Thursday, 20 August 2015

Five steps to beating depression naturally

5 ways to beat depression naturally

I managed to combat my Post Natal Depression with five positive steps. A lot of it is common sense - and always so easy when you feel bright. By the way, I would also have added cutting out alcohol as being a great step, but I'll never be able to do that, so I didn't... Oh and I should most definitely say that if you are on medication for depression, do not stop it without consulting your GP first.

1) Writing is cathartic
Plagued by a troubled past? Writing it down will help you to get it out. Not necessarily for the world to see, but hey, each to their own. Of course you don't have to reveal the nitty gritty. I certainly haven't, but what I have written about my Life As It Is has helped me no end. You can read how here.

If you do begin to write and realise there is lots of shocking stuff to get out then you probably need other help - such as that of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - talking to a professional. Speak to your GP who can help you on the road to this.

2) Eat a balanced diet & drink more water
Sunshine is not something we get much of here in the UK so supplement your diet with Vitamin D in order to compensate. Lack of it can lead to depression. It is a good idea to also take omega 3 for healthy brain function - depression is great at leaving you unable to concentrate - oh and then cut out coffee - if you drink buckets of the stuff that is (something I'm wishing I'd done ages ago). Instead, drink more water to flush out the toxins from your system - it's great for eliminating eye bags too, although if you happen to have small children, you can of course forget that ;-) I also started eating breakfast everyday - something I would often skip. Lately, I've wanted to substitute my morning cup of tea for a glass of juice - albeit laden with fruit sugars, I believe juice is a great way of getting nutrients in to aid your immune system, something which takes a knock whenever you are at a low ebb. I'm about to embark on a juice regime courtesy of a Braun J500 Juicer, and will post on how that goes as far as feeling even healthier over the next six weeks.

3) Exercise
Often the first step to exercise can be just getting outside your front door. September is a great time of year for new beginnings, so why not try and set a goal for then? I'm starting Zumba as I love dancing, but it can be as simple as taking a walk to your local shop and buying chamomile teabags (if you like that sort of thing). At least while you are there you may bump into someone you know. Talking of which...

4) Socialise
Ha! Chicken and egg scenario this one, but when you are in a strong place, get to it - even if it is a brief encounter with a good mate. Don't talk about you! Although a phone call each week to a great friend, when you can talk about you, will be a fabulous help. Thanks for the phone calls Fi, you probably have no idea that you kept me sane!

5) Sleep
Last thing at night when you finally stop, can often be the time you begin to brood over the negative. Hardly beneficial to a good night's sleep! Sleeping enough hours is essential to wellbeing and sleep will come easier once steps 1-4 are in place. Meanwhile try lavender oil drops on your pillow, a warm bath, and all the other tried and tested go to sleep remedies as listed on the National Sleep Foundation website here. Again, if you have small children, sleeping properly is often easier said than done.

So there you have it. The steps to combating my Post Natal Depression. I should note how each of these had a positive effect on my cycle too, which in turn balanced hormones. (If you are low due to hormonal changes, having had a baby/miscarriage/suffered secondary infertility/drugs for fertility this is essential to wellbeing). A great natural remedy for this was also recommended to me; something called Agnus Castus, although be careful as it won't suit everybody. You can read more about Agnus Castus here.

I know it has helped tremendously that the GraceFaith girls have gotten over their reflux issues and are growing up in general. I want to add that there is no way you can rush the healing process - you really need to allow yourself time, and to be kind to yourself. Keep in mind that CBT counselling works well and is of great benefit to many that need to talk through deeper issues.

Occasionally on the GraceFaith blog LIFE AS IT IS, I refer to health matters and give advice. I do not practise as a medical professional, and am no expert. I am however, a trained Nursery Nurse. I have a Diploma in Child Psychology, and a Media Writing/Journalism degree. I am also, first and foremost, a mum. A mum who has lived a life prior to having children. Thank goodness! Do take some of what I say, with a big pinch of salt. Or, consider what I say, and take note of it... Whichever, please don't think that because something may have helped me or my little ones, it may automatically help you and your little ones too. It may not!

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