We are living through very strange and uncertain times. Given the spread of Covid-19 in the U.S. changes keep happening at a faster and faster pace. Children are out of school. Parents are trying to figure out how to keep bread on the table. Stores are closing and our cities are becoming ghost towns. Quarantine measures might last for projected months.
How to Respond?
Personal responses to the virus are all over the board and vary from the defiant to the panicked. Since the virus is real and out of our control, the only thing we each have control over is our response to it. Are we taking recommended personal and social precautions? Are we able to regulate the emotions of our nervous system?
With so many unknowns and uncertainties swirling around, anxiety is often the first emotional response. Naturally no one wants to get even a mild version of the virus or be a source of infection for anyone else. I get it. Yet sorting out taking precautions from our emotional response speaks to our capacity for strength and wellbeing when we choose it.
Anxiety = Stress = Increased Susceptibility to Illness
It is 100% possible to move beyond the anxiety produced by so many disruptions, including financial, while taking needed precautions; worry accomplishes nothing and can make things worse. All of us are in the same boat. Since we now know the risk of prolonged anxiety/stress on the immune system and the adrenal glands due to the overproduction of cortisol,  we can choose to rein it in. Look for signs and symptoms of too much cortisol in the bloodstream such as:
- weight gain, mostly around the midsection and upper back
- weight gain and rounding of the face
- thinning skin
- easy bruising
- flushed face
- slowed healing
- muscle weakness
- severe fatigue
- difficulty concentrating
- high blood pressure
- headache 
In other words, do what you know to do (healthy practices) to reclaim your sense of calm.
Making Mental Health Top Priority
Without mental health, physical health is put on notice. Just because mental health is elusive and non-tangible does not make it any less important than, and connected to, having a healthy body. Now is the time to make mental health a top priority.
As quarantines increased so did sales, initially, at local cannabis dispensaries as people stocked up. More and more people are learning about the non-toxic, medicinal advantage of using CBD  and whole plant cannabis to reduce anxiety.
This documented scientific fact of cannabis molecules being capable of relieving anxiety is quickly becoming common knowledge. CBD on its own is highly touted for its anti-anxiety effects. Full-spectrum CBD is even better if you’re not concerned about a ‘pee’ test by your employer. A high CBD, low THC cannabis product that is purchased in a cannabis dispensary provides additional benefit of the anti-anxiety properties of THC along with specific cannabis terpenes (responsible for the scent). The choice is yours.
“A molecule produced by the brain that activates the same receptors as marijuana is protective against stress by reducing anxiety-causing connections between two brain regions.” ~Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers report 
The added bonus to using cannabis medicinally for anxiety is important to mention. Not only does someone get relief from their anxiety but they may also experience an increased sense of wellbeing despite having to deal with difficult situations. Even in these crazy times, life goes better when we allow ourselves to connect with simple things that help us to feel happy, appreciative and emotionally well.
I’ve been discovering that my circumstances do not have to dictate how I respond to them. For anyone who has never tried using cannabis plant medicine for anxiety, there is no better time than this home-bound segment to check it out. Remember: Start low; go slow.
March 23, 2020