How many balls do you have in the air right now? Work, family commitments, bills… we juggle so much every single day it’s no wonder depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide with more than 300 million people suffering globally. So how can we cope? Click here for some practical tools to keep you sane in this crazy world…
1. Drink More Water
Dehydration is linked to depression and other mood disorders because 85% of the brain tissue is water. But how much is enough? It all depends on your weight, outside temperature and how much you exercise. The best way to tell if you’re drinking enough is the color of your urine, if it’s a pale yellow you are adequately hydrated but if it’s dark yellow start pounding the H20. Water quality is also an important factor, get yourself a good filter so your water source is clean and pure.
It’s pretty simple, eat less sugar and processed foods and eat more fruit and vegetables. When selecting food at the supermarket ask yourself, would my great-grandmother have eaten this? The more you can steer clear of anything packaged and choose foods in there whole, pure state the better off you will be. The recommended daily intake of veggies if 5 for women and 6 for men and 2 serves of fruit. If you’re a meat eater try limiting red meat to once per week and throwing in a vegetarian meal or two per week, your digestion will thank you!
Exercise releases feel-good chemicals into the brain and let’s face it who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? In order to be in peak condition, you need to do vigorous exercise 3 times per week and move your body every single day. Make it fun, hike up a mountain, go surfing, join a team sport, whatever floats your boat. The secret is to change your mindset and understand that you’re not on a health kick, exercising is a lifelong commitment. Stay tuned for my new Yoga/HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) online program coming soon for those of you who love yoga but want to see more physical results.
4. Schedule Fun
Create a weekly routine for yourself so you know when you’re exercising, having downtime, working and most importantly having fun! The trick is to identify what it is that puts you in a good mood and do it at least once a week. Maybe it’s getting time to yourself to read a book and relax or it could be meeting up with friends and having a chat.
5. Goal Setting
Goal setting is really important to give your day purpose. Why am I doing this? Where am I going? I recommend setting goals in 3 areas of your life, fitness, work and personal. An example of these would be to sign yourself up for that marathon next year, go for the promotion at work and save for your dream holiday.
6. Give Back
Nothing is more fulfilling than making a positive impact on the world around you. It is very easy to get caught up in our own dramas and forget that we are not alone. Every single person has their own battles and maybe there’s something you can do to help. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal, it’s enough to simply reach out and ask someone, “how are you really?”
7. Rethink Coffee
Most people have a love affair with coffee but what if not drinking it could massively improve your life? Studies have shown that there is a direct link between coffee and anxiety disorders and possibly depression. I would recommend doing an experiment over a few weeks to see for yourself, begin by tapering off your servings (going cold turkey can be a big downer) until you are having no coffee at all for at least 2 weeks. Take note of your mood and anxiety levels over this time and decide if you and coffee will remain friends. If you do reintroduce it there are a few rules of thumb to keep your relationship with coffee a healthy one; 1) Emit the sugar (the combination of coffee and sugar is associated with depression) (2) Have only one per day (3) Never first thing in the morning before food (it fires up your adrenals and puts you into fight or flight (4) Not too late in the afternoon (disturbed sleep can cause mood disorders). Naturopaths recommend people with any psychological disorder whatsoever including depression and anxiety should avoid caffeine completely.
It’s about as common as smashed avo on sourdough these days and for good reason. Meditation has been around for thousands of years but has recently hit the mainstream after celebrities such as Oprah and Richard Branson began singing it’s praises. Meditation is even used to give relief to war veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Check out my new series coming soon to FMTV called ‘Quick Everyday Meditations’.
What’s your recurring worrying thought? If it’s ‘I don’t have enough money’, immediately say to yourself ‘I am abundantly wealthy’ whether you believe it or not. Maybe you don’t think you’re good enough or worthy of happiness, if this is the case your affirmation could be ‘I am enough and I deserve to be happy”. Come up with something that resonates with you and go into combat with your worries. After all they are just thoughts and you have the power over your mind not the other way around.
10. Be Happy For The Joneses
Are you always looking at what other people have and wish your life could look more like theirs? Better car, better house, more holidays, dream job? Nobody knows what really goes on behind closed doors so don’t presume everything is as it seems. No good can come of trying to keep up with the Joneses so practice gratitude for everything you are blessed with and if someone seems to be succeeding around you try being happy for them.