Claire Hillard



This article was a particularly interesting one to research and develop. I chose to write about natural remedies for stress relief because it is a topic that interests me but is outside of my comfort zone. I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t feel stress and some people struggle with it more than others. Partially for my own benefit, I wanted to know what sort of non-pharmaceutical options are available for those who experience regular stress and anxiety.

Contacting the best sources was surprisingly simply. All it took was one phone call or email and everyone seemed happy to help. People really do love sharing their passions. I think the people I chose to interview were perfect for the piece. Dr. Knorr is a naturopathic doctor who specializes in natural remedies for all sorts of ailments. Josh Williams is a clinical herbalist who regularly helps prescribe herbs for people with anxiety. I chose Mia Gallardo as my final interviewee because I felt it added to the story to showcase a person who practices some of the treatments the two professionals recommended.

Writing this article was an interesting experience. The answers I received in the interviews were fascinating and not what I was expecting. I was expecting the article to end up in a sort of Buzzfeed style and name the various recommendations from the two professionals. However, natural medicine is not black and white. There isn’t just one answer or one herb to solve a person’s problems.

Because of the nuances in natural medicines, I had to pivot my intention for the article. Instead of focusing on products a person can use, I focused more on their general advice for those with stress. It raised a few ethical issues in not wanting to give blanket advice that may not help some. While the products they recommended were interesting, I didn’t want to give the assumption that by reading this article, a person could self-medicate and solve all their problems.

I think the hardest part of putting this story together was having to cut out so much material. My shortest interview lasted 35 minutes and my longest was about an hour. There was so much material and I learned so much. When I wrote my first draft of the article, it was more than double the desired length. I ended up having to cut out more than half of the original content — some of which were my favorite bits of information. There were just so many interesting details that I didn’t want to leave out.

As a writer trying to keep an interesting, useful and concise article, I chose the information I thought would fit best together and be most easily absorbed. While this wasn’t easy, it was a good process to experience.

Writing this article was a wonderful experience. I made really neat connections with three new people. I learned some things that I was able to apply to my own life. I even purchased some Ashwagndha for myself to see if it helped. It was a great learning experience in working on my writing as well as gaining useful knowledge.


I’m in my third year of my undergraduate education at the University of Utah. I am studying strategic communication and minoring in business. Both in school and in my personal life, I am fascinated by the impacts of nature, kindness, and positivity on the mind.

My interest in strategic communication began when I discovered a connection between psychology and marketing. I think human behavior and cognition is fascinating and wanted to find a way to incorporate this into a profession. I was a creative child and everything seemed to fit together.

As of now, my dream career is to do marketing or advertising in the outdoor industry. Because I am a huge outdoor adventurer, I know the outdoor industry well and know how to appeal to the market.

For me, home is on an inflatable sleeping pad under the stars. When I’m not studying for finals, I spend most of my time in the Utah desert. Some of the most impactful moments in my life have happened while surrounded by good company and towering red cliffs. I camp, rock climb, canyoneer, raft rivers, and do just about anything outdoors. I am a self-care enthusiast and an eternal optimist.