Books, magazines, the Internet are full of perky tips: start exercising, join a new group, make a list and give yourself points for each thing you accomplish.
Yeah, but I’m talking about when it’s too hard to even get out of bed.
I recognized how down I was after my 102-year-old uncle died. Except for a few distant cousins who are at war with each other, my uncle was my last blood relative. I felt adrift with no stability and no support.
My first thought was, “OMG! I forgot to have children!” (Just kidding.) But I took a look back at my life and wondered what I’ve accomplished, really. And who will care about it? So why bother?
Once they get started, self-defeating thoughts can keep repeating in an endless loop. They drain our energy, until we feel so tired and heavy that even simple things seem too hard to do. And hardest of all is getting to feel good again.
Herbal adaptogens are tonics that help us cope with stress while they are helping to support, strengthen and often restore the body’s immune system. Some adaptogens are also natural antidepressants; others support the work of antidepressant herbal remedies.
Here are some examples of herbal medicine that I am finding helpful. Let me start with the standard FDA Disclaimer:
“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) – adaptogen, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, expectorant, hepatoprotectant, immune tonic, immunomodulator, nervine, restorative; specific for severe fatigue, nervous exhaustion, insomnia, night sweats. In TCM it is called “five-flavor berry” because its berries are salty, sweet, sour, pungent (spicy), and bitter, and so it benefits the “yin” organs: kidneys, spleen/pancreas, liver, lungs and heart. Schisandra can both stimulate and calm the nervous system while relieving anxiety and stress. For long-term use.