(Part 1 of 3)
- a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked with something else.
As many of us venture through the year of 2021, we look to find our footing in this ever changing sea of information we are currently living in. I think that many of us can agree: one of the things we have missed most during the last year and a half is a sense of connection. We have spent a lot of time isolated from our friends and family, and a Zoom call simply could not take the place of a warm hug and a cup of tea with a loved one.
Did you have moments of feeling a little lost?
When I asked the staff of talented women at Wild Rose College to tell me about themselves and their lives, I saw a pattern emerge. One of strength, yes, but it was lined with a feeling of being disconnected during the pandemic. We in the herbal community take our connections pretty seriously! Our connections to people, to ourselves, and of course to the plants. We long to connect with you as well! We love sharing stories with our fellow like-minded individuals on their herbal journey.
And that is why the Wild Rose women decided to open up and share some personal experiences; so that we can connect with our community of herb lovers, healers, and emerging heroes that are finding their calling through the Wild Rose College.
It wasn’t all flowers and rainbows over the last year! Many of us had to address our mental health. It was no exception for these ladies.
Loneliness, Introverts, and Anxiety
I asked Dionne (Communications Manager), what her biggest mental health challenge was during the pandemic?
“My biggest mental health struggles were not having anything to look forward to. No activities, no volunteering, no herb gatherings, no live music, no date nights out. Being new to the city I live in, it was near impossible to make new local connections outside of walking my dog in my neighbourhood. I love to travel, and my family and most of my friends all live out of province. Those were serious blows to mental health, and I know that was universal for many.”
While Dionne felt disconnection from others, Chelsey (Communications) felt a disconnection to herself: “My biggest mental health challenge, as ironic as it might seem for a lockdown, was getting space to myself. I’m an introvert with a living and working situation of people, people, people, and more people!”
Farrah (Wild Rose Manager) echoed Chelsey’s sentiment: “I am an Aquarius… and we like our independence 😉 The biggest struggle for me was finding somewhere in my busy household to decompress and be alone to recharge my batteries.”
Carley (Communications) admits that her anxiety was an issue that surfaced: “I’m a very social person. I love hosting and attending events and interacting with my community. I found being isolated (in a large city like Toronto) incredibly challenging and my anxiety was at an all-time high. I really had to utilize all the tools I have learned over the years (holistic practices/herbs) to keep me grounded.”
One of the things these women all have in common is that even though they were experiencing struggles, they all have a foundation of herbal knowledge and knew they could help themselves deal with these stressors through plant remedies. They had the confidence that they could help ease their own tension during these trying times.
Medicinal Mushrooms, Smoking, and Chocolate
I asked the ladies what their biggest herbal support was:
Dionne: “I leaned heavily on the medicinal mushrooms—particularly reishi and cordyceps. Supporting and modulating the immune response was a big one—and mushrooms generally have anti-viral properties. They also help keep us grounded and those were all really important qualities I was looking for during the longest year ever. Also: coffee. Also: mushrooms in coffee. ;)”
Chelsey: “Smoking damiana. It has really livened and lightened things up for me. Damiana’s joyful, playful energy has been supportive for me to find and focus on pleasure in my life in different ways throughout the pandemic. Reishi is always a solid ally for me for grounding and nervous system support, so that goes without saying.”
Farrah: “Chocolate? Haha, in all seriousness I had two: Reishi for immune support, reducing stress and improving my sleep. Hawthorn for my heart health, vitality and well-being.”
Carley: “All the Nervines!! From lavender to passionflower and everything in between. This class of herbal allies really helped me feel calm during times of stress and helped with sleep.
Also medicinal mushrooms, more specifically reishi, I took this for all-over body support. I loved making chocolate elixirs with reishi tincture.”
Sharing our struggles and triumphs can unite us.
Through sharing, we hope to extend a hand to you. We hope you have a safe place to talk about your challenges and we would also love to hear from you! Please let us know if you have a favourite herb that helped you in the last year.
In Part 2 of our 3 part series, meet more of the women who work behind the scenes at Wild Rose College and learn what they were grateful for during the pandemic. You’ll be surprised! Stay tuned for Part 2!