Ask The Expert

Three Helpful Hints to Find Your Mellow

Q:  The past year has been very stressful and draining, and I’m having a hard time recovering from it.  I’m often anxious or sad, exhausted, can’t focus during the day, and I’m having difficulty sleeping. What can I do to help?  – Molly, Richmond Hill


A: The hectic pace of the modern day lifestyle can be taxing on the body in many ways.   Add to this life’s other stressors like a death in the family, a breakup or divorce, job loss, illness, etc.  There is only so much the body can take.  An overly stressed system may present with symptoms such as low mood, anxiety, mood swings, sugar cravings, poor sleep, tired and wired feeling, exhaustion, muscle aches and pains, digestive issues, and foggy headedness.


Recovery should always start with the basics:

  • Stay well hydrated and reduce caffeine consumption.

  • Avoid processed foods, sweets and refined carbohydrates.

  • Eat a whole foods diet loaded with colourful fruits & vegetables, protein and healthy fats at every meal, and some complex carbs.

  • Make time to exercise and move to help with stress relief. 20-30 minutes, 3x/week can make a huge difference

  • Get fresh air, connect with nature, soak in some sunshine

  • And don’t underestimate the power of laughter or hugs.


For added support, invest in some relevant supplements such as…


RELORA: Relora is a patented blend of two herbs, Magnolia and Phellodendron bark, that has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve stress and stress-induced symptoms.  It has been shown to control irritability, emotional ups and downs, muscle tension, fatigue, concentration, promotes relaxation and improves sleep quality.


Vitamin D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to low immunity, irritability, mood swings, blood sugar imbalances, fatigue, weakness and bone density issues. In addition to this, there is growing research on the benefits of vitamin D on the symptoms of depression, and evidence of vitamin D receptors in areas of the brain that are associated with  depression. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D status.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids are vital to overall health and wellbeing. More specifically, the DHA component supports optimal neurological and cognitive function, while a generous amount of EPA from Omega 3s helps quell inflammation and has been found to benefit seasonal affective disorder, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression.


5-HTP: 5- Hydroxytryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid that is a valuable precursor to the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin in the body. Serotonin is essential for many aspects of daily living, such as the feelings of wellbeing, mood regulation, appetite, sleep, and metabolism. It is believed that the stress of the modern day lifestyle and poor dietary habits can affect serotonin levels. 5-HTP in supplement form can cross the blood-brain barrier, and makes it a great option to help increase the production of this neurotransmitter.


If you are taking prescription medication, talk to your MD or ND before supplementing with 5-HTP to ensure that it is ok for you to take.


Categories: Ask The Expert