Depression is growing at a rapid rate here in the States and pills are handed out like candy. Doctors require monthly appointments, some which insurance doesn't cover and individuals have to pay for out of pocket. It's a viscous cycle which can be stopped. I do believe in modern medicine and by all means if someone needs to be on anti depressants then take them! But for many there are alternative ways. If you have to take anti-depressants I suggest adding oils, proper food, yoga and meditation to your daily routines. If you're like me though, and feel that anti depressants just offer a quick fix then here's what I believe helps to alleviate, if not get rid of, symptoms and actually find joy in life. And remember, be sure to check with your doctor on any supplements you want to add to your diet, especially if you're taking medications. Just because something is natural doesn't mean it should be taken without restraint. Our bodies are all different and what we need to balance ourselves out is unique to us.
While I was in Australia and Fiji I noticed the pace is a lot slower than the States. In Fiji, life is much more simple. It got me thinking, what are we doing wrong here in America where we are constantly so stressed out and not living life to the fullest? First off we all need to slow down and de-stress. I make it sound easy right?! We all know it's not. But it is imperative to combat depression. When you're constantly going, going, going it's really hard to retrain your brain to slow down. The best way to start? Focus on your breath. When you're feeling stressed notice if you're breaths are short and shallow (I can almost guarantee they are) or if you're breathing from your entire gut and filling every space in your body (the right way to breathe). If you're breathing fast and short, immediately begin to slow down your breathing and take breaths that fill your gut. The difference you'll feel will be almost immediate. When we are breathing fast and short breaths our heart rate speeds up and our body goes into fight or flight. You know, that moment of, EEEEEEK!!!!? When you slow your breathing, you slow your heart. And you're stomach will also feel better as well. You will really begin to notice the connection within your entire body just by paying attention to your breath.
Now onto the sleep factor. We need at least 7 hours of sleep a night. And it has been scientifically proven that women need more sleep then men. So if the hubby or boyfriend makes fun of you for sleeping a little longer just let them know you're researching. Sleep has always been something that's tough for me. I can fall asleep easy but staying asleep is another story. Here is what I have begun doing that helps me relax and actually get through the entire night... I take epson salt baths. The magnesium in the salts helps to relax and sooth sore muscles. Magnesium is so important for our body and we do not absorb pills properly. Either absorb your magnesium in a bath or eat foods filled with it! I add about 10 drops of Lavender oil to add to the relaxation hot baths automatically give. I make myself a cup of kava kava tea, take a supplement called Ashwagandha and I'm relaxed completely by the end of my bath. Even more than I am from a couple glasses of wine even! And finally, if you like bananas like me, you'll love this one! Cut the ends off of an un-pealed, ripe banana, stick it in a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Drink the water (so good) and if you want something delicious, eat the mushy banana. I kid you not, it tastes just like bananas foster! Tons of magnesium and a tasty treat.
Essential oils and massages are also so incredibly important. I use coconut oil to massage into my skin every night. Moisturizes as well as calms. Lavender, Bergamont, Chamomille, and Ylang ylang (smells so darn good) either applied directly to the skin or put into a diffuser help to immediately alleviate depression. Bergamont is great at helping overall wellness, mood and sleep. So another one best before bed. Raindrop massage is also an amazing way to cleanse your system and re-boot. This technique is a gentle massage which uses about 12 essential oils to relax and draw out toxins. Warning though...you will smell like a pizza after! But it's totally worth it! And before you apply essential oils all over yourself, make sure to do a skin patch test first to be sure you don't have any allergic reactions.
Next lets talk yoga and meditation. Absolutely essential to getting rid of depression or keeping it under wraps. I highly suggest restorative or hot yoga for depression and anxiety. Both are incredibly relaxing but adding hot yoga into your routine also allows for detoxification. Again, something everyone needs but those with depression and anxiety need it more than anything. I find that my entire life is out of balance without yoga. I feel everything fade away in a good hot yoga class. Perfect Zen. Better than any drug! Another added plus of a hot yoga class? You'll get your cardio going. Yep! It's true! Your heart will race without even having to hit the pavement.
And I think it goes without saying, watch what you put into your body. Pay attention to the effects of it. Does your gut hurt? How do you feel the next day? Keep a food journal to see if you possibly might have some food sensitivities.
It does help to have a coach in all these areas to meet with once a week and check in. There are many to chose from so use someone you have good energy with. Nutritional coaches can help design a complete lifestyle plan based on your body. We will give you the best foods to eat, help you set up an exercise regime and talk you through some of the things that might be causing depression, anxiety or overall problems in your wellness.
Looking for more advice or to set up a plan of action for your overall health and wellness? Schedule an appointment with me, Melissa, and we will devise a complete plan just for you. You deserve to live to your fullest potential and be your happiest self. Why not start now?