People, like myself, who chronically experience states of mental depression in various lengths and intensities must have coping mechanisms in their mental wellness toolbox to return to a state of wellness.
Following is a list of a few of the big things in my toolbox that I have relied on to get me through depression. They seem simple, but they do help to keep healthier mental wellness.
1. Exercise- Regular physical activity boosts feel good hormones and also makes you feel more at ease and relaxed in your body. Complete something routinely physical for at least 20-45 minutes each day such as walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, hiking, or yoga.
2. Sleep- Having a regular sleep schedule is monumental in giving your brain regular time each day to clean itself and process your day while you rest. Going to bed around the same time each night with a relaxing shut down routine and getting up around the same time each morning with a positive wake up routine will do wonders for your mental health.
3. Water- Hydrate your brain and help your digestive system function optimally. Have a glass of water ready when you first rise in the morning to get your daily hydrating needs off to a good start.
4. Fresh vegetables and fruits- Eat them at each meal for the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that allow your body to function well, heal as needed, and digest food properly.
5. Friends/counselors- Make an agreement with a trusted friend that you can call on each other when you need to talk about depression. Also, seeing a mental health counselor who acts as a neutral sounding board can be helpful in supporting your mental wellness. Especially if you are contemplating suicide, build a tribe you can turn to when things get too dark. You don’t have to be in this alone.
6. Cannabis- This natural, non-toxic plant helps to bring the mind and body into a balanced state of homeostasis, lifting your mood and producing a feeling of wellbeing. Cannabis is my choice over pharmaceutical antidepressants because it is not addictive and does not require being on it for a while to see if it works or take months to wean off of it- it works right away and I can stop using it anytime without withdrawal.
7. Amino acids- Getting enough healthy protein is necessary for your body and brain to function well as a unit. What you feed yourself determines how well the bodily systems and brain will work. Eat hemp, chia, beans, seaweed, or animals to get adequate amounts.
8. Fatty acids- Healthy fat is imperative for a healthy brain. Take unrefined fats that provide plenty of Omega3 fatty acids such as walnuts, hemp, chia, moringa.
9. Sunshine and fresh air- Get some sunshine everyday and Vitamin D3 if that is not possible. Moving in fresh air and out in the elements will lift your spirits especially during long bouts of winter weather.
10. Pets/plants- Have a pet or a plant or a project to nurture, bring you joy, and remind you of being alive outside of your depressed head.
Wishing you sunshine and wellness this holiday season.