drop some of the oil into your body lotion or diffuse in your living area before bed.

Orange 

If you’re experiencing a lack of energy or allover lethargy during quarantine, try incorporating a citrus scent like orange or grapefruit into your living and working space. Citrus scents like orange are known to have powerful energizing properties, with orange specifically being linked to increased feelings of happiness, energy levels and overall happier moods. A study even found the orange scent to lower cortisol levels, which leads to increased stress and anxiety.

For a much-needed burst of energy in the morning or during a mid-day slump, try diffusing in the morning and inhaling from the bottle during the day.

Meditation Tips for People Who Hate to Meditate
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Roman Chamomile

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’ve been having trouble getting to and falling asleep, Roman Chamomile could help regulate your sleep schedule. In various studies, this herbaceous, floral scent has proved to help users get to sleep, and can even fight insomnia for better sleep. 

To make going to bed a more pleasant experience, add some drops to your nightly shower and diffuse in the evenings to help get your body ready for sleep. 

Jasmine 

For those experiencing an overwhelming amount of emotions, jasmine essential oils have been shown to help with a variety of anxious and depressive symptoms. Not only has it proven to have a mildly sedative effect, it has been observed to have a calming effect on the brain, easing anxious thoughts, feelings and overwhelm—in fact, the scent can be “as calming as valium.” Jasmine has also been observed to stimulate the brain in certain cases, which can boost the mood and feelings of happiness.

To ease anxious feelings or thoughts during periods of high-stress, try inhaling this scent directly from the bottle or apply topically to pulse points before a long day. 

100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
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Though there’s no way to tell when our lives will return to normal, it’s important to prioritize your physical, mental and emotional well-being during this time. This includes making yourself comfortable and feeling at-home during this stressful time—which aromatherapy and essential oils can help with. For more information on how essential oils can help with isolation anxieties, check out this visual on seven more oils and their benefits.

Fragrancex.com
Author Bio:

Emily Borst is a digital content creator who helps FragranceX create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. Her background in digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to eco to lifestyle. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, reading, and eating her way through Austin, Texas.