Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I find that I get consumed by stress, and I’m losing my enjoyment in life – what natural things can I do to help?

A. I am finding more and more in naturopathic practice that I am teaching time-management. Draw up a weekly plan with your family, delegate some tasks and plan where your breaks are. People need space and time for exercise and LEISURE! This cannot become a low priority or else you burn out. No one thanks you for being stressed – therefore it becomes a personal responsibility to set things up how you want them to be. When you make these changes you’ll be surprised how people respect you for it.

I call it "Intelligent Selfishness" – by saying 'no' to a few things, creates a space and is actually a 'yes' to yourself !

As well as time management, there are some brilliant herbs which soothe the nervous system, other herbs that provide stamina, or improve brain function, or help you get a restful nights sleep. It is best to see a registered medical herbalist for the right prescription for you. My herbal mixtures – Stress Less and Mothers Cordial are also very effective and available on this website.

Essential oil of lavender can be very useful for relaxation too.

Avoid stimulants such as energy drinks and excess coffee. These deplete vital nutrients such as magnesium and B complex vitamins which stabilise the nervous system. If you are tired, take a break.

Initiate computer free days, e.g. Sunday. Just because most services are now available 24 hours, it doesn’t mean you have to be – your nervous system was not built for this.

Include in your weekly plan, time for friends, or a weekend away every 6 weeks. Laughter and fun are a quick natural antidote to stress and will keep you young!