Let’s be honest: 2020 has been a tough year.
We’ve been faced with a global pandemic that has disrupted many people’s lives in a multitude of ways. As a country, we are dealing with intense political divisiveness and racial inequality, as well as a heated presidential election. It seems like the news just keeps getting worse every day. How can this be summed up in one word?
First of all, not all stress is bad.
“Stress is actually a normal part of life,” says the website WebMD. And it can even be useful – when it motivates you to go after what you want, like a new job or promotion. But, if stress goes on too long, it can be harmful and have long-term consequences.
The website Medline Plus has a good working definition of stress and how it differs from anxiety “Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.”
Anxiety, on the other hand, is stress that continues after the stressor is gone.
Of course, there are different types of stress – acute stress which is short term and goes away quickly. Examples of this type of stress include getting in a fight with someone or having to slam on the brakes all of a sudden. The adrenaline is high. While chronic stress goes on for a longer period of time. This type of stress is often caused by life struggles such as having relationship troubles or dissatisfaction at work. It’s ongoing and continuous.
Not surprisingly, stress can take a toll on your physical body. More than 70 percent of Americans say they experience real physical and emotional symptoms from stress, according to WebMD. Have you ever gotten a headache when you were in conflict with someone? Or felt your back ache when thinking about how you are going to pay your bills? This can be your
Headaches, insomnia, lack of focus and frequent aches and pains can all be signs of too much stress. If you have a strange pain or sensation in your body, check to see what is going on in your life. Do you have problems that are keeping you up at night? Are you dealing with a situation at home or at work that you can’t seem to sort out? Are you having reactions when you watch the news? Give yourself some time to consider whether your pain or ache could be stress related.
Bring on the relief
Just because you are experiencing stress, doesn’t mean you have to live with pain. You have options.
When considering cannabis, think about how you want to consume and ask yourself these questions:
- What hurts?
- How do you want to consume your cannabis? Do you want to inhale or vape? Take an edible? A tincture? There are also bath bombs that can help with relaxation after a long stressful day.
- Do you want a strain with THC for the euphoric high? Or would you prefer CBD and still get the health benefits – especially help with anxiety and chronic pain.
- Do you want to take your medicine at night to help you sleep better? Or would you prefer to take something during the day to enhance productivity?
Remember, sativa strains may be more “heady” and uplifting, help ease stress and anxiety and increase focus and creativity. Indica strains are typically known to have more full-body effect, which are useful for deep relaxation and better sleep. Talk to your member liaison on what strain or delivery method might work best for you. They are here to help!