Young woman with eyes closed calm and relaxed on a sofa

Natural ways to keep calm

Long weekend breaks aren’t always that relaxing. Money worries, work problems and relationship niggles are all common stress triggers, which can be difficult to off load. Alternatively, you may feel lethargic and low in energy. So can how you stay calm?

Editor Jane Garton looks inside the herbal medicine chest for some remedies to help calm, bring peace to mind and body and some natural herb boosters to kick-start your get-up-and-go.


The herbal relaxants, such as valerian and passionflower do just as their name implies – they aid relaxation and calm. They are also good for insomnia and general anxiety problems as well as for helping to reduce the physical effects of stress, such as tense muscles and digestive problems. At times of particular anxiety, such as during panic attacks, valerian combined with hops can be beneficial.


Lovely camomile with its daisy-like flowers is a well-known natural remedy for sleep. Try it in a soothing night time tea. Put one teabag or 5-8g of loose camomile into a cup of boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse for a few minutes before sipping slowly.


If you can hardly get out of bed in the morning and when you do everything is a struggle, something that kick-starts you into action is what you are after. And the herb that springs to mind is rhodiola. Used throughout Eastern Europe as a natural stimulant it is thought to have anti-fatigue, anti-stress, antioxidant and immune-enhancing effects. And now a recent UK study shows it can help improve mental and physical performance especially under stress as well as help prevent chronic stress and stress-related complications[i].


  • Do things more quickly. Studies show that thinking and reading fast all enhance mood leaving you feeling happier and more energized.
  • Surround yourself with bright colours especially red. It is said to be the colour of energy.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of peppermint essential oil on to a tissue and inhale. This stimulating oil will help you to feel more alert.
  • Try massaging the muscles at the back of your neck for 60 seconds. It is thought to help stave off energy slumps by improving blood flow to the brain.

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29325481