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Managing Depression While At Home

Health & Wellness
manage depression during covid 19

The ripple effects of COVID-19 are impacting us all, and this is a difficult time for everyone right now.   For those who suffer from anxiety and depression, or any mental illness, it is so important to pay equal attention to staying healthy emotionally as much as it is physically. Managing depression when routines are interrupted and we are more isolated takes some effort. Here are some ideas that may be new, or may be reminders of old ones that have been forgotten.

Our 2 cents worth to manage a depression (or any other) rut

What’s on your “if only I had enough time, I’d…….list?”

 We all have one and some of us have very long ones. Everything from cleaning the garage, spring cleaning closets and draws, painting a room, or weeding the garden. By now a lot of us have realized that having time isn’t the only reason these things didn’t get done. Most of them aren’t a ton of fun and time seems endless right now so we put them off. It may seem harmless to procrastinate with them but if you’re prone to depression, its a slippery slope and here’s why:

  • Motion creates motion; no motion creates no motion. In other words, doing something gives you energy to do more. Not doing anything makes it even harder to get moving later.
  • Getting things done boosts confidence. It gives us a “lift” and actually helps us gain clarity. One of the toughest things in managing depression or a rut is the feeling overwhelm and brain fog. Stay busy and keep a sense of purpose. You’ll feel much better for it.
  • As long as the stay at home order seems to be in effect, when it’s over you’ll either look back and feel good about turning into a productive venture or you’ll beat yourself up for letting the time slip by. You have a choice which it will be but you have to make the decision today.

You don’t have to kill yourself trying to crush your “to-do” list, but try and spend an hour or so every day doing something that you don’t usually have time to. Managing depression requires us to stay engaged with the world and not just ‘check-out’.

Think positive and have gratitude to combat gloominess

Change your perspective on current events

There’s a lot of bad news on TV, radio, and social media right now. It’s easy to sucked into all of the fear and negativity. However, it is possible to take everything seriously, be responsible yet still have a positive attitude and combat gloominess. Try not to fixate on what’s wrong in the world, what you can’t do, or can’t have right now. Manage the blues by finding what’s right, what you can do and do have, right now. Instead of focusing on the inconveniences, appreciate the down-time, a chance to regroup, stop and smell the roses that you were too busy rushing around to before. Thinking positive thoughts and feeling grateful actually triggers chemicals in the brain that willl lighten your mood.

Beat the blues with a gratitude list

You can’t feel gratitude and depression at the same time

Feeling gratitude Is synonymous with feeling happy. Happiness and depression cannot exist in the same space.   Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for, or for fun, make an A-Z list with something for every letter in the alphabet.   After you finish the list, circle 5 things and stop and truly feel the gratitude.  Its sometimes easy to ramble off an “intellectual’ list of things to be grateful for, but gratitude is not a thought, it is a feeling, and it is an action.   Feel the appreciation and then act on it. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you, do something nice for someone who you are grateful to.  Do it wholly unsolicited and expect nothing in return.  Just express your gratitude.  You’ll feel amazing after.

Shake the blah’s by bumping up your self care routine

One of the first things that go out the window for people with depression is self-care.  Now is a time you need yourself the most, please do not abandon you.   Everyone has their own definition of self-care and beyond just good hygiene, it’s  a good measure to stay present with the “self” and create the vital feeling of being nurtured and loved, by the one who you most, YOU!

There are so many things you can do. Give yourself a facial, do a body scrub, deep condition your hair, paint your finger and/or toe nails. Light some candles and take a bubble bath.   Drench yourself in moisturizer , lord knows we’re all washing our hands 15 times a day an truly need it!

Get dressed already!   Pajama days are great; I love them too!   Try and limit them to no more than 1-in-a-row.   It’s easy to fall into a funk when you’re not having to suit-up and show up for work or you can’t even leave the house and interact with people.     Do your best to show up and play the part., even if that part seems smaller right now. You don’t have to put on a professional outfit, but don’t live in jammies or sweats until the crisis ends. 

Fight the funk by keeping your mind active, learn something new!

Make a list of 10 things you’ve wondered about.   The pyramids in Egypt; the life span of birds; how to make bread; how to change a tire; the lives of famous musicians/actors.  Whatever it is that sparks your curiosity, take one at a time and really learn about it.   Read articles, listen to podcasts, maybe find a documentary.   Spending hours online with mindless interaction on social media typically won’t leave you feeling fulfilled, Learning will. When we learn, we grow, and staying in a forward-thinking and growth mindset helps to fight the funk that comes with too much downtime.  

Listen to or read something that inspires you.  

There’s not a whole lot of uplifting news in the mainstream right now.  It’s a good time to seek it out actively.   There’s a plethora of inspirational talks on YouTube.    A simple search term “inspirational” will get it done.   I personally love audio books, and here are my two faves right now:

Time Warriors Steve Chandler
  • Time Warrior by Steve Chandler In this book Chandler gives 100 strategies to change your perspective of time, time management, and quite honestly, life in general. Every chapter offers a deep thought to ponder.
you are a badass
  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero I love Jen Sincero’s sense of humor and had many well needed laughs listening to her. Not only is she funny but there are about 27 great suggestions for anyone looking to level-up in life.

Either of these books are bound to leave you feeling inspired?  If you’re ready to take inspiration to the next level, make a vision board.  Psychologists agree that vision boards improve motivation, and motivation is not compatible with depression.   Your board will help you remember your “why,” and that will enhance your sense of purpose.   

Managing Depression alone is rough

Don’t got it alone, break the isolation

 Sometimes easier said than done but is super important to stay tethered and connected to the world.     Pick up the phone and call friends or family members.  Better yet, SKYPE or use Zoom. Check in on your colleagues, chances are they’d be thrilled to connect with someone too.     Too much time in ones own head can spiral downward, so it’s essential to keep a strong support network.  Be honest with trusted others about how you feel.    No one is expected to have their “happy-face” on all the time right now.  Don’t be afraid to express yourself, good or bad. 

Reach out to someone who may be in need.  Nothing beats the blues and lifts the spirits more and gives one a sense of purpose than helping another.   Whether it’s an elderly neighbor who needs you to run to the grocery store, a friend who is in relationship hell or another person who is just stressed out from the news, be the light of their day.   Offer yourself to help or be a shoulder to lean on.  Let it be all about them; your turn can come later if need be.  Getting outside of the self will beat the blah’s and boost your mood, leaving you feeling fulfilled.

Read: Best Tips for Working From Home

Total wellness = healthy body, mind and soul

Eat well

Its easy to get into some funky eating habits when we’re stuck inside, and the produce department at the grocery store is suddenly barren.  It seems so acceptable to give in to cravings   because the truth is life is just a bit challenging right now and comfort food can take the edge off.  Just be mindful of what you’re putting in your body and try to make healthy choices.    Sugar spikes wreak havoc on one’s mood and leave people feeling sluggish and down.  Too much alcohol will not fix anything, and the hangover and dehydration are such downers.   Couple that with feelings of guilt and shame many people experience after such escapades, and it can be a real slippery slope.

 Try and drink more water and less caffeinated beverages, sodas, alcohol, or even too much juice.  Hydration is vital to all of your body functions, to even mild dehydration contributes to emotional problems (WebMD).  Caffeine is a diuretic, and sugar/alcohol screws with hydration levels too.

If you fall short of your health ideals (or any other), don’t beat yourself up, just accept it and try again tomorrow.   Feeling bad about yourself isn’t going to help anything and makes it even harder to make healthy choices, just let that $#!+ go and move on. You’ll be better for it.

Add Turmeric Curcumin to your arsenal of natural remedies

There are so many health benefits of turmeric curcumin. In addition to being great in the kitchen, research shows that turmeric curcumin helps with inflammations, arthritis, skin, weight loss and influences many biological mechanisms linked to depression. There’s also evidence has positive behavioral effects for those who suffer from chronic stress. With so many positive benefits, and no side effects, its turmeric curcumin is a great add to your daily supplements. Make sure to use one with bioperine for maximum absorption and the best results.

Get some Exercise

Even if you’re in full-blown quarantine, outdoors is still open. If you’re not suffering from illness, you can at least go for a walk.   Find a place you can appreciate natural beauty or admire some cool architecture.

 There is overwhelming evidence that moderate exercise has a positive effect in fighting depressions.   If you can’t leave home, spend a few minutes stretching.  Stretching releases both physical and emotional tensions.        Try

Try Meditation

 Science proves that the physical and emotional value of mediation is profound.   For many meditations is a spiritual practice.   If you aren’t the spiritual type, you still benefit dramatically from practicing mindfulness.   Staying “grounded” through mindfulness will preserve your inner peace and sense of security.    If you are new to the idea, here is a simple and practical strategy to get started:   A Beginners Guide to Meditation for Wellness.

Final thoughts to banish heaviness of heart

Lastly, be gentle with yourself.  Some days are going to be better than others.  Be quick to celebrate the wins and forgive the less than perfect days.  That same rule applies to others.   Find other people doing something right and praise them for it.   The world was a broken place long before COVID-19 and is indeed vibrating much more fear and negativity right now.   Every one of us could all use some more love. It starts with you! Love yourself, love others, and please stay well!

How to Be Happy During Quarantine Life and Beyond

Signs that you might need an emotional detox

Health & Wellness
signs you may need an emotional deetox

What is an emotional detox?

The word ‘Detox‘ often refers to “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.” Upon hearing the word we tend to jump to the usual suspects of drugs, alcohol, caffeine or nicotine. We may even assume it relates to the latest ‘dieting’ fad but rarely do we think of our emotions and mental health in need of detoxification.

An emotional detox refers to a mindful practice wherein we take the time to process unresolved emotions, thoughts, and trauma which have been left to go stale. Much like food which has been left to rot, our long overdue traumas and emotions can make us very ill But instead of chucking it all in the bin and starting over, emotional detoxing encourages us to properly and fully work with that which is causing us harm. We’re aiming to work through our troubles rather than shoving them to the side and labeling them as ‘do not open.Ever.’

How do I know if I need an emotional detox?

Are you afraid to say the word ‘no’ ? Maybe you’re constantly trying to fix other people’s problems? Do you often put the needs of others before your own? And, finally, are you a chronic overthinker who loses sleep over the smallest of things?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above then you’ll benefit greatly from an emotional detox.

There are various mental and physical symptoms to consider when thinking about emotional detox. You don’t have to wait until you experience any of these to start your detox, instead you should act quickly and often in order to avoid a build-up of negative emotions and trauma.

Watch out for the following:

Chronic headaches.

Often considered a sign of heightened stress levels (or the need for an eye appointment), frequent and uncomfortable headaches are a sure sign that you may need to emotionally detox. It goes hand in hand with reducing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood which can trigger a variety of adverse reactions in the body.

If the headaches escalate to migraine level things can become debilitating, and you might find yourself on the couch or in a dark room for a number of days.

Frequent illness.

Do you often get colds and flus? Or maybe you suffer from constant stomach aches and cramps? Illness of any kind can be an indication that you need to slow down, listen to yourself and possibly detox from your emotional traumas. The odd niggle or stuffy nose here and there is normal, but if you’re getting sick every time you take a break from work or more often than the average person, then it might be time to dig deeper.

Of course it’s important to remember that illness can be a sign of many other issues. Our bodies react adversely to any major trauma and changes, so always get checked out if you’re concerned. Otherwise, an emotional detox won’t do you any harm!

Unexplained and frequent pain.

As discussed, please be aware that unexplained and frequent pain could be a sign of something much more sinister. If in doubt, get checked out! This could include anything from joint pain to the aforementioned headache.

Poor gut health.

The gut is notoriously known as the second brain. We tend to hold a lot of our stress, trauma and tension within this area, and it’s extremely sensitive to change. Some people are more sensitive than others, and you could find that your stomach tightens with the slightest hint of anxiety.

Even when experiencing no other symptoms I would deem ‘gut health’ worthy of treatment all by itself. At the first signs of gut changes, I ask myself to slow down and re-evaluate things lest I repeat the last ten years of a painfully unhealthy GI tract.

If you begin to experience unexplained cramps, changes in bowel habits, sensitivity to foods you were otherwise fine with or anything else untoward, I strongly advise speaking to your doctor. If nothing else is out of the ordinary then an emotional detox should be the first thing on your list (along with hot water bottles and various herbal teas).

Trouble getting to and staying asleep.

Being unable to get adequate sleep is not only a sign of night-time anxiety, but negatively impacts our mental and physical health. So, the less sleep we get the more troubled we feel, and the more troubled we feel, the less sleep we get. It’s a vicious cycle resulting in chronic sleep deprivation which in itself can be a very dangerous thing.

Sleep is essential. Without it you’ll not only suffer from a variety of mental and physical impacts, but you may even die.

While we sleep our body recovers from physical and mental strain. We go into a hyper relaxed state where our tendons, neurons, brain cells (etc) can all repair themselves in peace. So, it’s easy to see why it’s so important to our overall well being.

Persistent trouble getting to sleep, like many things, indicates a problem either mentally or physically. It could be a case of making your bedroom sleep friendly, or simply shutting off from electronics a few hours before sleeping. Even bedtime meditation or yoga could do the trick! If you’re a frequent worrier, try keeping a journal where you can write down all your nagging thoughts before bed? Work through the worry, ask yourself why you’re feeling like that, is it justified, is it rational and leave it in the book for another day.

** It’s important to acknowledge that there may come a time when you need pills, in which cause ONLY use them under the guidance of your medical professional. Never use illegally sourced sleeping medication as this could have fatal consequences. **

Weight changes.

Fluctuation in weight over a short period of time can be an indication of a problem either physically or mentally. You could have a suppressed appetite due to overwhelm, likewise you could also be eating more, both of which lead to weight changes. While many people admit to overeating due to anxiety and stress, there are others who find themselves unable to eat due to discomfort or lack of appetite. It’s important to spot the signs and take action to combat them.

If you’re stressed or dealing with unresolved emotional issues, take action to recognize and process accordingly. Don’t allow it to continue to fester and, most importantly, take back control over your eating habits. Your weight may never be 100% controllable, and rightfully so, but it goes without saying that a healthy body makes it easier to maintain our mental health.

**If you’ve suffered from an eating disorder in the past or if you’re in recovery, it’s important to speak to your GP as soon as possible to avoid complete relapse. I would argue and say this is more pressing than attempting an emotional detox. Instead, get professional help first and work on detoxing later.

There are also a variety of mental and behavioral signs that you’re in need of an emotional detox, including;
  • Easily distracted and unable to maintain focus.
  • Unable to retain information, accompanied by a poor short term memory.
  • Deep feelings of anxiety. Constantly worrying about everything no matter how small.
  • Frequently ignoring your gut feelings, or any difficult feelings in general.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope on a daily basis.
  • Substance abuse and addiction.
  • Self-doubt, so much so that it hinders you from moving forward.
  • Feeling stuck and out of balance.
  • Chronic self-comparison which often leaves you feeling disheartened.
  • Unable to trust your own instincts and easily swayed by others
  • Breakdown of or poor personal relationships.

How to emotionally detox.

There are so many ways we can go about an emotional detox and, like many things, there is no one size fits all approach. It’s about finding what works, and I mean really works, for you. Google ‘How to do an emotional detox’ and you’ll come up with a variety of ways to get started. I’m going to discuss some techniques that have worked for me in the past and I strongly encourage you to find what works and create your own tailored approach.

  • Do Yoga (and maybe try some meditation).
  • Write or outwardly express your feelings in some way.
  • Practice affirmations and gratitude.
  • Step away from the screen!
  • Stop running from your feelings! Welcome them like guests, chat with them for a bit and then send them gently on their way.
  • Mind your gut.
  • Be aware of your stress levels and work on daily self-care to help reduce these.

There are many other ways you can take part in an emotional detox and, really, it’s a personal preference. What works for me may not work for you. Take time to get to know yourself and what makes you feel better in times of high stress. And if something doesn’t work for you the first-time round, remember that a lot of self-care skills require continued use in order to reap the full benefits.

You may like: Managing Depression During Covid-19 and Beyond

Isolation is also an emotional killer.   It’s not always easy to ask for help or make ourselves vulnerable to others.    However, being stuck inside our own head means we are using the exact same thinking to help ourselves that got us where we are.    Find a trusted mentor who will never judge you and always has your best interest at heart.   The new perspective can help you look at things in a way that can change your life. 

About the author

Nyxie’s Nook is a blog focusing on mental health awareness, eating disorder recovery, wellness, and self-development. The blog was started in March 2019 in a bid to raise awareness for mental illness such as Anorexia Nervosa and Anxiety, two such disorders I suffer from. However, what started out as a hobby, quickly turned into something much, much more! 

Nyxie’s Nook has become a place to talk about all mental health issues and the struggles that come along with recovery. I cover a variety of subjects ranging from general wellness right up to more specific recovery-related content. I not only aim to cater to those in recovery but to people in all walks of life.”

You can find my blog at: 

www.nyxiesnook.com

Additionally you can view my social media profiles at the following: 

Kind regards

Chloe. 

Cherish your health and wellness and become the best you

Health & Wellness
health coach

Every one of us wants to be the best at something.   The best employee in the workspace, the best student in class, the smartest or funniest or best looking, just be the best at something.  These ambitions are great but sooner or later, someone comes along and is better, and that’s just life.  

 But what if we just tried to be the best “us”?  Why not try and be the best version of you that you can possibly be?  Why not focus your energy something that will serve you today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life?  Starting today, why not take your health and wellness to the next level? To quote  Michael Beckwith “ Energy flows where attention goes“.   Decide and act and you will begin to manifest becoming the best you.  

Healthy and balanced nutrition gives you that glow 

The word ‘’healthy” is often associated with eating nutritious and unprocessed foods but  too often people believe that means they are sentenced to a life of salads.  Let’s think that through-if you just eat salads not only are you lacking several vital nutrients, how long do you seriously think you can keep that up?  A week? If you’re really driven a month?  Nutritional guidelines determined by the British Nutrition Foundation encourage eating a variety of foods that allow your body to get all the required nutrients.  Even the sweet stuff is ok in moderation.   Not only will your body appreciate the variety, your brain will too.  Restricting yourself causes angst and unconsciously you’ll form negative beliefs and ultimately set yourself up for failure and misery.   

Eating foods that help your body thrive will result in having more energy. You can forget the feeling of being bloated or so lethargic you need to take a nap after eating.  Your skin will start glowing and the excess pounds will fall off without struggle, not to mention the shrinking waistline 😊 These benefits are great but the best part is you will feel better about yourself and that brings a new level of confidence and happiness in life.  

Being active makes you stronger 

Have you ever tried to tally all of the hours you spend scrolling on your phone or sitting at a desk  working on the computer?   Did you know that sitting is the new “smoking”?   Sitting for extended periods of time causes a range of aches and pains, but it also causes mood swings, adds to stress, and literally is as bad your health and wellbeing as smoking cigarettes.   

If you knew you would not fail and you would reach your goals, wouldn’t you want to increase your wellbeing from whatever level you are at now   Kudos to you if you are already active in sports or you hit the gym consistently several times every week.  If you’re not there yet, it’s ok.  Start small.  Even 15 minutes a day will get you on your way to feeling better.   

You can do something from the convenience of your own home by following any one of the thousands You Tube fitness videos.  If that doesn’t work for you try walking during your lunch break at work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the back side of the parking lot instead of trying to get a space next to the front door, anything to just get you moving more than you usually do.  You’ll notice you have muscles you didn’t know were there and that they’re getting stronger giving you a boost of confidence and motivation to keep going.  Then one day you realize that you’ve doubled your strength and stamina and you feel like a superhero.   THAT is a deeper sense of satisfaction than being the best at something outside of you.    

You are in control of your life 

Our “to do” lists are often so long we couldn’t do everything on it if there were 25 hours in a day.  From the moment we wake it can feel like life is controlling you and not the other way around, but it shouldn’t be like that. Living reactively is such a drag and not really living at all.  The truth is, you have a choice.   ‘’You have control over three thing in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take” – Jack Canfield.  

Find time for yourself, allow yourself to gain a deeper awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. Celebrate your strengths and view your weaknesses as game-like challenge to get better at. The better you understand yourself, you will realize the reason for every action you take and every reaction you  get.  Only then are you  in control of your life and able to take it to the direction that you truly strive for. 

Your confidence goes up 

Some people are born with natural confidence, many others learn it, while others seem to struggle. Everyone deals with low confidence once in a while but when lacking confidence is chronic, it’s time to look inward.  There are many factors that can affect confidence and health is a big one. Do you ever feel confident once you’re sick and lying in bed with tissues all over? Probably not. Ever notice that splurging on a treat feels brings happiness for a moment but when overdone makes you feel lousy and remorseful? How much better does it feel when you eat well and get some exercise?    

Having a healthy body, mind and social life allows you to feel happy  and automatically your confidence grows because you just feel good.  And that radiates.  People treat happy, healthy, confident people differently than those who don’t take care of themselves as well.  Healthy people are often more respected, have more success in their careers and relationships, and generally happier.  There are so many things in life you have not control over, but living a healthy lifestyle is a choice!   

Being a better you is better for everyone around you 

Relationships are a big part of our lives, be it our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors or even pets (my dog is practically my child).   To a large extent they are what defines our lives.  The key to having healthy, functional and fulfilling relationships is being the healthiest and most functional version of yourself.  Some people refer to this as Emotional Intelligence or EQ.  Learning how to manage our thoughts and feelings and understanding how they affect others is vital to having harmony with those we interact with.  When we learn to accept all of ourselves, we are then able to love others unconditionally.    

You might like: Signs You Need an Emotional Detox

Finishing words 

Cherishing yourself allows you to feel stronger, better, have more self control, gain confidence and love others more.   Being the best you isn’t always easy but you are always worth the fight.     

At Life Coach Library, we make finding a coach you love convenient and simple.  All you have to do is register and fill out a brief questionnaire.  We will match you with up to three coaches who are exactly what you are looking for and they will all give you a free consultation. The best part…our service is complete FREE.   Visit lifecoachlibrary.com to find out more about the impact working with a certified coach will have.   

Learn more about achieving health and wellness!

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