Return to Mindfulness with Dr. Filza Swalah, ND and Dr. Olivia Rose, ND

Didn’t quite make it LIVE? See what our in-house Naturopathic Doctor & Education Manager Filza Swalah and Naturopathic Doctor Dr. Olivia Rose had to say about emerging from our COVID cocoons and learning to get your mind right! 

Over the past months we have been through a lot, which left us feeling a certain way. Our daily activities and routine were pushed to the side, leaving us scrambling to find other ways to support our health and wellbeing. I, for instance, had to find other ways to be active since all gyms were closed. I was also experiencing a wide variety of emotions like feeling overwhelmed and low mood. What made it worse was being unable to use the coping mechanism because of all the closures and restrictions.

Although I tried my best to make changes, I wasn’t always successful and as a result, I found my self turning to other coping strategies to ease the overwhelming emotions I was feeling.  Now, as the uncertainty is slowly lifting and the world is returning back to the way we once knew it to be, this is the perfect opportunity to reflect on our mindfulness habits and ask ourselves this key question: Are my habits actually helping my mind and wellbeing? ? Or is it making it worse? As we come out of our COVID cocoons, it’s a perfect time to reflect and create key actionable steps to bring our mind back to the way it use to be.

Today we are joined by Dr. Olivia Rose Naturopathic Doctor and health advocate. Dr. Rose, ND is known for her thriving private practice which focuses on immunity, fertility, and mental health! Today we will focus on the return to mindfulness.

FS: So Dr. Rose, I’ve personally experienced many changes in my own mood and mental wellbeing and as a result, developed some not so healthy habits. What kind of mood changes and health habits have you heard from your patients in the last 18 months?

OR: People are definitely more anxious about this year. This year brings a whole new layer of angst and stress with COVID-19, and the overall feeling is of not being in control of our life. Usual patterns have shifted - especially with work from home schedules - and people are heading to bed later and sleeping in which can alter the stress hormone – cortisol – and increase stress & overwhelming feelings throughout the day. Patients have also expressed a change in their eating patterns. For instance, they are eating late, close to bed or completely skipping meals and all these habits can contribute to digestive upset and bloating.

But, for these patients, September represents the real New Year – as opposed to January. Many patients are setting new health goals with me in the office and families are looking to get back into a routine that is largely determined by work and school schedule.

FS: What about kids? Kids are going back to school, some are going to school, physically, for the firs time ever. What are kids experiencing and how can parents help their children ease back to a new, school routine?

OR: Yes, kids are also feeling stress and overwhelming emotions. This can be shown physically in the body as trouble sleeping, emotional outbursts, skin issues like eczema and gut issues like constipation. So parents should be mindful and vigilant about these physical signs and symptoms of stress and mood changes. In terms of daily habits, parents have mentioned that their kids have increased screen use and the overall lack of social connections and structure – which is vital for normal development.


Here are somethings I suggest to parents to help manage their kid’s stress and emotions:

  • getting outside and into the fresh air as much as possible
  • limiting screen time outside of school hours
  • talking to kids and be open to age-appropriate dialogue to support kids’ as they transition back to in person or online school.
  • more physical activity now
  • get kids involved in their meals to encourage healthy eating
  • take supportive ingredients like Probiotics to support gut health. Certain strains, especially Lactobacillus species produce GABA as well as acetylcholine, which is involved in concentration, learning, memory, and mood.1

FS: And these are some tips that even adults can utilize to help with stress management and supporting mood. We discuss stress but what about increasing resiliency? What can adults do to help with the “bounce back” and really helping us feel like we are back in control?

OR: Yes, that is really important. There are a lot of things that we can do like:

  • If you can, speak to a therapist regularly
  • Exercise
  • Include high protein snacks and protein with each meal (aa → hormones)
  • Also, remember that it is ok to feel overwhelmed at this time
  • Include an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement to support cognitive health and promote healthy mood balance. 2
  • Support your Gut!

FS: Yes, so about that What is the easiest way to support gut health?

OR: Probiotics are great at support the gut and overall health & well-being. The gut microbiome represents the bacteria and other organisms that live in the gut. These bacteria are key to helping you maintain a resilient immune system and mind due to the immune factors, hormones, vitamins, and neurotransmitters that they manufacture.3 You can support your gut and it’s functions through supplemental probiotics. 

Deep breathing is another great way to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Just simply taking a few deep breaths before you eat can put you in a better state to digest your foods.  It can decrease overwhelming emotions and help calm the mind.

FS: Amazing, thank you Dr. Rose for all those clear tips for mood support and resiliency. I personally find it so difficult to get food sources of probiotics and omega 3’s. It’s sometimes a source of stress for me so instead I have an arsenal of Jamieson product by my side.

Jamieson offers multiple formats for your needs, but the one that I tend to go to is the Jamieson Essentials™  Omega 3 and the Jamieson Essentials™  Probiotic 10 billion. And we have kid’s versions of each of these available in delicious formats too so the whole family can have access to better health habits.

The health benefits of Jamieson’s Essentials™ Omega 3 range from maintaining good health, helping reduce serum triglycerides, helping reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, helping support cognitive health, and promoting a healthy mood balance.2  And, it’s pharmaceutically tested and free from heavy metals, PCBS, dioxins, mercury & lead. It is also finished with natural lemon essence to make it a fish-free experience!

Jamieson’s Daily Maintenance Probiotic has 10 billion active cells with 14 unique strains making it essential for the daily maintenance of gut health.4 It’s formulated with unique probiotic strains that support digestive health.  And, to top it off, Jamieson’s Probiotics are TRU-ID ® certified. This basically means that it’s been vetted to show that the probiotic species listed on the label are actually in the supplement!  

References:


  1. Rowland I, Gibson G, Heinken A, Scott K, Swann J, Thiele I, Tuohy K. Gut microbiota functions: metabolism of nutrients and other food components. European Journal of Nutrition. 2018 Apr 9;57(1):1-24
  2. Government of Canada. Product information. Accessed on June 15th, 2021 at https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence= 80066832
  3. Cryan JF, O'Riordan KJ, Cowan CS, Sandhu KV, Bastiaanssen TF, Boehme M, Codagnone MG, Cussotto S, Fulling C, Golubeva AV, Guzzetta KE. The microbiota-gut-brain axis. Physiological Reviews. 2019 Oct 1;99(4):1877-2013.
  4. Government of Canada. Product information. Accessed on June 29th, 2021 at http://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80076638