Depression and how to get out of it (what worked for me)

Slide12Get healthy, eat well making meals from fresh, preferably organic, ingredients rather than heating up pre-packaged garbage. Get plenty of proteins and vitamins, cut out carbs as much as possible. Supplement your vitamin intake with fresh fruits. Eaten at the right time, 30 minutes before or straight after exercise is best, as you will burn up the sugars in the fruit yet retain their vitamin value, otherwise the sugars are not metabolised and the body stores them as fat.

Get a good night’s sleep. Regulate your sleep pattern, try and sleep (as an average) the same number of hours each night. Everyone’s number of hours will vary, for myself I find that sleeping 7 – 7.5 hrs is best for me, less it’s not enough and rise tired, more it’s too long and feel sluggish when waking.  Go to bed and rise about the same time(s) each day, let your body clock get into sync. This will do several things, you’ll sleep better, feel less tired when waking and carry more energy throughout the day.

Having trouble nodding off?
Try not eating or drinking anything 3 to 4 hours before bedtime, giving your stomach time to digest the days intake.

When in bed, feeling restless, constantly fidgeting?
Try eating a banana, the high potassium content relaxes the muscles giving a more restful sleep, but eat it about an hour before going to bed giving your body time to metabolise the sugars, rather than storing them as fat.

Cut down, better yet, cut out the traditional ‘crutches’ such as comfort eating, alcohol and proscribed anti-depressants. Yes, they may all give a bit of a boost from time to time, but the feelings are temporary and fake. At best they only relieve the symptoms, but they are not a cure.

Depression has been linked, amongst other things, to a lack of Vitamin D, especially during the winter months when it’s darker earlier and people tend to spend more time indoors. Of course vitamin supplements can be taken to combat the deficiency, however there really isn’t a need to. Go outside, wrap up warm and get some winter sun. Even in winter, 20 minutes in sunlight (you don’t even need sunshine) is more than enough for the recommended adult daily dose of vitamin D which is absorbed through the skin.

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 12.22.00Get some exercise, it doesn’t have to be vigorous with hours spent at the gym, just be more active release the endorphins, the body’s natural anti-depressant. Combine the activities, take a walk to your local shop instead of drive, carry the shopping home for example. There’s your ‘weights’, cardio and necessities purchased a 3-in-1 win.

Other simple changes can make a world of difference. The obvious ones are, if possible, ride a bicycle or walk to work, even use public transport, sounds silly? Well, it does add a walk to and from the stops at either end. If using the car is a must, then park as far away from your place of business, then stroll across the carpark. Every little bit of extra effort helps.

Don’t sit around dwelling on matters, it does not make them go away or solve any issues. Reflect and release.

Be in the present and look to the future. A good exercise for this when feeling low is to write down your thoughts and feelings at that moment. Then read what you have written, close the book and move on.

Feelings of depression can and do also extend from boredom, stimulate the brain with other inputs. Read a good book, listen to uplifting music, watch a comedy and laugh.

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 12.44.50

The suggestions, as in the title they are only from my perspective, not particularly ground breaking either. Yes they are easier said than done, they may not work for everyone, but they worked for me.

Above all, the take-away for me was, to be disciplined, to become mindful of my habits and make a conscious effort to change those habits.

I still have up and down days depending on what life throws at me, but through developing my emotional intelligence towards those situations, looking for the positive, rather than staring at the negative I can hand on heart say, that over all, I haven’t been happier.

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