As a pharmacist in the modern world particularly during a global pandemic, spare time has become a rare commodity for me. I have minimal opportunities to take the time to relax (I don’t even know what that means anymore), regroup, and recharge. But given those circumstances, how do I go about doing everything that is asked of me daily, and then some? I’ve learned over time – some would call it “the hard way” – that it is essential to upkeep my health and wellness to thrive.
Often times when we try to be healthy, we tend to focus on the extravagant diet régimes we read about or the multi-step workout we learned from our favorite influencer. While these things are important, many of us forget the basics of just taking good care of ourselves – getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, supporting our immune system, and staying resilient. This is wellness.
Let’s dive deeper into these concepts.
Wellness – what does this word mean to you?
To me, wellness is the overall wellbeing of a person from the inside out and it regards one’s holistic health. Of note, wellness is not equivalent to a lack of illness. You should never feel like you can’t accomplish a state of wellness if you are experiencing acute or chronic illness.
So, what contributes to our wellness?
Sleep is important for so many aspects of it. The impact that sleep has on the functioning of our immune system as well as on mindfulness is what sticks out to me especially during a mentally draining, immune system demanding pandemic. We need our immune system fighting off pathogens, viruses and bacteria but a lack of sleep may leave us more vulnerable and prone to infections. Prescription medications that are supposed to help you get more sleep are often addictive and full of side effects, so you can opt for an herbal supplement like SLUMBER instead.
Resilience - what does this word mean to you?
To me, resilience is the increased ability to push through the tough times both mentally and physically, and to be able to avoid the point of over stressing and breaking down. Being resilient is not one and the same as never experiencing stress or difficulty. That’s just not realistic. But it does mean the ability to withstand difficulty by having a higher threshold for internal repercussions.
What can we do to become more resilient? Adaptogen herbs help your body adapt to stress and act as overall tonics for the various organ systems of the body. As written by Dr. Marisa Marciano, ND, these restorative adaptogens help the body “deal with the physiology of stress”, including by normalizing levels of your stress hormone cortisol from the adrenal gland. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient holistic medicine practice that originated in India. Because helping our body in this way is not something that is achievable overnight, Ashwagandha is best taken as daily support. Over time, this wonderful herb will support your body in the way that it needs, whether by sustaining your energy levels or by acting as a calming aid. Ashwagandha is a key ingredient in endless herbal supplement formulations due its invaluable functions including completeblue’s very own upcoming product SimpliZen, a calming supplement set to launch in November 2021.
A study done in 2019 by Lopresti, et al. compared the effects of 240 mg of a standardized ashwagandha extract taken daily with placebo on anxiety and cortisol levels in participants, amongst other variables. Anxiety, measured via the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and cortisol levels were found to be reduced in participants who took the ashwagandha extract. A literature review on ashwagandha by Mishra, et. al found this invaluable herb to have anti-inflammatory, antistress, antioxidant, and rejuvenating properties. Though neither set of authors fully understood the mechanism of action of ashwagandha, there were no safety issues or toxicities associated with it either.
With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, restrictions on social gatherings, and a constant threat to our health, it is no wonder that a survey done earlier this year by the American Psychological Association revealed that U.S. adults reported higher stress levels than they’ve experienced since the early days of the pandemic. It is true that we are living in unprecedented times and resilience against stress may arguably sound more important than ever. However, it is important to keep in mind that overall wellness and working on our resilience for both a healthier mental state and a more robust immune system should always be a priority. And our team here at completeblue is here to help you with just that.
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- Mishra, L C et al. "Scientific Basis For The Therapeutic Use Of Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review". Alternative Medicine Review, vol 5, no. 4, 2000, pp. 334-346., Accessed 27 July 2021.
- Lopresti, Adrian L. et al. "An Investigation Into The Stress-Relieving And Pharmacological Actions Of An Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Extract". Medicine, vol 98, no. 37, 2019, p. e17186. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), doi:10.1097/md.0000000000017186.
- Grandner, Michael A. "Sleep, Health, And Society". Sleep Medicine Clinics, vol 15, no. 2, 2020, pp. 319-340. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.jsmc.2020.02.017. Accessed 27 July 2021.