Nearly two years into COVID-19, there are few, if any, who can say that they haven't been impacted mentally by this pandemic. The constant media reporting on deaths, mask mandates, work restrictions, and changes in how we conduct our day-to-day lives have caused increasing mental health concerns. The research also reflects mental health changes of growing numbers of individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns since the onset of COVID-19. 

Stress and Anxiety

Increasing amounts of stress are at the root of the increase in mental health concerns. Stress is a complex concept that involves both mental and physiological aspects. It's an interplay between the mind and body, with mental stress causing the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream affecting the function of body systems. The release of stress hormones can also cause an increase in mental stress; it goes both ways. 

Of course, some amount of stress is good for us and encourages us to grow and adapt, which is called eu-stress, but when the stress becomes too much, and we are unable to cope effectively with the stress we are under it's called dis-stress. COVID-19 and the prolonged uncertainty of when if ever, life will return to normal is a source of a lot of uncertainty, which causes a stress response in many individuals. 

Everyone is on a spectrum of mental health, with certain individuals on the far end of each side of each mental health concern (depression, anxiety, anger etc). Where we land on the spectrum is determined by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. People can also move in the spectrum, which means there are things you can do to support your mental health and stress response.

So, What Can Be Done? 

There are core, foundational pillars for mental health which include diet, exercise, and sleep.

Diet

Diet can be a complex subject in and of itself, but the basics include a diet with a lot of green leafy vegetables and minimal saturated fat. The Mediterranean diet is a diet that fits these characteristics and has been studied for its health benefits. A diet rich in varied plant and animal foods, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats provides the building blocks for neurotransmitters (the chemicals that signal moods and emotions in the brain), as well as the regulating stress hormone responses in the body.  

Moringa Oleifera is a superfood botanical that is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is known to provide energy as well as a mood boost due to its magnesium content which is involved in hundreds of essential processes in the body. NAGUNA's Moringa supplement is an excellent choice to support your mind and body through times of stress, such as the COVID 19 pandemic.

Exercise

The health benefits of moving the body cannot be overestimated as exercise has been linked to better physical health and better mental health. Regular exercise has been linked to decreased anxiety and depression. On average, an individual should be exercising three to four times per week for at least thirty minutes. Any type of exercise will be of benefit, and choosing a type you look forward to is best.

Sleep

Sleep can be tricky when it comes to stress as not enough sleep can cause stress as well as less resilience to stressors, but stress in and of itself can make falling and staying asleep difficult. Natural supplements offer great support in helping a person fall asleep, stay asleep and receive the restoration their nervous system needs.

The most effective ingredients for sleep are ashwagandha, l-theanine, 5-HTP, and chamomile. Adding some melatonin, which is one of our primary sleep hormones, can also be useful. All of these natural and effective ingredients are found in NAGUNA SLEEP. This supplement can be used nightly without any risk of developing dependence, unlike some other sleep aids.

COVID 19 has affected people's mental health in a profound way, the good news is there are things that can be done to combat mental health concerns. Focusing on the pillars of health as well as utilizing botanicals and supplements can help to mitigate mental health decline.

 

 

Dr. Kasey Nichols,

Co-Chief Medical Officer of Naguna Labs