10 Tips to Manage Anxiety and Depression Naturally
HEY THERE BEAUTIFUL!
I’m glad you found your way to my blog! If you don’t already know me, my name is Emily and I am a Health Coach, Kinesiologist and Exercise Physiologist! I’m super passionate about helping others live healthy and happy lives! :)
Today I’m going to talk about anxiety and depression, and some tips on how to manage it through a healthy lifestyle and mindset changes. A touchy subject for some. I know it was for me.
I silently struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time. At the time, I didn’t really know what it was. I didn’t think it could happen to me as someone who had a pretty good life. A had great family (and still do), was privileged enough to play as many sports as I wanted, went to summer camp, went to university. I was smart, athletic and seemed happy from the outside. But on the inside I was really struggling. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I couldn’t control my negative thoughts, I ate awful food, drank too much, I was constantly thinking that everyone was judging me, I didn’t like being in group of people, I would stay up and stare at the door all night thinking that someone was going to break in and I was having intrusive thoughts often. It was a really hard and challenging time in my life. And I didn’t tell anyone. Not my mom or dad or best friend. I wanted to be strong and I definitely didn’t want to upset anyone else by talking about my own struggles. I went on like this for years. Until I met my boyfriend, Josh. He went through the same struggle and came out the other side with a whole new prospective on life. I confided in him and he helped me heal. I’m pretty sure he saved my life. Since then, I have a new prospective on life and health and how lifestyle can contribute to our mental health. I choose to be open about my struggles in hope that I can help just one person who is going through the same thing I did. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.
Healing from anxiety and depression is possible and having mental health issues doesn’t have to be your story. Some people with anxiety and depression really do need medication to help, but many don’t. Sometimes meds are just a bandaid for another problem. So, I’m going to give you 10 tips on how to manage anxiety and depression naturally (don’t worry… no crazy hippie stuff here) ;)
10 Tips to Heal Anxiety and Depression Naturally
Cut the sugar and simple carbs. This is probably the #1 best thing you can do. There is a HUGE connection between what we eat and how we feel, as well as how our neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) work. When we eat foods high in sugar or simple carbs, it disrupts the gut microbiome which in turn, disrupts the regular pattern of our neurotransmitters and leads to crossed signals… which leads to anxiety/depression. Simply put: sugar/simple carbs = poor gut microbiome = disruption in the signals that neurotransmitters send to the brain = anxiety and/or depression
Eat more FAT. Don’t be scared! Fat is good for you, and your brain. We need fat in our diet to function optimally. When we don’t have enough fat in our diet, our brain goes into starvation mode.. which often results in anxiety! Try to go for healthy fats such as avocados/ avocado oil, olive oil, ocean caught fish, grass fed organic beef, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, high quality cheese ect. Also, use a high quality fish oil supplement (I take Usana supplements daily).
MOVE YOURSELF! This is also super important. Our bodies are meant to move, and when we don’t, we are depriving ourself of an essential aspect on life. I know it can be hard to get outside, or to the gym or do anything when you are struggling with your mental health but start pushing yourself to do something. No one ever regrets going to the gym, going for a bike ride, or anything you like to do. A moving body = a happy brain :) Find an activity that you like… it can be anything from simply going to the gym to trail running to yoga. Just do what makes you feel good!
Get outside! Nature is such a beautiful healing tool. Find some green space and spend some time there. Take your shoes off and put your feet in the grass! We, as humans, evolved in nature, so it’s only natural that we should be outside more! My favourite thing to do when I’m feeling anxious is to leave my phone and go for a hike. Sometimes we need to disconnect to reconnect to ourselves.
Meditate. This one is tough sometimes. If someone told me to meditate 5 years ago I would have laughed and walked away. I didn’t think it would work and I couldn’t sit still anyway. I started meditating using an app called Headspace about 2 years ago and it was hard at first. But I started to love it! It’s so good for our brain to just relax for a few minutes! It gives me such clarity to focus on actually breathing and allows me to make better decisions, especially when I am feeling anxious or having my own personal pity party. Give it a try, trust me!
Ditch the toxic people in your life. This is a good one! Are there people in your life who are just energy suckers? I know I had a few. These kind of people focus on negativity and are complaining about something 90% of the time. These are not people who you want to be around. They can change your mood from good to crappy in about 2.1 seconds. So, assess what (if any) people in your life who are energy suckers and take the steps to move on with your life without them. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
Do something new. Get outside your comfort zone and try something you always wanted to. Knitting, kite boarding, snowboarding, painting… it doesn’t really matter what it is. Find your passion and do it. You will likely meet new people and it will give you something it focus on and be excited about. It can be scary doing something new, but thats how to CHANGE and GROW :)
Take a close look at your life. What things are you tolerating that you shouldn’t be? Often when we have on idea of what we want and our life isn’t going in that direction, it causes a lot of tension in our brains and can lead to depression. So what are you tolerating? A partner that doesn’t support you? A job that you hate? Living somewhere that doesn’t inspire you? Allowing people to walk all over you? Figure out these things, make some changes and you will be on your way to a happier life. Note: Sometimes making these big changes is extremely difficult… BUT if you are happier in the end, it’s worth it. We only have this one life, so make it something that you are proud of.
BE YOU. Stop pretending to be someone you are not. You are amazing and unique, so embrace that! This was one of my biggest realizations… I was trying to live a life that wasn’t mine. I was so scared to be judged that I hid my true self from the world. The moment a decided that I was done with that, and embraced my true self, It felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I’m weird, and I like that.
Ask for help. Ask your parents, your best friend, your spouse, a professional, a coach. Don’t think for a second you are alone. You are not alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of strength. You can do this.
There it is. My top 10 tips for healing from anxiety and depression naturally :) I hope you can use these tips in your life!
As a Holistic Health Coach, I specialize in helping women change their lifestyle and mindset so they can mange mental health naturally. If you are interested in my 12 week health coaching program (online), feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a free breakthrough call and see we are a right fit to work together :)
Have the most beautiful day,