Updated: Mar 21, 2020
C.A.D.? "What is that?", you may ask. You've heard of S.A.D. - Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I made up C.A.D. as an acronym during my "wake up with God" time this morning. It stands for COVID-19 Affective Disorder.
No, this is not an official acronym of any sort. I just made it up. I was thinking of writing a post about herbs that might help with the general sense of fear, anxiousness, worry, and isolation - to name just a few of the emotions swirling around thanks to COVID-19 and its obvious global threat along with an unknown personal threat we are all facing.
Several people I've chatted with on the phone, computer, or standing at least 6 feet apart on a walk, have mentioned feeling tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, difficulty sleeping, scattered thoughts, overall anxiousness about life in general right now. The "what ifs" of how to handle what might be coming as well as the "how too" of working out how to work at home while taking care of kids at home with them, how to get groceries when needed, how to do online school, how to teach school online... the list goes on and on. And even after COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror, I think many will continue to deal with feelings of vulnerability, anxiousness, fear. Just my opinion, but I think C.A.D. will be with us for a long time.
So, what's an herbalist to do? Once again, not only am I not a medical doctor, I am also not a mental health professional on any level or in anyone's imagination! This is just what I'm doing and maybe it will be useful to you. I would also like to hear how you are dealing with C.A.D.!
Routine - trying to keep up with as much of a similar routine as BC (Before COVID-19). I'm trying to get up around the same time instead of laying in bed (which is usually accompanied by a fair amount of worrying). Also going to bed around the same time each day - a proven strategy to help with falling asleep.
That said, what about your old routine could maybe use a little tweaking during this sheltering time?
Slowly use the extra time at home to tweak areas that might be good for you and/or those you live with - eat together, play games or put puzzles together, chat more.
Diet - I do not mean to go on some sort of diet for weight loss or cleansing or whatever! I think one of the worst things someone could do with a new virus circulating is to radically change your eating habits, or even lose weight, as that simply puts more stress on your body/immune system as it adjusts to that change. "Eat your medicine" by including all sorts of culinary herbs in your cooking, eating healthy foods, and eating foods that make you happy. And same as tweaking your routine - if there is something that really wasn't working in your eating habit BC, slowly tweak it now - maybe add a few more veggies, maybe drinking more herbal teas, or simply sitting down to eat with your family.
Reach Out - That sounds a bit odd right now with "social distancing", doesn't it! But take time to make a phone call, send a card or email or text or whatever the cool kids are doing these days, From a distance, get to know your neighbors. As a neighborhood, we're talking of setting up lawn chairs in our cul-de-sac, at least 6 feet apart of course, and having a bit of a happy hour together soon. We were too busy two weeks ago to even think about doing something this crazy! Who knows - if we all get along, maybe it will happen more than once!
Maybe even AC (After COVID19).
OK, so herbal advice... My go-to herb for tea for chillin' out is Tulsi/Holy Basil. It is considered an adaptogen, which is a class of herbs that help your body to adjust to all sorts of stress, including physical, mental, environmental, any stress. It is also a pretty decent antiviral. There are several types of tulsi teas available commercially in bags.
Lemon Balm tastes great with tulsi and is also a decent antiviral and mood brightener.
Lavender is a go-to for many people. Use sparingly though, as it imparts a strong flavor.
Rose - oh my, another of my favorites and also cooling- good for our emotions right now, too!
I could go on and on. I'm thinking I may try to figure out the forum area of my website a bit and maybe start a thread (or whatever it's called) there so we can easily share ideas. I would love to hear your ideas and am not hearing them... Just sayin! Stay tuned...