Tuesday, January 27, 2015

5 Natural Ways to Help Depression/Anxiety

Do you ever get depressed? Or feel anxious?  I do, and I've definitely been more depressed and anxious than usual lately.   

Thanks to Google, I'm able to self-diagnose myself with situational depression.  Don't you just love Google?

Situational depression seems to differ from clinical depression in that it is milder, situation-based and not due to a chemical imbalance. Which means that pharmaceuticals may not help.

Not to say that taking pharmaceutical drugs is bad.  If they help you..that's great.  But, if you want to try natural methods first, or for some other reasons pharmaceuticals aren't an option or don't work.. well, here are some things that help me!  I hope they help you too.

1. Exercise

This pretty much goes without saying, those endorphins are something else. 

2. Fresh Air

You get bonus benefits if you exercise outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine is SO helpful.  Even fresh air and clouds is helpful. I know this is SO HARD to do in the winter.  So, so hard. It really is worth the effort.  And definitely take advantage of those milder winter days.

3. Avoid Gluten

I know, I know...everyone says that gluten is the devil, blah, blah, blah.  However, gluten really DOES contribute to depression, even if you don't have celiac. Just try going off it for a few weeks and see if there is a difference.  I know for myself, I can eat some gluten and be fine, but if I start eating gluten on a daily basis, I start to get more depressed and anxious.   So for the most part, I stay away from it.  Not 100%, but I try to limit my gluten indulgences to once a week or less..and that seems to be enough to make a difference.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Lots of studies show the benefits of fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids. I believe that a minimum of 1000 mg/day is recommended to fight depression.  Of course, you always want to find a super high quality fish oil.  I really love PlusEPA*.  The high EPA seems to be especially helpful for depression and anxiety. It definitely helps me.  It is a bit pricey, but in my opinion, totally worth it. 

5. Keep a Routine and Get Out Regularly

This is by far, the most important thing you can do.  Fake it till you make it.  Or something like that.  Seriously...getting out and keeping a routine and seeing friends (or even just acquaintances) is SO helpful in fighting situational depression.  I know I feel a lot worse when things like bad weather and holidays conspire to keep me home more.  I really can't emphasize enough the importance of keeping a routine and getting OUT of the house and spending time with people you enjoy spending time with.  Even spending time with people you only tolerate can be helpful. Just seeing some new faces and having some new conversation is a wonderful thing.  Do it.

On a similar note...don't forget to take the time to do things that you love.  Whether that is blogging or writing or reading or knitting or sewing or studying Mandarin Chinese...taking time for your hobbies is so important. You may not feel like writing or blogging or knitting...but once you do it, you'll feel better.  I promise. But don't hold me to that...just try it for yourself.

What about you?  Do you have any natural tips to help with depression of anxiety.  Do share! Please.  

*affiliate link.  If you buy ANYTHING through this link, I make a few pennies. I love pennies. 

I'm going to go ahead and link up with Jenna at Call Her Happy for Five Favorites.  Since we can call Jenna...happy...she may not need these tips...but perhaps some of her readers might. post signature


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