The other day I was chatting with my fiancé about how our bodies respond to stress. We both mentioned how at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we both found ourselves staying up later than normal and not sleeping through the night.

One morning, I swear I had actual bags under my eyes. This is coming from someone who normally can’t function without at least 8 hours of sleep. 

Not only that, my eye begin to twitch, which I know is a sign of stress for me. I also found myself wanting to eat more often. 

Weeks later, I realized these were all signs of how our bodies respond to stress. We’re staying up late because we we’re anxious to know what’s going to happen next. We’re not sleeping through the night because we’re full of anxiety.

Maybe you feel the same way. I wanted to share two things I do to help calm those nerves and deal with them the best I can. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed big changes.

Please keep in mind that I am not a healthcare professional and you should always speak with one before trying out new herbs and techniques. 

First up is ashwagandha

ashwagandha for stress relief

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that is known as an adaptogen. This means it can help how your body responds to stress. 

Outside of being one of the most frequently used herbs in Ayurveda (read more about developing an Ayurvedic hair care routine here), its been known to treat many conditions.

How I use ashwagandha

Ashwagandha comes in many forms – whole plant, powder, capsules, tinctures – you name it. I’ve found success ingesting it as a tincture.

I simply:

  1. Add 1 oz of fresh juice or tea to a cup
  2. Add one dropper full of the ashwagandha tincture
  3. Drink it all in one shot

I do this about 2-3 times per week.

I have to tell you though – the smell and taste isn’t pleasant, but very worth it.

You can purchase this herb online or at your local health food store. Whole Foods and Fresh Thyme also carry it.

Next up is meditation


I have to say, I haven’t meditated as much as I’d like to during this stay-at-home period, but when I do, I can always tell the difference. 

If you think meditation is just for “hippie” or “trendy folks”, let me tell you – you’re missing out. Meditation has a way of providing clarity and calming your spirit.

For a while, I was taking meditation classes at The Playful Soul in Indianapolis. It was an amazing experience, but for the time being, I find I get the most benefit when I meditate 2-3 times per week for at least 15 minutes a session.

How Ashwagandha and Meditation Work Together

Since I began using these together, I’ve noticed a positive change. My eye no longer twitches, I feel much calmer about the future, I’m actually getting a full night’s rest. But that’s on a personal level. If you work in senior care services, meditation is a relaxing way to relieve stress and mild pain when introduced with moderate exercise and slow-paced yoga.

I hope these couple of tips help you to find peace. 

Read more articles like this in our Healthy Living section.