Depression is an umbrella term for a wide range of conditions that fall beneath it. The demands of our daily personal and professional life, as well as a plethora of environmental factors that we cannot control, inevitably affect our physical and mental states. Anxiety is natural in certain circumstances, but when it becomes chronic, it leads to stress and prolonged stress leads to Depression. Apart from the specific personal events and factors that cause or trigger depression, of course.(We have discussed all aspects of depression along with treatments, in a comprehensive blog published recently on our website.)
Here, we are recommending some simple remedies and lifestyle changes that you can undertake to ease the symptoms of Depression yourself.
DIET- what we consume impacts our mental health too. Nutrient deficiencies affect the functioning of our brain negatively. Please include Leafy Green vegetables like: Spinach, Kale, Fenugreek leaves (Methi), Mustard leaves (Sarsonsaag), Rai, Bathua, Soya greens, Moringa leaves. They contain minerals like Iron, Calcium, vitamins A,C,E,K and Folate. Fiber and antioxidants. Chlorophyll and Phytochemicals, which clean our insides and destroy bacteria, fungi etc. and prevent inflammation of the brain. Eat pre-biotic vegetables like Garlic, Onions, Leeks and pro-biotic foods like Curd, Paneer and other fermented food items for Gut health. Nuts and Seeds contain Selenium-uplifts your mood. If non-vegetarian, have Fish for Omega-3 fatty acids- enhances serotonin level. Your menu should include whole Grains, whole Fruits and all other Seasonal vegetables too.
Have daily supplements of stress and anxiety reducing, calming and immunity boosting herbs like Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Guduchi.
LAVENDER OIL- relieves anxiety and a recent study has revealed that it helps lower systolic pressure, linked to stress. Massage a few drops of Essential Lavender Oil on your temples,or on your pillow, or even add some drops to your bath water. Very calming.
EPSOM SALT BATH- add some Epsom salts to warm bath water – if you have a tub, add half cup of the salts and relax. Magnesium Sulphate present in the salts has mood altering properties and regulates and uplifts your mood.
CHAMOMILE TEA- contains Luteolin and Apigenin-chemicals which help in relaxing your mind. Studies have shown that levels of anxiety decline considerably after drinking Chamomile tea-have 3 cups daily.
MASSAGE- helps reduce both stress and anxiety. Physical and emotional well-being are closely linked and even a simple massage at home can relax the body-mind. But please use herbal oils like Chandan oil, Brahmi oil or Narayana oil for best results. Positive physiological and psychological changes occur after a massage.
SUNLIGHT- natural sunlight is not only the main source of vitamin D, but it can uplift your mood too! Vitamin D boosts the feel-good hormones in your body which help decrease symptoms of depression. Which is why outdoor activity in natural sunlight is good for all round health. Spend at least 30 minutes for a calm mind and relaxed body.
SLEEP- disrupted sleep cycles is a major contributing factor in depression. Steps you can take to get essential restful sleep: eat a light dinner, at least a couple of hours before bedtime to give it time to digest. Avoid arguments at bedtime. Switch-off all gadgets like Computer, Mobile Phone, TV, at least an hour before bedtime, which should be by 10pm. Listen to relaxing, soothing music. Do some deep-breathing and Meditate. Drink a warm glass of Turmeric milk or Saffron-honey milk at bedtime. Sprinkle a few essential Lavender oil drops on your pillow.
EXPRESS YOURSELF- do not bottle-up emotions--laugh, cry, even scream in the privacy of your home. Let it all out. Talk, communicate your feelings to a trusted family member, friend, colleague. Identify and acknowledge causes and triggers.Participate in social activities, even if you don’t feel inclined initially.Try something new! Do what makes you feel better – dancing, singing, painting, cooking—all of which is cathartic and relaxing. Watch funny Movies and Comedy shows. Play outdoor games like Tennis, Badminton. Swim. Go for walks regularly-long Nature Walks on weekends if possible too.
YOGA- last but not the least, please practice Yoga in all its aspects. Take the guidance of an expert initially and then you can do it by yourself at home daily. Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. Centre and align your Mind, Body and Spirit for immense benefits.
We sincerely hope the tips given above shall help you positively. But it is essential to consult a Medical professional if symptoms persist and get progressively worse. In which case, these guidelines would work in tandem with the doctor’s prescriptions and therapies.
EMOHA ELDER CARE is dedicated to the holistic well-being of our community. Please do contact us for any kind of guidance and help. For us, it’s always #ELDERSFIRST.