Vitamins that Help Anxiety and Depression

Research has shown that certain vitamins, supplements, and herbs have helped improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. These can be taken in the form of foods or supplements. 

Vitamin D- helps with mood regulation and nerve and brain health. 

B Vitamins- there are 8 different nutrients that combine and help the body’s stress levels. A study found that people with lower blood levels of B vitamins more often had anxiety or depression, whereas people with higher levels of B vitamins had better anxiety and stress scores.

Magnesium- this mineral helps essential functions of all systems in the body- including brain functionality. This means taking it can help improve the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Omega-3- It plays an important role in brain health which can be helpful for someone with anxiety.

Rhodiola- This herb is associated with many health benefits. It is thought to help reduce depressive symptoms and improve your body’s stress response, helping with anxiety. It also enhances nerve cell communication.

Saffron- This spice is full of antioxidants and has been thought to be a natural antidepressant. It increases levels of serotonin and helps keep it in your brain longer.

Lavender- This affects the parasympathetic nervous system which is what controls anxiety, heart rate, and breathing. 

Depression and anxiety are mental health conditions that affect people all over the world. The typical treatment options are medication and therapy, however some people find that taking supplements and including modifications to their vitamins can reduce their symptoms. The vitamins and supplements listed above may be appropriate for some individuals but you should consult with your doctor before making any changes to your supplement intake. 

Are You the Problem?

I heard a quote yesterday that really resonated with me. It was, “if you have one argument during the day it can go either way but if you have multiple arguments throughout the day, you should look in the mirror.” 

If you are having a hard day and there seems to be a lot of arguing or conflicts, then maybe it is you that is the problem that day. Maybe you are tired, overwhelmed, or in a bad mood. This is a good time to reflect on what else may be bothering you and see why you are being like this. It is not necessarily a bad thing, as everyone has bad days, it’s how you handle it that matters. 

This relates to asking someone if something else is going on when they are upset because oftentimes it is not just the argument or problem that is bothering them, they usually have more going on behind the scenes. Research has shown that when your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it increases activity in the amygdala which is the part of your brain responsible for emotions. When the activity is increased, the amygdala goes into overdrive which then causes us to be more reactive (and more sensitive).  

Some ways you can try to control your emotions are:

  • Sleep
  • Avoid the main stressor
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Practice mindfulness of the situation- understand that you are tired or overwhelmed and this is why you are having the reactions you are having
  • Vent to someone you trust
  • Take a break
  • Relax

What Actually Helps When You’re Sick

Everyone knows the basics when it comes to being sick. Rest, drink water, and take vitamin C. There are contradictory findings from studies on the affects of vitamin C, some studies show that taking the vitamin can shorten the amount of time you are sick while others found it has no substantial benefits. There are so many other things you can do to feel better while you are sick. A lot of natural remedies can help with this. Here are some of my favorite vitamins and foods to get me feeling better faster:

  • Vitamins- I like to drink vitamin water along with adding emergenC packets
  • Extra water
  • Foods that contain garlic
  • Zinc supplements
  • Elderberry
  • Honey
  • Soup- my favorite is chicken gnocchi
  • Broths
  • Coconut water
  • Warm lemon water with honey
  • Fruits 
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Hot tea
  • Ginger
  • Spicy foods- this helps with congestion 
  • Oatmeal
  • Avocados

Try to stay away from alcohol, coffee, caffeinated beverages and other things that can make you dehydrated. In addition, using a humidifier can help. You should also stay home and rest until you feel better. Doing all of these will help speed up your recovery!

Monthly Goals for 2022

If you can’t think of New Year resolutions or have a hard time sticking to them, try doing monthly goals this year instead. Rather than taking on goals that span throughout the year, you can break them down into more manageable timelines. 

Here are some examples of monthly goals that will feel easier to do but still help you grow this year:

  • Read a new book
  • Stretch every morning and every night 
  • Donate clothes and items you no longer need 
  • Try new recipes
  • Learn a new skill or hobby
  • Create a financial plan
  • Complete a household project
  • Clean out your fridge and freezer
  • Unsubscribe from email lists you no longer want to receive emails from
  • Declutter your social media following
  • Follow new people/pages that will benefit you
  • Discover a workout routine that works for you
  • Learn a creative outlet- writing, drawing, painting, etc.
  • Clean and organize your workspace
  • Organize your digital files and clear out any old documents
  • Make your bed every morning
  • Start volunteering
  • Update your resume
  • Take online classes
  • Try 30-day workout challenges
  • Sell clothes and items that you no longer want to make some extra cash
  • Increase your water intake
  • Replace pop for water 
  • Make a gratitude journal
  • Create a budget
  • Go to sleep earlier and get up earlier

New Year’s Resolutions

Every year people make New Year’s resolutions. Some find success in doing this and others find it difficult to keep up with them. Here are some reminders that have helped me in the past with keeping my resolutions:

  • Make sure they are realistic and you feel comfortable with them
  • Make a plan
  • Start off at a good pace- don’t rush or force yourself too much otherwise you will get burnt out quicker
  • Write them down or put them in your notes- you can check in every month on your goals, see how you are doing, and track your progress
  • Tell others about your resolutions- this will help hold you accountable as well as having support
  • Reward yourself- tell yourself after hitting a certain milestone in your resolution, you can reward yourself

If you are currently thinking of resolutions, start/continue them now, don’t wait until the 1st! Something that may help is not using the phrase, “new year, new me.” Instead, try approaching it as if you are still the same you, just trying to make some improvements. Research shows that most resolutions are broken by February 1st, with over 65% giving up before then. Starting the new year with a lot of changes can be overwhelming and this causes people to get burnt out, leading to more abandoned resolutions. For example, if you don’t exercise but your resolution is to start working out, don’t start exercising every day of the week right off the bat. Making an attainable goal like working out 3 days a week for a while, then 4 days a week, then 5, and so on, you are much more likely to stick with it. Keep in mind, resolutions are not supposed to stress you out, they are supposed to help you become a better version of yourself!

Can Stress Affect Your Memory?

Stress can affect different areas of your life but did you know it can affect your memory? When you experience stress, it causes your body to shift into fight or flight mode resulting in the frontal lobe (decision making) part of your brain to shut down. 

Stress can cause poor concentration, lack of focus and mental clarity which causes memory issues. When someone is stressed, they have a hard time not only creating short term memories but then turning those into long term memories. Research has shown that higher levels of stress hormones damage the hippocampus by shrinking it. When this happens, the ability to form memories is compromised. 

According to the Mayo clinic, there are some things you can do to help improve your memory. They are:

  • Including physical activity to your daily routine- this increases blood flow to your brain
  • Stay mentally active- this keeps your mind sharp
  • Get organized- this will help manage your stress
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Manage any chronic conditions you may have

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

With Christmas being just a few days away, some people are scrambling trying to find last minute Christmas gifts. Regardless of who you still need to buy for, you still have a few days to figure it out. Here are some last minute gift ideas:

Gift ideas for brothers:

  • Gift cards- you can never go wrong with a gift card to their favorite store or favorite restaurant
  • Tickets to a concert or sporting event
  • A bluetooth speaker
  • Headphones
  • A watch- either fashion or fitness depending on what they like
  • A new travel bag
  • A new wallet

Gift ideas for sisters:

  • Gift cards- again, either their favorite store or restaurant
  • Tickets to a concert or show
  • A bluetooth speaker
  • Headphones or headphone case
  • Beauty products- face masks, under eye masks, chapstick, makeup sponges, hair ties
  • Throw blankets
  • Candles 

Gift ideas for parents:

  • A gift card to their favorite restaurant- then they can have a date night together
  • Board games, puzzles or movies so they can have a night in together
  • A framed family photo
  • Their favorite drinks
  • A sign that has each family member’s name and birth date/ important dates
  • A family photo album
  • A throw pillow with family names on it

Gift ideas for significant others:

  • Tickets for something to do together- concert, show, activities, traveling, sporting events, etc.
  • Cozy date night kit- blanket, candle, movie, and snacks
  • Plan a weekend getaway or staycation
  • A gift card to their favorite restaurant and go there for a date night
  • Custom night sky star map from an important date (the night you met, the night you began dating, etc.)
  • A couples massage- or just get a massage for them
  • At home spa night- bubble bath, candles, face masks, massage oils

Gift ideas for friends:

  • Gift cards for their favorite store or restaurant
  • Tickets for something fun like a concert or something you can do together
  • Wall art
  • Clothes
  • Their favorite snacks and drinks
  • Blanket- either soft or a weighted blanket

Signs of Anxiety

Oftentimes it can be difficult to recognize signs of anxiety, especially if you do not struggle with anxiety yourself. Although everyone is different, there are some common signs that you can look for. Here is a list of signs of anxiety:

  • Breathing rapidly or hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Pacing
  • Fidgeting
  • Biting or picking at their nails
  • Seeming tense
  • If someone becomes overwhelmed, they may snap at you because they are feeling a lot of emotions at once and are unable to control these emotions due to their anxiety

If someone is experiencing anxiety or having a panic attack and you aren’t sure how to help, try the 3-3-3 rule. This is where you have the person identify 3 things they see, 3 things they can hear, and have them move 3 parts of their body- such as their fingers, arms, feet, etc. 

Health Benefits of Cranberries

This is the time of year that cranberries are seen in many dishes. We all know that foods come with various health benefits, but cranberries have some of the most benefits, while also having some very unique ones!

  • Cranberries prevent urinary tract infections because of high amounts of proanthocyanidins which lower the adhesion of certain bacteria
  • Cranberries have anti inflammatory qualities and antioxidants
  • People who consume cranberries have lower levels of c-reactive protein and c-reactive protein triggers premature aging and cognitive decline
  • They have a high concentration of antioxidants
  • Boost heart health
  • Improve artery health
  • Better circulation
  • Energy and cognitive ability
  • Takes pressure off the heart

There are so many ways to incorporate cranberries into your recipes this holiday season, here is one of my favorite ways

How to Prepare for an Interview

  • Read the job description carefully
    • Doing this can help you find key areas of the job that you relate to and how you would fit with the position. You can mention these during the interview and tell them why you think you would be a good fit.
  • Find information on the company 
    • Knowing who you would be working for is important. Not only do you have to be the right fit for them, they should be the right fit for you. Find out how long they have been in business, the company size, locations, salaries (you can use sites like glassdoor for this), and any other information you find important about a company.
  • Research the role 
    • Finding similar roles and reading what others have to say about the roles and their daily activities will help you understand the responsibilities. You can then get clarification and ask questions about it in the interview.
  • Company culture
    • You can find many companies on social media and see how they express their company culture. With this, you can see if it is a good fit for you and will help you relate to the interviewer.
  • Dress for success 
    • Wearing professional clothing is a must for most interviews. You want to wear what you feel comfortable and confident in while still looking professional. 
  • Be prepared for the questions they may ask
    • Many interviews have a similar list of questions they will ask, so it is nice to have your answers prepared if you are not good at thinking off the top of your head. Some common questions are:
      • “Tell me about yourself.”
      • “How did you hear about this position?”
      • “What is your greatest achievement?”
      • “Why do you think you would be a good fit here?”
      • “Why do you want this job?”
      • “What do you know about the company?”
      • “What are three strengths you have?”
      • “What are three weaknesses you have?”
      • “What is something you are passionate about?”
      • “What is a challenge you’ve faced at work and how did you overcome it?”
      • “Tell me about a time when you have disagreed with someone at work.”
      • What is your work style?”
      • “What do you like to do outside of work?”
      • “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
      • “What are your salary expectations?”
      • “Is there anything else you would like us to know about?”
      • “Do you have any questions for us?”
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer 
    • At the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. It is important to ask questions to show that you are engaged and interested. Some of my favorite questions to ask are, “Is there room for advancement within the company?” “How would the person who gets this role be most successful in this position?” “What are some of the day to day responsibilities for this role?” “What is your favorite part about working here?” Of course, if these have already been answered don’t ask them and think of other questions. 
  • Practice your handshake, eye contact, body language, and how you speak
    • Having a firm handshake and making eye contact is the easiest way to show confidence and respect right from the start. As the interview goes on, continue keeping eye contact and watch your body language. Sit up straight, don’t cross your arms, and try not to do any anxious movements like shaking your legs. Speak at a regular pace and volume to keep your composure. 
  • Do mock interviews with friends or family
    • Doing mock interviews with friends or family will help you prepare because they can give you feedback on your body language, answers to questions, how you are speaking, etc. It could also be useful to practice in front of a mirror.
  • Prepare for the location
    • Is it at an office or is it remote? If it is at another location, map it out so you know how long it will take to get there. You should arrive about 15 minutes early and head in about 10 minutes early.
  • Confidence is key
    • Even if you are not a very confident person, you can fake it! The interviewer has never met you before, so how would they know if you are faking confidence or not? If you fake it, they will believe you are a confident person which is a trait that interviewers look for in the people they hire. 
  • Follow up after the interview
    • Sending a thank you letter is important because it shows that you are interested in the position and it reminds the interviewer of you and your conversations. You should thank them for their time, reiterate that you are interested in the position and why you think you would be a good fit, and end it by asking if they need anything else from you or have any other questions and that you look forward to hearing from them.