Overall, I’d say I’m a pretty stable and balanced person. Of course, a survey of family and friends might reveal a slightly different opinion, if I’m caught at the “right moment.” And, I’m guessing you have had some of those “right moments” too, when everything in your life is in overdrive, when every box on your little calendar is full. Sometimes it is just the simple and natural change of seasons that can push me a step past coping, especially if all the other factors are in play. And this pretty much describes my September 2019. But still I try to be strong, soldier through, resist help.

Can you say “stubborn”?

There is nothing weak about asking for a little help from your friends. We all need help from time to time, and if we thought about it, I think we’d realize that sometimes we need to offer help and sometimes—to keep it all in balance—we need to ask for help. “The love you get is equal to the love you make,” yes?

So here’s where I really struggle in the Fall and, for that matter, in the Spring: Daylight Savings Time. Not only am I losing the long light, I’m losing sleep. The forward and backward shift through this artificial manipulation of the clock is due to switch back to “regular” time in a little over a month, at which point I will spend at least one full week uncontrollably falling asleep around 7 p.m. and finding myself wide awake when the clock says 2 a.m. Eventually, completely sleep-deprived, I will adjust from sheer exhaustion. But EVERYONE will feel my pain until I do—cranky, weepy, explosive. And, hey, there’s an instant replay coming in March!

Ok, I’m really surprised that Don and the cats don’t get a room somewhere and wait for Hurricane Toni to blow over. But they hang in there with me, trying to keep to themselves and watching out for flying debris.  No one, so far, has been mortally injured. Knock, knock.

But this year I’m asking for help—not a high-priced therapist or anything, but in sifting through the always-helpful NewHope Network Blogger Box, I came across three items that I decided to try and which proved to be just the help I’m probably going to need come November.

Bottle of +CBD OilPlus CBD Oil is not new to Green Gal. I’ve written about this standout CBD product before because my daughter and her boyfriend tried it, and–especially for Buddy–it worked amazingly well, particularly on a condition Buddy and I have in common: SADD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. The dwindling light, coming cold weather and daily stress combine for some nasty depression, which is alleviated for many people by taking a CBD product.

Then I read an article in Delicious Living Magazine this month on how CBD oils, particularly in drop form, were helping seniors (That’s me, you know.) gain relief for a boatload of ailments, including anxiety and sleeping difficulties. So, I decided to give it a go.

Even though the clock has not “fallen back” yet, my September was anything but calm and balanced—many volunteer commitments and a new challenge I decided I needed to tackle—sitting for the Certified Food Safety Manager Exam…Yikes! Needless-to-say, I was not sleeping well, and I was time-change cranky most hours of the day or night. So I started taking a few drops at bedtime. And while it wasn’t the only game changer this month, I think it helped. I’m still taking it and plan to continue, at least through November.

Further, I am a big proponent of hemp—see my post Earth Day post earlier this year: Hemp, Hemp, Hurray! I not only feel hemp and its cousin, medical marijuana, will help people find safe and effective alternatives to much nastier manufactured drugs, like opioids, I think this versatile, planet-friendly, easy-to-grow crop could turn around the small-farm industry and become one of our best alternative crops to wean us off environmental enemies like plastics and GMO crops. I’m all in for hemp. I say we support hemp production, the farmers who grow it, and the companies that make great healthy products with it any way we can.

Momo's Bean to Bliss Bar, Vanilla RaspberryWhich brings me to my next little helper: Momo’s CBD Hemp Bean to Bliss Bars. Truthfully, this is just as much about giving myself a little treat as it is seriously looking for help. The first thing I fell in love with was the hippie-inspired design (Senior, remember.). But this yummy product actually answered a challenge I was having.
You see, I am notorious for needing a couple of squares of good dark chocolate after dinner every single night. Gotta have it, no substitutes, not apologizing. But we all know that good dark chocolate can contain…Caffeine!

And if you are interested, I’ve found that most of this caffeine is added; raw cacao (where all real chocolate comes from) does not naturally contain caffeine. But it does contain a wealth of good stuff for our bodies and our souls. So my mild addiction to dark, caffeinated chocolate was not helping my stress and anxiety in the least, especially when I was eating it in the late afternoon.

Enter Momo’s, with its beautiful blend of 70 percent raw cacao tempered by 40mg of hemp CBD. I am hooked on the Vanilla Raspberry flavor, but I hope to try them all, from Almond & Himalayan Pink Salt to Mint Cacao. And, of course, I loved the ethic behind this woman-owned company. Here’s the owner’s story:

What began as an early career as a roaming Plant-based Chef, transitioned into over 33 years in the Natural Products Industry as an advocate for ethically sourced and sustainable products and organizations, with a persistent heart-felt connection to cacao, hemp and herbalism. 
What I treasured most was the opportunity to work with dynamic and mission-driven people and their products, visiting many farms and facilities which sparked amazing relationships that are still cherished today. 
With an emphasis on Organic, Non-GMO, Fair Trade, and Plant-based products, we are advocates for change as the natural environment shifts towards re-generative practices.

Yes, yes, yes! Pass that little bar over my way. I do chop my bar in half and enjoy one half after dinner each night. Limiting this treat is allowing me to enjoy the gift of restraint and tolerance, too. Balance is achieved in many ways, I believe. Call it a head game, an artificial gimmick, whatever. Working for me.

But, then came the one night I was at the edge…Fairly near my exam date on September 10, everything accelerated. I’d been studying nonstop, trying to get my own writing deadlines met, not really keeping up with the house and preparing for a big coal ash hearing, where I would be giving a public comment to the Illinois EPA. Not sleeping, totally on edge. And sometimes when things slip from anxiety to panic attack for me, other stuff happens—my immune system seems to take a dive, my allergies rise and I experience hives—itchy, burning, can’t-sleep hives.

Bottle of Terry Naturally Terrific ZZZNow I’m not telling you all this so that you will feel sorry for me. I passed my exam, delivered my comments at the hearing and met all my writing deadlines (My house is still a mess, but that’s a different story.). What I want to do is set the stage because the product I reached for is something I never take—a sleeping aid. There was a bottle of Terry Naturally Terrific ZZZZ’s in the Blogger Box. In fact, it had come several months ago, but I never really considered trying it. Until this month.

What convinced me to “ask for help” with this particular product was the ingredient list: lemon balm, lavender, mandarine and ravinstara—just a bunch of herbs and essential oils. I really didn’t think this would do anything, to be honest. But I was scratching like an old hound dog, so I popped two gel caps per the directions about an hour before bed. I plopped in front of the TV and turned on the cooking shows, which always make me happy and which I hoped would keep my mind off the itching.

About a half hour later, I was calmly watching a chef create something in a big pot, when I realized I was not itching. The hives were gone and I was pleasantly sleepy. I was so impressed, I went to bed…and slept. But the next day I actually wrote to the Terry Naturally company and asked if my reaction was typical. And, I gotta say, they were super honest.

They told me they were thrilled I’d had such a positive experience with their product, but to their knowledge Terrific ZZZ’s did not alleviate hives. Certainly, it was tested and proven to help with sleeping issues, but not allergies. So they refrained from verifying that claim.

Fair enough, I thought. Then I went right out and bought a bottle—not to use every night, just when I need to ask for a little extra help–like in November. So, I would say that if you find yourself with some sleepless nights, fueled by too much going on in your life or seasonal challenges that leave you exhausted, Terrific ZZZ’s could be an answer. Worth a look.

Well, I feel as if you have been a long-suffering good friend, if you are still with me at this point. I’ve unloaded a lot. The point is, though, that we ALL need help at some point, and most often, it’s friends and family (and maybe chocolate) that are our best medicines. But sometimes, we need a bit more, and I’d recommend these three products easily, whether you are looking for some sustained support like +CBD Oil, or a feel-good/good-for-you treat like Momo’s Bean to Bliss Bars or a once-in-a-while targeted solution like Terrific ZZZ.

Wishing you wellness, peace, calm and balance as the seasons and the clock turn over. Looking for other ideas? Check out the post about falling into wellness naturally.

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