Depression and anxiety… These are 2 struggles most of us have experienced to some extent. I have had my own struggles with both of these in the past years.
2013 marked my first real experience with depression. I get situational depression, which stems from struggle with adjustments (aka change!). This means that I get my major depressive symptoms when a major life event happens that I don’t cope well with (death, loss, divorce…).
2015 started my experiences with panic attacks and it was the first time I was able to identify what anxiety looked like on me (I had experienced anxiety before, but I didn’t identify it as that. If you know, you know)
In addition to my own personal experiences with mental health struggles, I went to college as a Psychology major and worked as an addiction counselor straight out of college. This has given me an interesting take and an unmatched level of understanding in my business now in helping women lose weight (weight loss and mental health goes hand in hand!!)
If you deal with depression or anxiety, it is likely holding you back from something you want to do in your life, am I right? I am likely right. I know this because it is common and I have experienced it!
SOOOOO, how do we deal with depression and anxiety naturally without meds?
**PLEASE NOTE: I am not against medication and this blog post does not substitute medical advice from a mental health professional. If your doctor or counselor wants you to take a medication, take it! If you want to come off your meds, talk to your professional! 🙂
TIP #1: BREATHE – deep. In through your nose out through your mouth. Over and over until it works. This sounds silly and cliché to people, but trust me. When your chest is feeling heavy and your breathing is shallow as the anxiety sets in, a deep breath is incredibly relieving. As the negative, depressive thoughts in your mind start to run ramped, a deep breath can give you a much needed, grounded restart.
TIP #2: Drink more water. This tip is the kind of tip that helps long – term. You want to keep up with your water intake over time to help improve and regulate your organ and brain function. Having your body function at its best from a foundational level, will set the tone for bigger functions such as regulating depression and anxiety.
TIP #3: Avoid drugs, alcohol and overeating. None of these 3 things will help your depression or your anxiety. It may give you a temporary (and false) sense of happiness or relief, but play it forward. What will the future look like if you turn to drugs, alcohol, or food to cope? Will it help in the long run or will it add to the list of problems and bad feelings? I think you know the answer, friend.
TIP #4: Exercise! Get moving, in whatever way makes you feel the best. Cardio is great but in this case strength training is usually more effective. Strength training has been linked to increased dopamine and endorphins (aka your happy hormones). When it comes to feeling depressed, you want all the dopamine and endorphins you can get, friend!
TIP #5: Seek help. It is okay to admit you can’t do it on your own. More often than not, you are going to need help. You are going to need support. Support can come in many forms from many different people n your life, so stay open minded. Sometimes you need an outside opinion, an outside point of view. When I say “outside” I mean a professional who doesn’t know you on a personal level. You would be surprised how much different and more effective this will be.
If you need help, if you need a plan, if you need someone to vent to – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I got you, friend ?