Beating depression. I provide specialist counselling to children, families and adults who are struggling with depression. Why not take a few minutes to read my blog. You may well find some useful, simple, workable interventions that might provide you with the help and answers you need today because with winter nearly over (famous last words!), there’s no better time to safeguard our mental health or the mental health of somebody we care about.
So, if you are feeling depressed about the shadows and daunted by the cold, here are five easy things you can do to stay happy and beat the winter blues using mindfulness:
- Learn how to relax-its’s easy if you try!
Find a quiet space with no possibility of you being interrupted and allow your mind to clear. Breath deeply and imagine the air you inhale running round your body, capturing the stress that you feel in your body. Hold your breath as you gather that stress in your lungs, then after a count of three exhale this stress as you breath out.
We can’t stop our thinking but we do have a choice as to what we do with our thoughts. So, as you continue to breath allow your thoughts to pass through your consciousness without focusing on them, just to let them pass you by, observing them from a safe place.
Still calmly breathing in and out, begin to focus on each muscle group. Your legs, your arms, your back, one at a time, tensing and then relaxing your muscles, breathing out the tension as you breathe out and relax.
After a time you will be so relaxed that all you will be aware of is your breathing. The stress and pressure of life will be left outside your body and your mind is a haven and a place free of obligation.
Keep breathing and relaxing some more and allow the observer inside you to get in touch with your body in order to identify those parts of you that need healing.
A good diet can definitely help improve your mood, reduce mood swings and enable your body to heal quicker
- Remember, sugar and caffeine are stimulants and more than three cups of strong coffee a day can make anxiety worse and focussing harder.
- Try and eat balanced meals at set times to help your body and mind get used to a healthy patterns and routines that are based around self-respect and self-regard.
- A healthy diet can give you the strength and fuel you need to successfully handle complex situations.
- A body fed with the right nutrients can heal and recover quicker than a body that has been fed fast food.
- Take exercise
When we exercise we release a mixture of proteins, sugars hormones that benefit us in a number of natural and measurable ways.
If you would like to discover what exercise is right for you based on your age, weight and life style why not get in contact with some local sports centres and gyms and see what sports they have to offer you, based on your age and level of fitness.
- Keep a journal
Writing about your day is a good way of gaining perspective on your life. Noting what you think and how you feel when difficult incidents happen and noting the meaning you take away from these situations will help you observe the way you think. How you think can effect what you do so thinking about your thinking might help you review your behaviour. Spotting unhelpful patterns in your thinking and behaviour that do you no favours is a powerful step forward on the road to recovery and well-being.
Lastly, in your journal why not remind yourself about things you are grateful for. Each day you could identify three things that make you smile.
- Actively problem solve
When problems seem insurmountable we can quite naturally become anxious and intimidated by them.
We can do any number of things to deal with these matters. We can even ignoring them or incorporate them into our daily lives, thereby limiting our life’s options.
But, if you want to change things you have to identify the problems standing in your way. Look at all possible solutions and the consequences for adopting each one. Think with compassion and understanding, without judgement but with reason and the right path will reveal itself to you.
And finally, remember to reward yourself. Thinking and doing, planning and exercise are all tiring activities. Whether you find a place of peace or not, trying to make some positive changes is tiring. What kind of life would it be without rest and recognition that you have done your best.
If you have found this blog useful and you would like to find more ways of beating depression, please get in touch with me. I would be pleased to hear from you.