2016 is nearly over. The festive season is upon us. Many of us are preparing to wind down and have a bit of a break before the new year begins.
This is the time of year for reflection…
Analyzing the low points…
Celebrating the highs…
Have your expectations been met?
Have your goals been achieved?
There is a school of thought that suggests that depression and anxiety set in when our expectations for our lives have not been met… When we somehow feel that we have failed…
Especially in this age where social media is king. Everything we do or achieve makes it to Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. It is difficult to view our friend’s brag posts of fabulous holidays, work achievements, and travels without wondering about our own failures and disappointments – will we ever measure up?
A sobering thought: the majority of anti-depressants are consumed by women. Mostly over the age of 40.
Is it because in this age group we realize that middle age is here?
Is this the age when we most likely question our achievements?
Questions like “what have I done with my life?” are what we ask ourselves.
These are hard questions to face… but before we need medication to dull the pain of aching disappointments, here are some simple tips to avoid them in the first place.
1.TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. You will be of no use to anyone, including yourself, if your physical or mental health is bad. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself some time to do the things you love to do. Reading a magazine, savouring an ice cream cone without feeling guilty, or enjoying a long soak in the tub, should not be sidelined because you have no time. Make the time. You are important too! Remember before you can be a good mother, wife or career-woman you have to take care of yourself first.
2.FIND THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY YOU LOVE AND DO IT ! Exercise will be more beneficial if you also love it. If it creates joy within you then you are more likely to continue. Don’t sign up for the gym membership if you hate the gym. Life is too short to force yourself to do something you hate.
Regular exercise has been shown to increase our endorphin levels. These are our natural “feel good” hormones that boost mood and prevent premenstrual mood changes.
3.GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP
Challenges appear more difficult to deal with, when you are tired.
Between 6 to 8 hours of sleep is what an average woman would need every night.
With enough sleep we can boost our mood and metabolism. We concentrate better and have improved memory. Make your bedroom a quiet space where you can relax before sleeping. Having a blaring TV is not the way to do it.
4.DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
Without enough water, our bodies dehydrate. This can impair its normal day-to-day functions. Water helps us to eliminate toxins. It also is important to regulate bowel function and prevent constipation. Lets face it-even our skin texture and appearance looks better when we have had enough water to drink. When we look great we feel great.
5.SOCIALIZE-It is important to have friends or family who you can connect with regularly. Having support and not feeling isolated and alone can make all the difference for a better emotional state.
Giving back and getting involved in volunteer activities that serve other’s, can seriously boost our feelings of well-being. Feeling necessary and living a purposeful life is key to how we stay balanced and happy.
6.YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
How you eat and what you eat is very much linked to your mood. Skipping meals can lead to blood sugar lows that trigger tiredness and a bad mood. Eating the wrong type of foods like too many carbohydrates or sugars in a meal can lead to energy lows after an initial energy spike.
It is important to focus on eating foods that sustain our energy for longer and so avoid these effects. Regular smaller meals that consist of proteins and vegetables may have a better effect. Aim for whole foods and raw foods as much as you can. Avoid overly processed foods as these are often loaded with preservatives and empty hidden calories that can make you sluggish.
Remember take time to make that list of what you would still like to do or achieve – then go out and do it!
It is never too late!
Nothing happens without action.
Just one small step towards what you want,
Take it one day at a time,
And before you know it…
You are there!
Safe travelling and happy holidays!!