Quick ways to boost your mood and support your mental health
It's no secret that January 2022 is already waaaay better than January 2021, but if you're still feeling those New Year blues, there are a few simple ways to help lift your spirits.
If short days, dark nights and abandoned New Year’s resolutions are getting you down, you’re not alone. The good news is, we’ve got the inside track on some super simple ways to help you feel more optimistic and positive.
We caught up with Zara Rumsey, founder of herbal remedy treasure trove bYOUtanical, for her expert advice on beating the January blues and she cites natural herbs and botanicals as key players in her mental health toolbox to keep her feeling upbeat even when things feel bleak.
“Herbs and botanicals play a part in strengthening us mentally and emotionally, restoring energy levels and vitality,” Zara explains. “When our energy is depleted by stress and anxiety, herbs can help to restore a sense of calm and equilibrium. Their benefits include reviving, resting, balancing and uplifting.”
These are the all-natural remedies she recommends for a happiness boost.
For inner-strength: lemon balm, oats and liquorice
This power trio supports mental robustness, helping to reduce the impact of stress and fatigue on our ability to think and focus, explains Zara. “They also have relaxing properties, which nourish the mind and help to calm the nervous systems.”
How to use these herbs
A simple tea made of lemon balm, several times a day can help to lower heart rate, calm the mind and help with stress levels, Zara tells us. “If tea isn’t your thing, a tincture (a concentrated extraction of the herb(s), targets symptoms directly, quickly and efficiently.”
Try: Sunshine Tincture, £39
For relaxing: Passionflower, valerian and California poppy
“These herbs have a relaxing and sedative action on the body and encourage deep restful sleep,” Zara tells us. “When the body sleeps it is able to repair, rebalance and refocus.”
As well as adding these into your routine, consuming melatonin rich foods such as tart sour cherries or juice, tomatoes, chillies, mustard seeds, corn and rice can also help soothe you, Zara says.
Try: Still Tincture, £39
To soothe anxiety: Ashawagandha and liquorice
Ashawagandha is a favourite of actresses Meghan Markle and Jennifer Aniston. It’s an adaptogen that delivers a low level of stress to your body, so when big stress comes your way, you’re better equipped to deal with it.
“Ashawagandha and liquorice are both physically strengthening and promote emotional resilience so are used to support the body, mind and emotions through challenging times,” says Zara.
A word of advice – don’t start taking these if you’re already feeling stressed as the extra low dose of stress could worsen how you’re feeling. Instead, we suggest adding ashawagandha to your supplement routine when you’re feeling calm, or if you know you have something stressful, such as a job interview coming up.
Try: Adrenal Tincture, £39
For mood-lifting: St John’s wort
Uplifting herbs such as St John’s Wort can help with mental resilience. It is used traditionally to help lift depression gently. “A simple body oil using St John’s wort combined with an uplifting essential oil blend can instantly lift the mood,’ says Zara. “Essential oils are both stimulating and calming and can be used alongside other treatments to help and support the mind, improving mental clarity and even out moods.”
Try: Zara mixes up bespoke body oils for her clients, often including St John’s wort blended with other essential oils to target their needs.
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