by Kim Keller
“I got Mom some Chill Pill,” Karen happily reported.
“Oh, good idea!” I enthusiastically replied. “What is it?”
Mom’s in the process of recovering from surgery related to her recent diagnosis of colon cancer. It’s been a stressful few months, and Mom’s anxiety has understandably swelled during this difficult time, leaving her worn down from insomnia and battling intestinal distress.
So, the quest for anxiety-relieving tools and techniques has been on. And since anxiety is such a common malady, we wanted to share some of our favorite finds with you.
Take a look:
- It turns out that Chill Pill is a deliciously aromatic combination of essential oils, predominantly lavender and chamomile, made by Aura Cacia. Lavender and chamomile are both widely touted for their calming effects — easing anxiety, settling an upset stomach and aiding sleep, among other things. Karen put a couple drops on a tissue next to Mom’s bed to help her relax, and the room was instantly filled with a soothing fragrance.
- Although chamomile tea is Mom’s go-to beverage for helping her sleep, a cup of peppermint herbal tea goes a long way to soothe and settle her stomach. Peppermint, in general, is wonderful balm for your digestion. And since we Kellers find serenity in sipping even an ordinary cup of tea, the peppermint tea is particularly nice because the smell is so comforting. Give it a try sometime.
- Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh: This simply written book is one of our favorites. We read it over and over again. The book is broken down into small sections, making it easy to pick up anywhere and find a healing thought. The book is always comforting and grounding, especially before bedtime.
- “Feathers on the Breath of God,” by Erin Jacobsen: This beautiful and relaxing music was a gift from a friend, a massage therapist who plays this CD during treatment sessions. Mom puts this music on whenever she feels anxious and before she goes to sleep at night. It works like a charm. Have a listen.
- George’s Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe’s healing properties are widely known, though we typically use aloe as an analgesic for cuts and burns. But you can also drink aloe vera juice, which has many healthful benefits, including calming digestion. Mom drinks a small, 2 oz. glass of the juice to ease her upset stomach. We personally recommend George’s brand of aloe vera juice because it doesn’t have a funny or bitter taste like some varieties. In fact, George’s juice actually tastes like water but does the trick.
We love all these anxiety remedies and recommend them all. But never forget the most essential of all chill pills — take a deep breath.
Kim Keller is the Co-Founder of In Care of Dad. She lives and works in New York City.