Have you noticed lately that your social skills are, well, not great? If you find yourself rambling non-stop whenever you have real, in-person interactions (finally!) or—on the opposite side of the spectrum—having no clue how to answer a basic “how are you?” it could be the result of all that alone time.
And while they’re super important, social distancing and self-isolation have taken a toll on more than just the ability to socialize. Licensed clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus, PsyD, says extreme hanger, sleepless nights, or unexplained pain and exhaustion are also signs that this “new normal” (we’ll never say it again, we swear), is affecting your body.
According to Dr. Daramus, it’s normal to feel bad when something bad is happening around you. “Feeling bad and not functioning at 100 percent are pretty reasonable right now,” she adds—so consider that professional permission to cut yourself a break.
The upside, though, is that you can help yourself feel less blah by integrating some supplements—with the purpose of supporting your specific “ugh” area—into your everyday.
That’s why after picking Dr. Daramus’s brain about all the effects of self-isolation (keep on reading for those), we tapped Michael A. Smith, MD, director of education at Life Extension®, to pinpoint the specific supplements that can help you out when those effects hit you extra hard.
Keep reading for 3 effects of self-isolation as well as the supplements that can help.
1. Sad, on-edge, or all of the above?
In addition to being confined to your home (already a doozy), this year may have brought other hardships you didn’t see coming, which can result in an overall feeling of uneasiness. “People are experiencing multiple losses right now—from death to unemployment to milestones that they were looking forward to and traditions they didn’t get to participate in,” Dr. Daramus says.
While no supplement is the answer to anxiety or depression (and you should definitely talk to a doctor if that’s a concern for you), Dr. Smith suggests Life Extension FLORASSIST® Mood Improve—which features specific strains of probiotics as the superstar ingredients—for some overall emotional well-being support.
“Probiotics are so much more than gut health, and it’s critical,” he says. “Your microbiome has connections throughout your body, and one of those is mood. As an example, your gut makes serotonin as much as your brain does.” (And that’s part of the brain-gut connection.)
Along with adding a probiotic to your daily mix, be sure to prioritize self care. Whether that means sticking to your workout routine, going for a long midday walk to clear your head, or even taking fifteen minutes to just unplug from your laptop and chill—dedicate time to just being.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT CAN HELP
2. Feeling impulsive?
If you’ve noticed yourself feeling more irritable or ready to burst into tears every time you see a puppy, it’s probably not because Mercury is in retrograde (at least not just because of that).
“Emotions are closer to the surface and we don’t have all of our usual coping skills, so it’s easier to cry, lash out at someone, drink too much, eat too much, or overindulge in other ways,” she says.
Since a lot of those problems can stem from stress, and unfortunately nothing (yet) exists that can just zap the stress out of your body, Dr. Smith recommends opting for Life Extension® Enhanced Stress Relief on the days you wake up overly on-edge. “It has L-Theanine (green tea) and lemon balm together, and these ingredients can produce a nice calming effect without knocking you out,” he says. And who couldn’t use some more calm?
3. Struggle sleeping?
All of these effects of self-isolation fold into one another, so if you’re feeling stressed or sad, your sleep might be off—and vice versa for when you don’t get enough sleep.
To combat those restless nights when you can’t shut your mind off, Dr. Smith says Life Extension® Fast-Acting Liquid Melatonin is a good go-to.* “It’s perfect for that person who doesn’t need it every night, but who has bad days every once in a while.”
So, when you feel the hours of ceiling-staring coming, you can take a deep breath, shut off your devices, and rely on your sleepy time sidekick. Oh, and speaking of deep breathing, maybe the next time you meet up with a pal, take a deep breath and then start rambling.
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Top photo: Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images
*For occasional sleeplessness
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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