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Independent health store advice with work- and exam-related stress, anxiety and fatigue and boosting energy

Looking for advice on natural wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Gráinne Gilmartin from Sligo Wellness

Stress is something that we all have felt at one time or another and can often be brought on by many different aspects of our life. This has never been more true than over the past two years with the ever-changing climate and finding new ways to adapt to an unprecedented situation. Now as things return to normal people may find themselves with brand new anxieties, from returning to work full time in the office again, meeting people face to face again or preparing for exams after distance learning. There are a number of ways to help ease this stress and anxiety and, as always, it starts with a well-balanced lifestyle.

A key place to start with any levels of stress or anxiety is to examine your diet and exercise. Plan when you are doing your food shopping and spare a little time to think about the following, do I have a balanced diet, what does that look like, what sort of time do I have for preparing food this week, do I need to batch cook at the weekend, do I get five to six portions of fruit and vegetables per day, where can I add in more vegetables into my diet as opposed to fruit. Also try to have a good variety.

Exercise is a necessity. It doesn’t matter what type you do, but you will be more committed to it if you enjoy it. Some people like to have a buddy to walk with or go to class with. Try at least twice a week to do something outside, whether this is a walk in the woods, on a beach, a swim in the sea. Being out in the elements definitely raises the endorphins.

Mindfulness and meditation can really help clear your head. A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference to how you feel and cope with stress and anxiety the next day. Have a sleep routine, prepare for bed, get off your phone and all screens for a while before bed.

There are many supplements that may be beneficial in the management of stress, anxiety, and specific aspects associated with it such as fatigue.

Ashwagandha is great for boosting energy and clearing brain fog and fatigue. This plant has been used for thousands of years to help relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration and memory.

Rhodiola rosea is a natural tonic for stress and anxiety. It is widely recognised as an adaptogen which means it’s a natural substance that enhances your body’s ability to cope with stress and anxiety.

L-Theanine is an amino acid that is known to help

Lemon balm has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine, primarily as a sedative and relaxant. Recent studies also show this to be useful for improving attention, memory and stress and enhancing physical performance as well as easing mental fatigue.

Extracts of valerian root have sedative effects, both hypnotic and anxiolytic and therefore it is often a good choice for helping relieve anxiety.

B vitamins are also a good choice as they help to transform the food you eat into energy of different forms.

Introduce changes into your lifestyle gradually so you don’t feel it is such a large task and become overwhelmed trying to improve everything at once. Find a local nutritional therapist who can support you on this journey.

What’s What and Who’s Who at Sligo Wellness

Gráinne Gilmartin opened health store Sligo Wellness in 2015 – she had returned to Ireland some years before and was a chiropractor with a holistic whole body approach.

Sligo Wellness is centrally located in Sligo town with an independent health store on the ground floor and a clinic for self-employed therapists offering a range of therapies upstairs.

“Our customers range from their mid-30s to their 70s,” says Gráinne. We have sporty people looking for proteins, parents with children, particularly around back to school and exam times. The most common issues we encounter are related to gut health, sleep and stress. Vitamin D and immunity have become much more commonly asked about since Covid-19.

“Our shop has a real emphasis on organic foods and on supplements. We stock only the best high quality supplements and our staff get lots of training so that they can advise customers on the most suitable products. We have a lot of returning customers who are happy that we can order in products for them.

“Food in Sligo Wellness is organic and freshly prepared on site and every day we offer great quality fresh smoothies, raw vegan cakes, pizza slices, fresh salads sold in a box, raw energy balls, lasagne, a pot of the day which might be a vegan stew or curry, freshly made soups and organic oat breads, naans, wraps and scones. Lots of customers drop in to pick up a take-away lunch, or even dinner. All of our food service is currently take-away.

“We cater for coeliacs with gluten-free products, our deli fridge contains dairy-free cheese and yogurt, we make our own sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and humous on site. We have local organic fruit and vegetables delivered which we keep in the fridge, local eggs, honey and jam are also stocked.

“We try to source as many of our products as we can from Ireland, including skincare ranges and body, skin and hair products. We stock a full range of eco cleaning products and have all the big brands. Our small gifts section has candles and holders, salt lamps and skincare sets.”

VISIT: The Sligo Wellness Centre, 1 Wine Street, Sligo F91 HF60
SPEAK TO: Owner-manager Gráinne Gilmartin, shop assistants Anne Brennan, Aoife Scanlon, Jessica Kelly, Sarah Jane Boyton, John Clancy and Aoife Morrisroe. Rebecca Kelly runs the clinic upstairs. Ciaran McLoughlin is the retail manager. In the kitchen Nicola Torpay is a nutritional therapist, Miyoung Kim and Claire O’Boyle.
CONTACT: (071) 915 3828
OPENING HOURS: Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm.

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