Things have been spiraling out of control since March. Even though I thought I was dealing with everything fine, I noticed that the “I want to cry” feeling has been creeping up on me a lot. As a mom, worrying about my family is kind of a given, but with COVID sneaking up on people it’s got me worrying at a whole new level.
I don’t tend to let my kids see when I’m sad. I try to keep all breakdowns in the shower and then I pull myself together and keep it moving. It’s a pattern I created for myself to allow myself to feel emotions but still tackle my day. What I realized, however, is that I was having these emotions of sadness, anxiety, and occasionally hopelessness. I noticed it affecting my moods, my sleep (or lack thereof), my overall feeling of being me. I no longer felt myself and found myself wondering, when did I stop being me.
To give you some perspective, I’ve always been a giggly, happy-go-lucky person. I was optimistic with a realistic way of looking at things. I always hoped for the best but was ready for the worst. I loved to laugh (still do) and was always looking for something fun to do. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I felt like that “me”. What I do remember, is that after March, everything is much heavier. I don’t have a therapist (yet) so I turned to Google to find a supplement I could take that would help with my stress management. If you haven’t searched for yourself, I’m here to tell you there are a LOT of options out there. In my search, I came across Ashwagandha supplements and felt drawn to it. I started researching its origins, pros, and cons, and here’s what I found.
Ashwagandha is an herb native to Asia and Africa that’s been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It’s considered an adaptogen (helps your body manage stress) SCORE! According to WebMD, one study showed that a person taking 300 milligrams of ashwagandha every day for 8 weeks had lower levels of anxiety and fatigue.
I decided to give it a shot and see how it would work for me. Since I trust the Nature Made brand, I decided to order a bottle from Target. Every morning for 30 days I took 125 milligrams with a full bottle of water right before breakfast. Now, I know what you might be thinking, “um, the study stated 300 milligrams”, but I wanted to see how it affected me before I gun it.
After the first week, I felt a bit of a difference. I don’t know if it was wishful thinking, but I found myself in a bit of a better mood. Seeing as how my grumpiness didn’t always stem from anything, it’s hard to say if the pills were helping me with a particular situation or not. What I can tell you is that I was singing again in the kitchen, being silly with my toddler, and daydreaming about fun things to do.
Week 2 was more of the same. I had a bit more energy than usual and since I’m not a coffee drinker that’s a big deal. I found that things that would bother me normally, would just have me sighing (annoyed) and moving on.
Week 3 was where I really noticed a change. I wasn’t crying anymore. My showers were relaxing again and not a getaway for my breakdowns. That was a BIG deal for me.
By week 4, I felt more like me. Now I’m not saying this is a magic pill that somehow erased all stress and anxiety, but what I will say is that after just 30 days, I felt more like myself than I have in a LONG time. Arguments with my sweetheart didn’t seem to escalate since I was already extinguishing them before they got out of hand. I was finding the silver lining in all storms that would come my way. Instead of getting agitated, I was taking deep breaths, and asking myself, is this situation worth getting upset over? Will my getting upset change anything about what is going on? If the answer was no, then I simply shrugged it off and tried to distract myself with other things.
That last part was NEVER me! Yes I told you earlier I was a happy go lucky kind of person, but I was never the kind of person that could stop myself in my own tracks to basically talk myself off the “freak out ledge”. So being able to do that now, is like, Woah!
Like I said before, there are a LOT of options out there for stress relief and you may not know where to start in your journey. Always talk to your doctor (I’m not a doctor btw) and see what can help. But if you decide to try something OTC to see how it goes, you have my 2 cents here for reference.