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Feeling overwhelmed?

Our favorite aids for thriving under stress

We’re in the thick of the holiday season: Thanksgiving’s behind us, but the Christmas rush is well under way. Parkway traffic jams are becoming the norm. There are presents to buy, parties to plan, food to prepare. Sometimes it gets just a bit overwhelming. It can make what ought to be a joyous season a real challenge just to stay sane. We at Ruth’s have long said we feel better when you feel better, so we’ve put our heads together to come up with our favorite strategies for thriving in the face of stress.

Barbara and Sue start with a foundation of magnesium. It’s known as a calming mineral, one that gets used up fast when we’re under stress. Barbara notices when she doesn’t take it, she can become irritable or even start craving foods. 5-HTP (5-hydroxytrytophan) is another favorite of these two. It’s a serotonin precursor that Sue has used for occasional bouts of depression, and Barb says it also helps prevent her carbohydrate cravings. Barb also likes Relora, often used with 5-HTP, as a strategy to help cope with her anxiety and/or depression.

Christine, too, is a fan of magnesium but she reaches for LifeFlo Pure Magnesium Flakes (magnesium chloride) to add to a relaxing hot bath. She also likes to add calming essential oils to the bath, maybe Simpler’s Organic Tulsi Holy Basil oil or Organic Lavender. If she doesn’t use them in the bath, she might use them in a diffuser to help her relax. She also uses the lavender in a spritzer to spray her son’s pillow to help him get deep, relaxing sleep. When it comes to oral supplements, Christine’s a fan of Herbalogic Decompress Stress & Tension Relief. The liquid tastes good and is fast-acting, and the product comes in capsules, too.

For Anita, good sleep is paramount to surviving stress, so she relies on Solaray Sleep Blend. If she’s really keyed up, she uses Redd Remedies At Ease P.M. to calm overactive brain and nerves. Last, because cold & flu are so prevalent this time of year, she makes it a habit to take a dose of Sovereign Silver before and after family gatherings or parties just in case she gets exposed to someone who’s sick.

Sue’s go-to product for stress this time of year is Source Naturals Theanine Serine. It’s a formula with multiple beneficial ingredients that is effective for many customers. It’s probably our No. 1 seller in this category. If your anxiety reaches the level of panic attacks, Sue also likes Gaia Herbs’ Kava. It’s not meant for everyday long-term use, but for the occasional severe bout of anxiety it works well for many. Sue is also getting good reports from customers on the use of CW’s Hemp Oil Extract for anxiety. It’s comparatively expensive, so it’s probably best to try something else first, but customer feedback has been good.

Other things to keep in mind are adequate B vitamins for nerve health, and support formulas that contain adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, etc. Most important of all, take care of yourself at least as much as you are taking care of others. We believe that old adage is true: You cannot pour from an empty cup.