By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC
Have you ever noticed how a change in the weather can make you feel? Here in Atlanta, we’ve been blessed with several beautiful, sunny days. But the chill in the air reminds us that the cold, misty, gray days are coming. Can you remember last winter – feeling down in the dumps or lacking for motivation? Or maybe, you’ve been dealing with situations that are getting too hard to handle. Before this becomes a problem, let’s think of strategies to beat depression.
Through the month of November, we’ve been talking about things that affect our brain and mental health. It’s normal to have a hard day, or an occasional hard week. If something really is out of control and messing with your life, you may even have a hard couple months. But at some point, you can’t let this continue. The negative feelings of anxiety, heartache, loneliness and overwhelm will eventually take a toll on your health. Let’s take a closer look at how your body may be responding…
Physiology of Depression
Understanding how to best overcome depression can be difficult, because of the multitude of reasons that could be bringing you down. People feeling depressed describe varying degrees of emotional symptoms, or loss of interest in things they used to enjoy. Usually, mild depression is a temporary adaptation to feelings about certain life events; but if turned around in time, doesn’t create lasting physical symptoms.
In our office, we focus on supporting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (i.e. your hormones), lessening the harmful impacts of sugar and stress, and strengthening immune function, where possible. We definitely see benefits in replenishing the body’s B vitamins and essential fatty acids – so important for healthy mood! With a cascade of disrupted hormones, we see that depression can manifest as symptoms like:
- gastrointestinal complaints,
- immune insufficiency,
- hormonal imbalance,
- lack of appetite,
- reduced ability to make decisions, or
- frequent crying.
If you’ve been feeling blue, don’t let the weather or your circumstances get you down. Your mental health is worth more than that. You owe it to yourself to try out some new solutions! Today we have some tips for you – our Top 5 ways to keep your chin up and find your happiness again!
Top 5 Tips to Beat Depression!
Some days you may not feel like it, but when it comes to supporting your mood, there’s nothing more important than getting your body moving. Don’t listen to that inner voice making excuses. Go ahead and get dressed for your workout, and head out the door. No matter how you feel getting started, we guarantee you’ll be feeling much happier once you’re done! Even if you run outside – a few chilly raindrops never hurt anyone!
2. Essential Oils
Have you ventured into the world of essential oils yet? Using essential oils can be a huge step forward in detoxing your home of chemicals and toxic fragrances. The easiest first step is to replace your synthetic air fresheners and perfume with a diffuser and high quality essential oils. The anti-depressant qualities of citrus oils in particular have been well-documented. A quick fix to bring your mood right up is to diffuse (or wear) a few drops of any of the following oils: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or bergamot.
3. Supplement for your Endocrine & Immune Systems
In our nutrition consults, we discuss the importance of the hypothalamus gland to coordinate our hormones and support a positive outlook and perception. Not only that, but a well-functioning immune system goes a long way to helping you feel positive about the day ahead. Some of our favorite supplements are: Hypothalmex, Vitamin D3, 5-HTP and St. John’s Wort. Talk with Dr. Bacon about which of these might be right for you!
4. Prepare Healthy Food & Drinks
It might be cold and gray outside, but we can make it warm and toasty inside! Take this opportunity to prepare a meal or beverage that utilizes warming spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, turmeric or cardamom. Think homemade pumpkin pie smoothie, butternut squash soup, or Golden Milk tea. L-theanine, a compound found in green, black, and white tea, improves neurotransmitters like glutamate, which can be out of balance in people with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
5. Practice Self-Care
On days when you’re feeling unmotivated, take it as a sign that you need to do a little more with your self-care. Take some time to do some stretching at home, or better yet, get adjusted! Or – get a professional massage! It’s time we start thinking of Chiropractic and Massage as essential self-care routines – not luxuries. Research shows that bodywork not only lowers cortisol (your main stress hormone), it boosts dopamine and serotonin, which means a happier you. Our friends at Out of the Grey Wellness are offering a 30 for 30 Special – 30 minutes for $30 – for brand new clients. Click this link for scheduling, or speak with Traci at our front desk. Be good to yourself!
Supplements to Support Your Mood:
- Nevaton Forte contains a blend of four herbs: Saffron, Schisandra, St. John’s Wort and Skullcap. These herbs calm the stress response and uplift mood – perfect when you’re going through a hard time!
- Orchex is a combination of calming B vitamins and minerals that cool you down when you’re ready to blow your stack. Very helpful with stress-related insomnia, too!
- And a bonus: Olprima EPA/DHA provides essential fatty acids to bring down inflammation in the brain. This can help with impaired cognition, foggy thinking, and even headaches.
Takeaways to Beat Depression:
No matter what you’re going through, the positive action steps you take can have a profound effect on your mood. Day by day, see if you can implement small changes to help your outlook and support your health.
We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if you have questions. We are happy to help customize your recommendations!