14 Dec Shut The Door On Depression: Three Ways
Have you ever felt so vulnerable that it made you physically sick? I’m sure you haven’t, you probably never feel vulnerable-ever.
Not that you care about the consequences you create or the swirl you leave behind while we’re left in your dust after you finally leave.
You knock on the door knowing we’ll open it. After all, we know who’s tapping to come in.
Yes, we know it’s you, veiled behind an invisible blanket that’s hard to see, but so thick that it’s painful to wear.
We can see the sadness in the eyes. Yes, the haunted eyes you take on as your own as you settle into the soul of my loved one.
You are no longer wanted here and I will shut the door on depression. There are powerful and safe ways to combat your access. You’re not welcome through my door anymore.
If you live with an illness (like diabetes) or live with someone who does, you understand the stress, anxiety and yes, depression that can overwhelm you.
It can make your disease harder to manage. It can make you feel alone and defeated.
You’re suddenly thrown into a category you never expected, didn’t ask for and never wanted. You have to learn a new vocabulary, a new way to eat, a new way to cook and a new way to BE.
You face unexplained highs and sudden lows throughout your day.
It’s scary, stressful and yes, depressive.
There are specific tools and strategies to combat these feelings of overwhelming.
They sound so simple you might think they’re silly at first. Until you give them a try, that is…
Following are three approaches or tools that can put you in the driver’s seat, not the other way around.
These three simple lifestyle changes can close the door to most stress and depression, before it even has an opportunity to knock on your door.
I will put a disclaimer here that if you have diabetes or following a specific dietary plan, please check in with your doctor before changing your diet. But, if you are a loved one of someone who does slip in and out of anxiety and depression, please feel free to try any of these suggestions today.
Three Ways To Shut The Door On Depression
1. Use Food To Change Your Mood
If you follow nutritional studies, you might be aware that food is medicine and yes, the latest research is substantial and supports what we’ve suspected for a long while.
Food is powerful and can change your mood.
Eliminate eating processed foods!
Forget about stopping for fast food or eating the desserts from the grocery store. I’m talking about food that’s loaded with chemicals, sugars and of course, processed ingredients that harm your gut and consequently your brain function.
Eat foods that are naturally rich in Omega 3. The research is clear about this wonder food. Not only does it fight depression but Omega 3 rich foods also combat Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, ADHD, and will lower blood triglycerides. And, these are only a few benefits of eating Omega 3 rich food!
Next time you’re making a salad add some walnuts, salmon, egg yolk or flaxseed. Your gut will thank you and so will your mood. Yum.
Fruits and Veggies are powerful!
Not only are both filled with nutrients and antioxidants but did you know they fight depression?
Remember your mom telling you,
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away?”
Well, there’s so much truth to that old saying now more than ever before. In fact, fruits and vegetables are loaded with healthy protein too, another great benefit!
If you are considering a complete do-over of your diet, follow a traditional Mediterranean, Norwegian, or Japanese diet, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation you see and feel in yourself and loved ones.
2. Get Busy!
We are social beings and need to be around other people. Even on those days when it’s hard to get motivated, it’s important to move and groove with the day ahead. So what can you do for yourself?
Naturally, we need to exercise every day. I’m not saying you need to go to the gym daily and workout for 2 hours before breakfast, but I am suggesting walking the dog, hiking the steps instead of using the elevator, and parking your car far from the store door.
There is a ton of ways to get steps in every day, and it’s incredibly beneficial for your mood and health!
Go out to lunch with someone you enjoy, meet for coffee or a drink. Socialize a bit.
Make yourself do it because being energized at the end of the day is powerful, and you’ll be so happy that you did!
Visit a friend.
Walk to the store, buy a card and mail it off , just because, you don’t need a reason.
Make a connection.
3. Quiet Your Mind
Now that you’ve joined into the business of busyness don’t forget about time for yourself too. Another critical and fantastic tool for fighting depression is to quiet your mind.
Sure, we’ve all heard the incredible benefits of meditation but what about just taking a moment to settle your mind?
Since most chronic stress and some mood disorders are fed by thinking about the past, and contemplating about the future, we need a strategy or two to quiet your mind.
All you need to do is this:
Take a seat. Sit down in a chair and think a bit. When we sit, our brain stops the swirling and takes a moment to reset.
What thoughts are running through your mind when you give yourself a moment to relax? Those are usually the source of your anxiety and stress.
Now that you’ve identified the tension, you can think about them realistically.
Give yourself some time, sitting and not thinking. Turn off the inner dialogue that is in constant chatter in your mind.
Think about a beautiful vacation you want to take or an afternoon with your best friend or anything that will turn off your inner chatter and relax a moment in silence.
As you’re sitting and thinking take notice when you’re thoughts stray off to the negative and bring them back to the present.
Take deep breaths and notice your body relaxing with each breath. Allow yourself this time to do nothing except living in the moment.
Next time you hear that subtle but familiar knock on your door, you know the one, don’t welcome in depression.
Allow yourself time. Time to sit in silence. Allow yourself health. Food can change your mood. Get busy. Remember you can be in control when a loved one is suffering, don’t let it control you.
Let me know how you handle the anxiety or depression of your loved one when it affects you. I’d love to hear your thoughts.