Locked in the House With Your Kids? Tips to Stay Sane

If you’re stressed about having the kids at home during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re definitely not alone. The sudden change in everyone’s routine has most people feeling anxious, stressed, isolated, and frustrated, to say the least. While social distancing and isolation can present a number of challenges to you and your family, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s the most effective way to avoid spreading the virus and to return to life as usual at some point. While ensuring your family stays healthy — washing your hands, sanitizing surfaces, and wearing protective masks included — it’s important to remember life doesn’t have to just be about taking care of everyone else. Losing sight of your own self-care can bring on burnout, exhaustion, and even more stress.  

With that in mind, here are some easy tips to help you carve out some time to take care of yourself amidst the chaos of having everyone home all day, every day and bring you some much-needed relief. 

1. Try CBD for Stress Relief 

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of CBD for stress, sleep, relaxation, and tension relief through friends, social media or the news – and it can be a very useful resource for parents who want a quick and natural way to reduce their own stress. In a recent article, the New York Times reports that more and more stressed out parents are turning to CBD to help them relax; one parent divulged that she turns to CBD instead of a glass of wine, saying, “I’m less likely to scream and freak out that there’s, you know, hot pink Play-Doh smushed into the carpet.” While CBD is not intended as a replacement for medication (you should talk to your doctor about medications that can help), research has shown that CBD can have a calming effect on the central nervous system.

B GREAT’s CBD Stress Bundle is a beneficial, natural way to help alleviate tension and calm stress inside and out, especially when you feel like you just need a break for yourself. The Stress Relief set contains Hemp Oil and a Hemp Balm, both made from full-spectrum whole hemp grown to the highest standards here in the U.S. Hemp Oil can be taken twice a day by dropper to provide relaxation and calm. The Hemp Balm which also contains soothing lavender and eucalyptus oils can be rubbed on to sore, aching muscles to help soothe your skin. 

Bonus tip: If you want to support a tired mom and show her that you appreciate all she does, B GREAT’s CBD Stress Bundle also makes a fantastic gift. Even a massage with B GREAT’s Hemp Balm is a great way to help mom calm down and destress after she’s done taking care of everyone else all day. 

2. Take Information Breaks

It can be tempting to stay glued to your smartphone or TV screen during the coronavirus pandemic. While it’s a good idea to be informed, especially when it comes to what’s happening in your community, avoid information overload. Even the CDC has advised people to take breaks from watching, listening, and reading the news and accessing social media. Remember, there is a lot of sensationalistic reporting going on that can make you feel afraid and even more stressed. 

Also, limit your children’s exposure to upsetting news and social media – they may not understand what’s going on and can easily misinterpret things they read or hear online. Talk to them about the pandemic but reassure them that your family is doing everything it can to be safe. Having open and honest discussions as a family will decrease anxiety levels across the board, helping you feel a little bit saner in the process. 

3. Cultivate a Relaxation Routine

With the kids at home, you might feel like you have even less time for yourself than usual, making it harder to enjoy any “me” time. Try to find small ways to prioritize your mental and physical health throughout the day. Make sure to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, set aside some time to meditate (even five minutes is beneficial), and try some home yoga routines – you can find free sessions on YouTube that are short enough to squeeze in while the kids watch yet another episode of Paw Patrol.

4. Get Enough Sleep

During increased times of stress, it can be hard to unwind and let go after a busy day of taking care of your family. Try to stick to your usual sleep routine even if you’re not working or if you’re working from home. Dedicate some time to wind down each night to prepare your brain and your body for sleep. Take a warm bath, dim the lights at least 30 minutes before bed, and turn off electronic devices. If you have trouble easing into sleep B GREAT’s Relax Shot is can be a helpful way to destress and relieve occasional sleeplessness – it contains a proprietary mix of full-spectrum hemp as well as GABA, Melatonin, Ginkgo biloba, and soothing lavender water to encourage serenity and calm.

5. Connect with Others

Let’s face it – social distancing is not easy, even though it’s the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We are social beings, and we need contact with others or we will start to feel isolated, sad, stressed, and lonely. When your only day-to-day contact is with your immediate family, you can feel like your world has gotten really small. Staying in touch with extended family and friends through online video chat or phone calls on a regular basis is important. While it can be tempting to only talk about the coronavirus, try to make time for other topics as well by sharing funny stories about what your kids are doing or reminiscing about happier times.

And Finally…

Try to keep things in perspective. As difficult as it might be right now, realize that this situation won’t last forever. Although you can’t control external circumstances, you can control your reaction to them and decide how much you want them to affect you. Don’t feel guilty for taking time out for yourself whenever you feel like things are too much to handle – remember that by caring for yourself, you’ll be better able to care for your family. You’ve got this!

References

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/12/parenting/cbd-oil-safe.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/5-minutes-of-meditation-can-change-your-entire-day_b_7898176

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Pages/Just-Breathe-The-Importance-of-Meditation-Breaks-for-Kids.aspx

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/coronavirus-anxiety.htm

 

Everyone’s Stressed Out Right Now: Here’s How CBD Can Help

As the world is stuck at home and experiencing the fallout of coronavirus, many of us are feeling stressed out and even wondering if stress can make us sick. With an overwhelming amount of information pouring in on how to deal with these negative feelings, it can be hard to wade through what’s actually legitimate.

As a team that’s passionate about creating products with balance in mind, we know a thing or two about how to deal with stress when it rears its ugly head. Read on to find answers to your most pressing questions during this time, as well as a natural solution that we swear by. 

How Stress Affects Your Health

The big question today is: Can stress make me sick? And the short answer is yes.

The American Psychological Association puts it this way, “[human] bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses, but when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body.” So, while stress is often not the direct reason for illness, an overload of it can suppress the immune system and cause you to get sick more easily as well as slow down recovery time.  This means that it is incredibly important that you don’t let stress take over, especially when faced with an extended period of time when your stress levels may be higher than usual — the sweeping changes brought about by current stay-at-home orders being a prime example of this.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, getting sick can become a concern once you begin to show signs of stress. Think about it. When you’re feeling particularly wound-up you often don’t sleep well, don’t eat healthfully, and don’t exercise. This can lead to a multitude of side effects, including headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, and more. Each of these, in turn, can make it harder for your body to fight off infection, putting you at a greater risk of getting sick. 

Tips on How to Destress Effectively During a Pandemic 

So how can you destress? It’s hard enough to unwind when you’re just trying to deal with everyday stress — let alone the deep financial, emotional, and physical strain that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to so many of us. The key here is finding ways to offset your body’s natural fight or flight response in order to shift yourself into a slower gear. 

Stress-busting activities like carving out some time for a morning meditation practice or pausing to take a few deep breaths when you’re beginning to notice yourself becoming overwhelmed are self-help cliches for a reason — they work. If you can’t seem to make either of those practices stick, keep trying self-soothing techniques until you find what feels good to you. This could be as simple as doing a few stretches before bed to slow down your mind and body or calling a friend who always makes you laugh. Or, it could be as elaborate as putting together an at-home spa night or meal plan for the week full of foods you know help you feel naturally focused and energized. 

Natural Remedies for Stress

In addition to making lifestyle changes and implementing routines designed to help you unwind, natural remedies can also help your body fight stress in a way that provides more holistic, long-term results. According to the INM Center, “… alternative treatments such as herbal medicine focus on prevention and treating underlying problems, not just symptoms.” What this means is that plant-based products, such as CBD, work with the body’s self-healing capabilities to actually enhance the recovery process. 

The power of CBD, in particular, comes from its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to regulate baseline levels of inflammation, freeing up the immune system to fight off sickness and infection. When your body is in stress mode, it produces fewer endocannabinoids — which are molecules thought to help support the nervous system. CBD can help fill in those gaps by mimicking the endocannabinoids produced by the body, and binding to cannabinoid receptor sites. This allows your body to shift back into balance, allowing you to better deal with stress of all kinds. 

How to Incorporate CBD into Your De-Stress Routine

At B GREAT, we offer a diverse selection of CBD products to fit your lifestyle. Our Stress Relief Bundle helps relieve stress inside and out with B GREAT Hemp Oil and B GREAT Hemp Balm. A dropper or two of our hemp oil tincture in the morning is the fastest way to give your body the cannabinoids it needs to stay balanced, which can help you feel more cool, calm, and collected. The Balm can be rubbed onto your skin to spot-treat physical stress, as CBD can help relieve muscle aches and pains when applied topically., Together, this powerful duo can give you a full-spectrum hemp experience that helps alleviate tension caused by everyday stressors

When you begin to regularly incorporate products such as Hemp Oil, Hemp Balm, and even the B GREAT Relax Shot (which combines CBD and melatonin to help you sleep) into your routine, you may notice a greater overall resilience to stress. It’s the perfect way to give yourself a bit of extra self-care when you’re feeling particularly frazzled. This will allow you, now and in the future, to adapt to the situation at hand and focus more on the positive rather than the negative. And remember, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns, and thoughts during this anxious time. We’re all in this together.

Why Can’t I Sleep at Night? Common Causes of Sleeplessness and Tips to Get Some Quality Shut-Eye

Everyone has difficulty sleeping from time to time, so if you feel like you’re tossing and turning all night, you’re not the only one. In fact, in a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans reported that their sleep problems affected their daily activities one or more days in a row. You might have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. If sleep is crucial for optimal functioning and well-being, then why are so many people lying awake at night? 

Reasons You Can’t Sleep

Sometimes, an inability to sleep may have to do with medical issues that should be checked by a doctor, but some of the more common non-medical reasons people can’t sleep include:

  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Tension
  • Poor sleep habits

Many people experience stress and worry on a regular basis, so it’s no wonder that sleep problems are so common. Tossing and turning because you’re ruminating or anticipating potential future events only fuels stress and exacerbates sleep disturbances. But it’s basically impossible to just turn off an overactive mind through willpower. You can’t force yourself to sleep, and trying will likely only make matters worse

So what can you do to increase your chances of catching some much-needed rest?

Establish Healthy Sleep Habits

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth saying again: Your nighttime routine could be keeping you awake.  If you engage in stimulating activities before sleep, such as watching the news or checking social media, you don’t allow your brain a chance to disconnect from the outside world. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before bedtime to unwind. Dim the lights and turn off distracting devices, such as TV, smartphones and tablets. Make sure your sleep environment is dark and peaceful and ensure that you only use your bedroom for sleep and sex. If you have trouble sleeping after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room and do something low-key and calming, such as reading or listening to soothing music. 

Here are a few of the easiest relaxation techniques to try before bedtime:

Progressive Relaxation 

This is a useful yet simple technique to help induce relaxation. Lie on your bed and take a few deep breaths as you focus your mind on your bodily sensations. Starting with your feet, clench each major muscle group for a few seconds, then release, working your way up to your legs, your torso, your arms, and your head. You can also find guided progressive relaxation exercises on platforms like YouTube.

Visualization

Your imagination is more powerful than you might think. People who visualize being in their favorite peaceful place or picture themselves blissfully sleeping may have an easier time falling asleep. If you’re particularly worried about something, you might try visualizing that everything works out the way you want, instead of expecting the worst, which only intensifies tension and stress. While you can experience the benefits of visualization after as little as 10 minutes, it’s ideal if you can devote at least 20 minutes (or more) before bedtime to the following relaxation and visualization process. Lie down, relax your body using the progressive relaxation technique mentioned above, and then focus your mind on the situation that’s causing you worry. See yourself handling the situation confidently and competently. Imagine things working out and resolving in a positive and beneficial way. You’ll be catching restful zzz’s in no time.

Journaling

Before bedtime, some people find it helpful to write down their worries on a piece of paper or in a journal to help empty their minds and relax. Avoid using your computer, tablet or smartphone, as it can be too tempting to engage in online activities (and the blue light coming from your screen may trick your brain into feeling like it’s still daytime). As you write your list, tell yourself that you will address any problems or issues the next day when your mind is fresh and alert. 

Consider Natural Supplements

To give each of these behavioral techniques a boost, you may also want to add a natural sleep supplement into your bedtime routine. You can find many different artificial sleep aids in the drug store, but they can cause an unpleasant sleep hangover that can leave you with lingering drowsiness and grogginess. Nowadays, many people prefer to use sleep supplements that contain effective all-natural relaxants like CBD and melatonin. 

In fact, clinical research has shown that CBD can be an effective way to calm your nervous system, reduce stress, and ease tension. Incorporating a melatonin and CBD shot, like B GREAT’s Relax Shot (which combines both CBD and melatonin), into your bedtime routine can be a beneficial way to relax, de-stress, and take the edge off. More calm and less stressed means you may be able to more easily drift off into a restful night’s sleep.  

Additional Lifestyle Tips to Remember

Your daytime activities and general mindset can play important roles in your quality of sleep. For example, engaging in aerobic exercise (as long as it’s at least a few hours before bedtime) can help you sleep and increase wellbeing. Your daytime attitude can also be a factor — one study found that people who approached the day with an optimistic outlook had better quality of sleep. Try keeping a gratitude journal or cultivate a mindfulness practice; research has shown that these simple activities can promote a positive attitude and help reduce sleep problems. 

Final Thoughts

Sleep shouldn’t cause you more stress – it should be a time for your body and mind to rejuvenate, restore and repair. Adopting a healthy sleep routine, using supplements wisely, and ensuring that your body and mind can fully relax should help you get a better night’s sleep. However, if you continue to have persistent difficulty sleeping that affects your ability to function for more than 3 weeks, it’s advisable to consult your physician, just to be on the safe side, so they can rule out any potential underlying health concerns and provide you with further advice. 

CBD and Coronavirus: De-Stressing in an Anxious Time

The sudden shifts in day-to-day life that come with surviving a global pandemic together often feel surreal — particularly the effects of social distancing, which can stir up feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. It’s important to remember, as communities like Taiwan and Singapore have proven, that social distance and self-quarantining can be extremely effective solutions for flattening an outbreak. But while that’s heartening, it doesn’t make these methods any less stressful. That stress, however, can be eased, particularly if you pay special attention to engaging in a little extra self-care outside of just washing your hands a lot (but definitely do that, too).

Stress and Your Health

At Psychology Today, Pamela B. Paresky, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago says, “Stress isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. Depending on one’s interpretation of stressors, it can be motivating and energizing. But the stress of unexpected negative situations can be depleting.”

Stress, whether induced from isolation or otherwise, can be more than just emotionally depleting. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stress can lead to headaches and migraines, stomach issues, inflammation, cardiovascular complications, obesity, long-term mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and more.

Of particular note during the COVID-19 pandemic, stress can also have an adverse impact on the immune system. In a review of over 40 studies on the correlation, Current Opinion in Psychology concludes that “psychological stress has been linked empirically with dysregulation of facets of the human immune system.”

CBD as a De-Stressor

While CBD is not a replacement for traditional anxiety medication, “evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system,” reports The Permanente Journal in a 2019 study of 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep patterns. After CBD treatment, which was well tolerated in all but three patients, anxiety scores improved in roughly 79% of the study participants and sleep improved in about 67% within the first month.

Likewise, a review of 49 clinical, preclinical and epidemiological studies conducted by Neurotherapeutics finds that “existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder” and other stress-related issues. CBD works by interacting with protein-based receptors in the body, which are attached to your cells to receive various stimuli. The receptors that CBD is believed to interact with most are chiefly found in the central and peripheral nervous systems and may elevate serotonin levels (low serotonin, meanwhile, is associated with depression and anxiety). Similarly, research (such as that from Future Medical Chemistry) indicates that CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. As inflammation can suppress immune response, this quality may help boost the immune system. 

In Your Routine

CBD is a great, natural way to help relieve stress. It’s non-addictive and it won’t get you high, meaning you can take it whenever you need to relieve a bit of tension. At B GREAT, we offer oil drops that you can put under your tongue or easy-to-take CBD capsules – and the calming effects can be felt in as little as 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the product and the individual.

If you’re looking into CBD for its calming qualities in particular, seek products that specifically cater to that need, as they’re often bolstered by additional ingredients that may help ease stressful feelings. For instance, B GREAT’s Relax Shot packs melatonin and ginkgo biloba in addition to full-spectrum, lab-tested whole hemp grown in the U.S.A., while our Hemp Capsules also feature MCT oil for sustained energy. To help stay relaxed all day, you can try taking the capsules (or a dropper of B GREAT Hemp Oil for faster results) as you begin your day, and then take the Relax Shot before bed to help you wind down and get a solid night’s sleep.

More Self-Care Techniques

Speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer in March 2020, psychotherapist Angelique Porter discussed self-care during self-quarantine, encouraging everyone to “distract yourself with an art activity, like coloring, painting, drawing, listening to music, or playing music if you play. Those distractions have been proven through research to reduce stress, which in turn can boost your immune system.” 

The CDC also offers some tips for getting through tough social isolation periods, like taking breaks from the news, practicing meditation and deep breathing, and using the extra time to boost your mind and your immunity with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. Ditch smoking and alcohol, but do video chat with your friends and family to feel more connected and vent your feelings – remember, it’s all about physical distancing, not social distancing.

References

What Can I Expect When I Take CBD?

By now, you’ve likely come across CBD at some point – and while it sounds interesting, perhaps you’re still not sure about what to expect in terms of how it will make you feel. Maybe you’re worried about feeling strange, or maybe you’re not sure about its safety or even how it works. With all the new information about CBD coming out since its federal legalization in 2018, it’s become more confusing to understand exactly what the experience of using it might be like for you.

In this post, we’ll break it all down, diving into what taking CBD means in terms of wellness, what to expect after trying it, and how to make sure it’s actually working. Read on!

What Does CBD Do?

The most frequent question first-time CBD users typically have is: Will it get me high? The straightforward answer is: No! Although CBD is often confused with its “sister” cannabinoid THC (the chemical in cannabis that does have psychoactive effects, which make you feel “high”), CBD has absolutely no psychoactive effects of its own. One of the effects that studies on CBD consistently reveal is that CBD gives its users a sense of mental clarity and calmer thinking.

According to studies published by Healthline, CBD oil can help people when they feel nervous or jittery as well as help those who feel blue or down, both in the long and shorter term. People also frequently turn to CBD as a natural alternative to help with physical pain or sleepless nights. It’s widely understood that all of these effects take place through CBD’s interaction with your body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which helps keep things in balance (and, therefore, helps you feel your best).

What Does CBD Feel Like?

As we mentioned above, people who have taken CBD report the most common effect is an increased sense of calm, ease, and relaxation. WebMD notes that CBD’s calming effects are likely a result of the fact that, “cannabidiol seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function.” By preventing this breakdown, it is thought that CBD can help decrease perceptions of pain, increase mood, and boost overall mental function. Taking CBD is a bit like meditating – it can promote a sense of calm and reduce feelings of unease.

Furthermore, CBD has properties that can significantly help relieve physical pain. This is due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. As explained in a recent study, CBD has been found to have neuroprotective qualities that can help with inflammation by preserving the structure and function of your neurons so they can continue firing as they should. So if you’re looking to take CBD to help ease soreness, many kinds of topical balms and creams are available to apply directly to those areas that are aching and burning.

How Long Does It Take CBD Oil to Work?

If you’ve never tried CBD before, it might take a few times to feel its full effects before you figure out the amount and delivery mode that works best for you. A few factors are at play here: mainly your metabolism, weight, and your body’s ability to recognize CBD in your system and to allow it to work. In more formal terms, this process is called bioaccumulation. Essentially, it may take your body some time to build a response to the cannabinoid, sometimes up to a few weeks. However, some products are specially formulated to give you a more instantaneous effect: for example, the B GREAT Relax Shot is formulated with melatonin to help you get a better night’s sleep starting from the first time you take it.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the benefit of taking CBD continuously over time is that your body will become more responsive to its effects, so you can actually feel it for a longer time. Instead of taking CBD simply to address soreness for about 4 to 6 hours, you may experience relief all day.

The way in which you take CBD matters as well: studies show that ingesting CBD might take a bit longer for you to start to feel calmer or less tense (about one to two hours). On the other hand, if you take CBD oil via a tincture that you use to drop oil under your tongue, for example, your body skips the initial metabolization process and the CBD can enter the bloodstream more quickly.

If you’re ready to start your CBD journey, begin by thinking about what you’re looking for CBD to address, and choose a well-tested product that’s formulated to target your desired areas. Make sure that any products you purchase are transparent about their third-party lab testing and provide you with a COA (Certificate of Analysis) that shows exactly what is in the product. Then, pay attention to how you feel as you incorporate CBD into your routine, and adjust from there. 

Ready to B GREAT? Check out our line of products — which uses 100-percent full-spectrum hemp to help soothe tense muscles, calm your mind after a long day, hydrate your skin, and more. And if you want to find answers to other common CBD questions (like whether or not it will show up on a drug test), by checking out the article 6 of Your Most Common CBD Questions, Answered

References:

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