Tag Archives: depression

Top Self-Care Strategies For Your Mental Health

Top Self-Care Strategies For Your Mental Health

With so many Americans suffering each year from one mental illness or another (around 20% of all men, women, and children), it’s important to remember to care for your mind, body, and soul. In addition to any professional help that you may require for your mental illness, such as medication or therapy, living healthily is an important part of managing your illness. Your diet, lifestyle, recreational activities, friends, and routine can all have a major impact on how you feel, physically and emotionally, and so can also have a huge impact on your treatment plan. Here is a short list of self-care strategies, that can help you to ensure that your lifestyle has no negative impact on your mental health or treatment plan.

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  1. Express Yourself

Whether it be through drawings, diary entries, or dance sequences, it is always beneficial to express your feelings, and not bottle things up. If you find it hard to explain how you feel in words, you could show your drawings and paintings to your therapist, as a form of art therapy.

Expressing yourself artistically is also a great way to keep your mind and body active, and not dwelling on negative feelings and emotions.

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  1. Get Active

As above, being active is a great way to escape from negative feelings as you generally will focus on the physical activity you’re partaking in, rather than anything else. It’s also proven to reduce stress, as it pumps your body full of endorphins, which trigger a positive response in the body. Scientists have proved that endorphins are very useful at elevating your overall mood, decreasing levels of tension, and improving your self-esteem. In fact, a simple five-minute aerobic session has been shown to stimulate anti-anxiety effects

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  1. Be Social

Talking through your feelings with someone you can trust may be a great help in managing your mental illness. Regardless of whether the person is a family member, a friend, or a therapist, just having someone listen to what it is you have to say, and showing that they care about you and your feeling can really heighten your self-esteem. They may have also encountered similar problems to you, or have had similar feelings to you and so may be able to provide advice, as well as emotional support.

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  1. Learn About Your Illness

Learning as much about your mental illness as possible may help you to feel more in control of it, which will reduce your levels of stress and anxiety. Having a read of some blog posts, websites, or even taking a psychology degree online will all provide you will masses of information, all of which could help you better manage your illness. They could provide you will information on different types of treatments, as well as information that you could give to your friends and family so that you know that they too will always know what to expect.

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  1. Eat Healthily

Evidence has indicated that the foods you eat have a big impact on the development and management of certain mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Those who have some level of mental health issue report eating fewer healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and more unhealthy foods, such as chocolate and chips, whereas over two-thirds of mentally healthy people report that they eat much more healthily. Stimulants such as alcohol and coffee, as well as many drugs, also have links to the development of certain mental illnesses. This shows that a healthy meal plan is an incredibly important factor in managing many different mental illnesses.

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  1. Have A Routine

For mental illnesses such as anxiety, having a routine or a plan for the day can help to reduce stress, as you always know where you have to be and what you have to do next. Just be careful not to make the routine too strict; otherwise, you may get panicky if you have to deviate from the plan for any reason.

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  1. Get Plenty Of Sleep

Getting too much or too little sleep can result in a range of negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, and feeling depressed, and you will obviously feel very tired, even with too much sleep, which can make it difficult to cope with everyday life. You may also end up feeling lonely and isolated, as your tiredness may make you feel like you don’t want to be sociable. In extremely serious cases, if you already have a psychotic disorder, tiredness may even trigger a psychotic episode. For someone suffering from a mental illness, it is very easy to under or over sleep, which isn’t very good, when all of these negative repercussions come with it, and so getting into a regular sleeping pattern would be incredibly beneficial.

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  1. Know When To See A Professional

Managing your own illness through self-care strategies can provide many people living with mental illness a sense of control over their life and their illness, which in itself can help lower levels of stress and anxiety, raise your levels of self-esteem, and reduce the symptoms of your mental illness. However, this isn’t always the case, sometimes things can go out of your control, and sometimes you may need the help of a professional, whether that be a therapist, a psychologist, or a doctor. If you start to feel as though things are getting out of your control or that you can’t cope with everyday life, it is always best to contact a professional, just to be on the safe side.

Hopefully, these self-care strategies will provide you a sense of control over your life and your mental illness. However, you must always remember that you can’t always do everything on your own. Sometimes the best strategy for self-care is knowing when you can’t completely care for yourself on your own anymore, and when that is the case there is always someone that you can contact, whether it be family, a friend, or a healthcare professional, that will be more than happy to help you.

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Strike a Pose: How Yoga May Combat Depression

Strike a Pose: How Yoga May Combat Depression

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Depression may strike us at any given time, and women are twice as likely as men to suffer from it. Scientists are psychologists provide us with a whole platter of different reasons to this gloomy monster; while some of them point out genetic predisposition and hormonal imbalances to be the source, others point to psychological and sociocultural factors.

Regardless of its source, depression is hard to fight – and especially when you do it on your own. Exercise has proven to work wonders on our mind, though, and certain types seem to be more effective than others.

Why Yoga?

This ancient activity is a sequence of poses and is supposed to clear the mind to prepare it for meditation. Today, we focus more on the physical benefits of practicing – as well as celebrating the added benefits of a calmer and steadier mind. We’re looking at it from the other way around, in other words, where ancient yogis would see added strength and flexibility as a nice little bonus to a quiet and relaxed mind.

By combining these two benefits, the strength a yoga practice can give your body as well as the calm and meditative state we tend to practice in, you achieve a holistic view of your health where the mind, as well as the body, is in focus.

This is important to feel more connected, in general, and to be able to deal with chronic and daily stress.

Health is about more than activity and a peaceful mind, although this certainly takes you a long way. Make sure you eat a variety of food, mostly plants, and bathe your cells in quantities of water every day. Read up on a few AlgaeCal reviews if you’re an aging woman, as we all are, and keep up with the cardio to keep your heart healthy.

To stay strong and vigorous, you need to tackle the problems that are specific to your health; consider supplements if you’re not eating enough nutrients, and always consult with your doctor before taking anything new.

The best poses to combat depression

If you’re convinced, it’s time to roll out your mat and enjoy a deep and energizing breath. Some of the yoga poses are known for its abilities to increase your mindfulness and turn you inwards rather than outwards to bring you closer to yourself. Inversions are usually the best mind-boosting poses you can choose, such as the forward fold and head-to-knee forward bend.

Remember that any forward bend should be equaled out with a back bend, such as the cobra and bridge. If you’re not that advanced in yoga yet, try to modify your bridge by keeping it in a table-top style rather than a full bridge.

Other complicated inversions, such as the headstand and shoulderstand are also known for their healing effects – but again, don’t attempt these without having a yoga teacher around.

Holding these for around eight breaths or up to two minutes is good for both your mind and your body. Breathe slowly through your nose and keep the exhalations as long as your inhalations.

It might not make you instantly healthy, but keep it up and you’ll reap the benefits of your practice with a happy mind that’s ready to tackle the challenges of life

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Overcome Your Sticking Bad Habits For The Happiest Life You Can Live

Overcome Your Sticking Bad Habits For The Happiest Life You Can Live

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Life is beautiful, and has plenty to offer. However, sometimes, it can be darn difficult to make it through. These tests of character strengthen our resolve, and make us into better people. However, they’re not always enjoyable to make it through. Over time, we might pick up multiple bad habits that make us less appreciate and open to life, and instead are used as a crutch that makes us limited in our competence and willingness to step outside our comfort zone.

Everyone has flaws, and that is the one rule you can absolutely count on. There is no such thing as the perfect individual. Everyone has parts of themselves that they dislike. Healthy people attempt to mitigate these flaws as best as possible and it’s an ongoing, sometimes difficult process. Unhealthy people cover these issues up and this can present itself in many difficult alternate ways, such as snapping at a family member with a biting comment, or at its most difficult, experiencing a nervous breakdown in a stressful situation.

Here are some bad habits you might have accumulated, and how to get over them with the best effectiveness, and most success you can muster.

Alcohol Intake

Drinking is a fun and social activity enjoyed by many people at the weekends or with the odd meal. It can be used as an entertaining social lubricant or celebratory crutch to make those special events even more sociable. However, thanks to its widely accessible nature, and relatively cheap accessibility, drinking is cheaper than ever. It’s also easier to abuse it, and abuse it without paying much mind to doing so.

A few beers every weekend could develop into a few beers and whiskies every few day, until you begin the slow decline into alcoholism. The harmful effect this will have on your body is hard to understate. Alcoholism is one of the most gripping and deadly scourges of our modern life, and it has real, physical changes. Alcohol withdrawal is a nasty process, akin to withdrawing from drugs. Unfortunately, thanks to the ‘blur’ that alcohol places on your life, important issues such as losing relationships or a job thanks to your drinking will only be solved in your state with more drinking, and the horrific cycle continues.

If this is you, or you see a friend or family member going through this process, you should immediately organize an alcoholism rehabilitation process. Of course, if you’re being affected by this malady, it’s likely that you’re good at deceiving yourself against it. Everyone comes to a fork in the road during their lifetime though, so embedding yourself in this process can serve as necessary escapism towards a life currently fraught with substance difficulty.

Pornography Usage

Pornography usage is more commonly utilized in the modern world than you think. The world’s leading pornography usage gets more daily views that Twitter, Youtube & Reddit combined. Many feel like this is a net positive, as expressing sexuality is much easier in the modern day. However, it’s not all a bed of roses. Extensive pornography usage can actually hamper the daily functioning of the brain because we are not evolved as humans to experience such dopamine rushes during extensive pornography viewing sessions. It can lead to depressive-like and fatigue-reminiscent tendencies, which can be read about here.

Limiting or cutting out your pornography usage is not a question of your approval about the ethics of the industry, as that is an individual problem. However, giving your brain a break might just help you see clearer in daily life.

Follow these tips for the best and most-proactive ways to sorting yourself out. Nothing could be more important.

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The Psychological Impact of Aging on Couples

The Psychological Impact of Aging on Couples

Aging is an inevitability of life and one that few people look forward to. It is also a significant concern, particularly for couples. Growing old is unpredictable, with people deteriorating at different rates, and requiring other forms of care. For those who are becoming older and are no longer capable of being 100% independent, assisted living facilities (ALFs) are available. Here, they can maintain their independence to a degree, while having medical and caring support on site available at the same time.

 

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The Psychological Impact of Aging

 

Aging is a life transition, and all the big life changes come with significant psychological issues. When people age, they often start to experience a fear of the future. They worry about how long they have left, whether their memory will deteriorate, whether they can continue to have an active social life and play a role in the lives of their children and grandchildren. Additionally, as people age, they are more likely to experience grief as others around them start to pass away. It is also more common for them to experience ageism and discrimination, making them feel as if they are losing their independence.

 

These are all very significant issues that must be addressed properly. This is also because the psychological effects of aging have a direct impact on physical health as well. In fact, this is something specifically discussed by the American Psychological Association, who have released some statistics to demonstrate the link between psychological and physical well-being in the elderly. Specifically, they found that:

 

  • 50% to 70% of all visits to primary care physicians by the elderly are about stress, depression, or anxiety.
  • Older people who have significant or chronic health conditions are more likely to also suffer from depression. Furthermore, untreated mental health conditions often lead to poorer outcomes in physical health conditions, as people with conditions like depression tend to have a weaker immune system as well.
  • Depression is one of the leading causes of disability according to the World Health Organization.
  • Aging individuals who have their mental health needs addressed require less other forms of medical care as well.

 

The Psychological Impact of Moving into Assisted Living

 

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Assisted living has been shown to be very effective, offering a viable alternative to hospitalization or nursing homes. At the same time, the psychological impact of making this move is undeniable and must be understood. Some of the key stressors include:

 

  • Moving stress, caused by having to pack belongings and getting everything done on time.
  • A sense of loss and grief, caused by having to say goodbye to something for a final time, knowing that they will never return.
  • Fear of the unknown, having to move to an unfamiliar place.

 

Put together, these factors can cause “relocation stress”, which can lead to depression, difficulty sleeping, and other health problems. While all of this is properly understood, and a lot of help is out there for young people helping their mother and father into assisted living, as well as for seniors to help them transition, a key factor that is often not addressed is what needs to happen if the move relates to a couple.

 

It is undeniable that moving into an ALF has tremendous benefits for the person who needs it. In fact, various studies, including one posted in The Journals of Gerontology, have demonstrated that those in these facilities have an increased quality of life, better health, and more social cohesion and engagement. However, what happens when one person requires assisted living, but the other person does not?

 

What to Look for in a Facility that Caters to Couples

 

As you can see from the above, it is hard to age, and even harder to admit that more help is needed. This applies in particular to couples, where one person may have significant health needs, whereas the other does not. There are two added difficulties in this. Firstly, it means one person has to move when they are not ready for it yet and, secondly, that they often feel they have failed in properly looking after their partner. If this is happening to your parents, do try to reassure them that, in fact, making the decision to move to an ALF is the best that they can do to look after each other. Do also reassure them about the fact that there are plenty of facilities available that cater specifically to couples.

 

Finding Assisted Living Facilities

 

If you are at the point that your parents agree that they should move to an ALF, even if it is because only one of them needs more intensive care, there are five essential tips that you should follow to make this huge transition as comfortable as possible:

 

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  1. Make sure you spend lots of time researching the options that are available to them.

 

If you have elderly parents, and you feel that it is time to find assisted living for them, then it is important that you do so in an inclusive, respectful manner that is mindful of the psychological issues discussed above. Spend time together to look in your area for what is available, giving your parents a choice. It is important that they understand that you are not aiming to take away their independence, nor that you feel they have become a burden on you. Rather, finding assisted living is an opportunity for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life. Where they want to do this is a decision that they should be 100% involved in.

 

  1. Work on your finances.

 

Moving home is stressful, whether it is the first time you leave home as a young person, or whether you are elderly. The last thing you need at that point is to have increased levels of stress because of finances. It is unlikely that Medicare will cover the full cost of an ALF, although they may provide coverage for some of the care that your parents receive there. If you parents have other health insurance, you will need to look into the coverage they offer as well.

 

  1. Talk about the available space.

 

When in assisted living, your parents will have a space of their own. What that space looks like varies, although it is common to have a private bathroom, bedroom, and living area. Although they will have all this space, it is unlikely that it will be as big as their current home. This means that some difficult decisions will have to be made regarding which pieces of furniture can come, and which have to be said goodbye to.

 

  1. Consider your parents’ social needs.

 

One key factor of importance when helping to find an ALF is that your parents will have high social engagement. In fact, the Journal of Applied Gerontology has written a report on how proper social engagement increases overall mental well-being in the elderly, which in turn improves physical well-being as well. The study focused specifically on activity theory, looking at its impact on depressive symptoms and on life satisfaction. What the study showed was that friendliness of fellow residents and of the staff in the facility was crucial to improving life satisfaction. It also showed that simple things, such as having enjoyable mealtimes, helped to lower the depressive symptoms. What this suggests is that assisted living facilities in which residents are encouraged to interact with one another are likely to be the better ones. This is certainly something that you can discuss with your parents while helping them look for a facility.

 

  1. Prepare yourself for future health needs.

 

Unfortunately, as people age, their health deteriorates, and you must prepare yourself for this. If only one parent required assisted living care, then you have to ready yourself for them needing more intensive care later on in life. The parent that perhaps did not yet need this type of care will get to a point where their health starts to be affected as well. It is best to discuss this to a degree with your parents, concerning building an understanding what their wishes are. But other than that, this is something you will have to prepare yourself for in person.

 

Aging is one of the greatest tragedies of life. It is a tough time, one in which people start to understand that they are nearing the end. They often feel like they have become a burden on others and this has a significant impact on their overall mental health and well-being. You, as their child, can help mitigate that to some degree by encouraging your parents to agree to move into an ALF, even if only one of the two actually needs it. Show your parents that there is no shame in asking for help but rather that it is a sign of strength. It means that they want to continue to enjoy their life, but in a way in which they receive support, safe, and comfortable. Last but not least, remember to visit them often, you are part of their social lifeline!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram