Eat yourself happy – food that improves depression symptoms

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Say yay to:

  • foods high in omega 3 fatty acids such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, walnuts
  • turkey – contains high levels of the amino acid tryptophan
  • green tea – it is also treat for relieving stress and anxiety due to theanine which lowers tension (rather than coffee which can cause higher anxiety levels)
  • foods that provide vitamin D such as dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt) and fortified wholegrain cereals
  • B vitamin rich foods which can be found in shellfish, beef liver, red meat, soy products, dark leafy vegtables e.g. spinach, bananas, avacados and wholegrain products
  • a couple of squares of high quality chocolate such as Green and Blacks Organic 70% Dark Chocolate to give you a mood boost

Say nae to:

  • most processed foods – white bread, white pasta, biscuits, cakes
  • sugary drinks – if you’ve got a notion for sugar why not trying making your own fresh fruit, vegatable and seeds smoothie to cut cravings and give you an antioxident boost
  • to be honest, just added sugar in general
  • artificial sweetners such as aspartame
  • too much alcohol
  • fast food

 

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My favourite essential oils

I have been a fan of using essential oils for a number of complaints I endure; such as trouble falling asleep or relaxing, stress and anxiety or when I just need a bit of mental clarity and alertness. The range I normally buy is the miaroma which you can obtain from Holland and Barrett (UK). I will list some of my favs and what makes them so useful.

Bergamot

Product of the bergamot orange fruit i.e. very strong and citrusy; bergamot essential oil is ideal for treating the symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety and also great for certain skin complaints. It is one of my favourite scents and very uplifting; giving me a happy little boost when I’m feeling low, worried and experiencing negative thoughts. Similar? Also try orange.

Peppermint

Feeling sluggish, tired, have no focus or concentration? Have a whiff of peppermint! Its great for promoting mental alterness and energy. Add a few drops to a tissue and inhale deeply and you will notice the effects almost immediately. I tend to use this before I start work, or during when my energy drains, and before I start a workout. It’s also good when you have a cold or blocked nose. I also love peppermint tea made with fresh mint leaves to relieve digestive issues. Similar? I would also recommend rosemary.

Lavender

One of the most popular oils for promoting sleep, relaxation, stress relief including stress induced headaches. I always make sure I have this around. I love using this in a relaxing bath to ease my worries and induce sleep and it is really useful to sprinkle a few drops on your pillow before bed. Also has anti-inflammatory properties, I tend to use a few drops of lavender to my face washes to reduce acne breakouts and blemishes. Tea tree oil and basil oil is also highly recommended for skin complaints.

Lime

I absolutely love the scent of lime and for good reason, being that it is highly stimulating and uplifts the mood when your feeling a bit emotional. It is also great for the immune system when your feeling run down as well as being an all round cleanser for both your body and your home. Also try out ginger oil as a similar alternative.

Using carrier oils

Please be aware that if you are planning on using essential oils on the skin, never apply it undilluted as this can cause burning or irritation. You should add essential oils to a carrier oil; which is normally a vegatable oil such as sweet amond, olive oil, grapeseed oil or coconut oil – I use the Vita coco make as shown below. Try to go for cold pressed organic oils when possible.

Vita Coco
Vita Coco Coconut Oil

Any questions please add to the comments 🙂

My struggle with anxiety

I just returned back to my job today after taking almost three weeks off as per GP recommendation. It turns out anxiety had taken a chock hold on my job and well my everyday life really. Constantly battling with my flight or fight instincts on full throttle, trying to listen and focus on customer queries when my mind was completely in tatters trying to analyse absolute every minute detail without success. It’s like my were just synapses firing everywhere without anything actually working in motion.  Mental and pyshical exhaustion makes everything sluggish and painful. Embarrassment and paranoia being a daily pattern.

Oh and the panic! Alarm bells going off at absolute everything. What did they just say? I don’t know what they mean? I don’t know what to ask? Why is everything coming out in riddles? Does my email response make sense? Does anything make sense? Do I make sense? What is wrong with my head?

Of course my mind wouldn’t switch off at night either, the same mental chatter and clatter feeling never ending. The hopelessness and failure that is me forever in the spotlight of my mind.

Luckily I had a GP who understood, and as well as having the well deserved time off I needed I am also on anti anxiety med’s and working through some CBT online. My employer have also been really supportive, despite feeling like I was going to be too overwelmed to return, I’ve now on reduced duties and hours to aid improvement.

Definately thought opening up to others about it would of been so much harder. Sometimes  you think bottling up and ‘just getting on with it’ will take your mind off anxiety and worry, because you think everyone else has problems why care about mine??! But trust me from having experienced anxiety on and off for many years, it only makes life more difficult if you don’t take that first step to improvement. Will it be easy? Hell no, I was almost ready to run out of work as soon as I arrived today. But maybe I should slow down on the wanting to run away for  a while and try taking some baby steps instead…