Mental Health and Resilience During Difficult Times

By: Olivia Rose ND   

A recent 2020 survey confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic has created extensive changes in the emotional wellbeing of the vast majority of adults.In the survey, the authors reported that half of the entire population sample experienced a pandemic-related emotional impact to a moderate or greater extent. 

With schools closed, families working from home together, economic hardship, anxiety around health – it is no wonder people are struggling with their mental health. Additionally, public health directives, such restricting gatherings with friends and family as well as social distancing, is leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can exacerbate low mood and anxiousness.   

The COVID-19 pandemic is beyond your control. However, there are ways to optimize your mental and physical health in order to improve your resilience to negativity and stress.  

When you are chronically stressed, this may come with increased levels of inflammation in your body. In a 2018 study, authors found that participants with higher cortisol levels, also had increased inflammatory markers.2 Interestingly, the increased rates of cortisol and inflammation were correlated with lower omega-3 fatty acid levels.2 The authors suggested that a dysregulated stress system may benefit from the supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in order to improve mental wellbeing.2  

The Progressive OmegEssential® High Potency Fish Oil contains 1000 mg of EPA and 550 mg of DHA in a balanced 2:1 ratio. It also includes a family of support nutrients designed to naturally enhance the body’s ability to process and utilize the essential fatty acids. OmegEssential® is created from wild caught fish and molecularly distilled in order to remove all unwanted contaminants. 

Progressive 5-HTP is another supplement which may help promote a healthy mood balance during stressful times. 5-HTP is naturally produced in the body and works by increasing the levels of serotonin. Serotonin is important to support proper sleep, mood regulation, appetite and pain sensation.3 By increasing the levels of serotonin in the body, 5-HTP may help support resilience and sleep changes that are often found with low serotonin.3 

The Progressive 5-HTP formula is designed with enteric coated capsules that are gentle on the stomach. The formula is specifically designed to help promote a healthy mood balance and encourage a more restful sleep, allowing the body time to rest which helps support resilience.  

When trying to optimize your resistance to stress, the adrenal system must be supported. Progressive Resilient Mind is a combination supplement aimed at promoting relaxation and improving your resistance to stress. The formulation consists of several adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha, Schisandra Berry, Astragalus root, Siberian Ginseng and Rhodiola Rosea root.   

The adrenal system is responsible for the release of cortisol and adrenaline when your body is stressed. Adaptogens work to restore balance in the adrenal system, bringing down unnecessarily high levels of these chemicals. Different adaptogens can play different roles in the body. For example, Rhodiola is a more stimulating adaptogenic herb which can support mental focus, mental fatigue and weakness.4 While ashwagandha is a more relaxing adaptogenic herb with several health benefits including lowering stress.5  

Also included in the Progressive Resilient Mind formula are GABA and choline. GABA has a calming effect and it can help to relieve symptoms of stress. A study which assessed the role of GABA in the adaptability to stress found that those who were prescribed 28mg of GABA has a faster recovery after a stressful situation when compared to those who were given a placebo.6 A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that individuals with the highest concentration of choline in the blood had less anxiousness.7 

In order to increase psychological resilience, you can also integrate lifestyle techniques such as meditation and mindfulness. When you are more self-aware, it is easier to identify, and therefore modify, reactions to different situations. In a six-week study examining the impact of meditation on stress and anxiety levels, researchers found that students’ anxiety and stress scores decreased significantly while their total mindfulness increased significantly. 

To build a resilient body and mind, it may require conscious lifestyle modifications and specific therapies that work together to help you respond appropriately in stressful situations and reduce your risk of chronic disease and mental distress. The products mentioned above are a great starting point to help you create balance and weather the storm of these stressful times. 


  1. Palsson O, Ballou G, and Gray S. The U.S. National Pandemic Emotional Impact Report. Harvard Medical School. 2020.  

  1. Omegas- Thesing CS, Bot M, Milaneschi Y, Giltay EJ, Penninx BW. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels and dysregulations in biological stress systems. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Nov 1;97:206-15. 

  1. Natural Medicines. Consumer Information and Education. 5-HTP Monograph. Dec. 29 2020.  

  1. Panossian A, Wikman G, Sarris J. Rosenroot (Rhodiola rosea): traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical efficacy. Phytomedicine. 2010 Jun 1;17(7):481-93. 

  1. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian journal of psychological medicine. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. 

  1. Nakamura H, Takishima T, Kometani T, Yokogoshi H. Psychological stress-reducing effect of chocolate enriched with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in humans: assessment of stress using heart rate variability and salivary chromogranin A. International journal of food sciences and nutrition. 2009 Jan 1;60(sup5):106-13. 

  1. Bjelland I, Tell GS, Vollset SE, Konstantinova S, Ueland PM. Choline in anxiety and depression: the Hordaland Health Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2009 Oct 1;90(4):1056-60. 

  1. Lemay V, Hoolahan J, Buchanan A. Impact of a yoga and meditation intervention on students’ stress and anxiety levels. American journal of pharmaceutical education. 2019 Jun 1;83(5). 

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