Do you or someone you know feel sad, unable to focus, and exhausted all the time? You are not alone. Many Russian-speaking migrants are in the same boat. In fact, according to research, Russian-speaking migrants are four times more likely to develop depression than U.S. born adults (Credit: NCBI).
This post will help you to learn more about major symptoms of depression and Five Steps to Improve Your Mood Naturally.
Symptoms of Depression
How can you know whether it is just a bad mood or a symptom of depressive disorder? The truth is neither you or I am qualified to make that determination. Please see your doctor, who can properly diagnose your state. According to Mayo Clinic depression symptoms may include any of the following:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability, even over small matters
- Loss of interest in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite or increased cravings for food
- Getting stuck on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
How Can You Improve Your Mood Naturally?
Disclaimer. I am not a doctor or psychiatrist. The routine below is not a medical recommendation or a substitute for professional medical advice. It is a routine that works for me. But first, allow me to share my story.
Challenge. My sad moods started in my early pre-teen years. Over time I noticed that sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, increased stress, poor diet, social isolation, skipped workouts, and lack of sunlight, among many other things, affected my mood.
Solution. Many years I looked for safe, medication-free, natural, and effective solution to my perpetual sadness. Years of trial and error helped me to develop simple Five Steps to a Better Mood Routine that I want to share with you. It works like magic for me. Take action so you can feel better too!
- Workout Outdoors
- Reduce Stress
- Get Enough Sleep
- Snack Healthier
- Take B Vitamins
Workout Outdoors. I always was physically active, but I never connected aerobic workouts and brain chemistry. The book “Spark” by Dr. Forney changed everything for me.
The book enlightened me how to lift my mood, improve my sleep and function better by simply breaking a sweat. I started running, and fast-paced walking daily, and it saved my life, by changing my brain chemistry and rewiring my networks. Try fast-paced walking during your lunch hour, if the weather allows, do it outdoors. Sunlight has proven an uplifting effect on our brain and our mood.
Reduce Stress. You work too much. The stressed and overworked brain seeks solace in depression. I am myself tend to take on too much and skip on rest activities. Honestly, It took me years to learn how to relax. Today when I feel tense, I stop and go for a brisk walk, enjoy hot baths, listen to calm music, practice yoga, go to the sauna, or get a message. Take action to schedule your recreational activities, make an appointment with your massage therapist or go to the sauna. You will be surprised how much better you feel afterward.
Get Adequate Sleep. According to research, adequate rest dramatically improves mood, makes us smarter and happier (Credit: National Sleep Foundation). You might be worried about a clean house, work deadlines, relationships, and your family. Don`t let the everyday worries to affect your sleep, make changes to assure adequate night rest. It took me years to commit and to establish a consistent bedtime routine. We had to make changes, such as implementing “a quiet hour” after 7 pm, going to bed before 10 PM and aiming to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. Sleep makes a world of difference in my mood.
Snack Healthier. Our brain runs on glucose, so when we get hungry between meals, we get moody. However, processed and sugary snacks also burden our brain networks. So what is the solution- fruit bowls?
To level, your mood, start by stocking your pantry with healthier snacks, such as fresh fruit, nuts, and dry fruits. Next, make few fruit bowls and store them in plastic containers in your fridge. When you are hungry or need to run errands, grab your fruit bowls for a quick and healthy snack. Fruit bowls help me to eat cleaner, avoid mood swings, and junk food is binging when I am hungry.
Take B Vitamins. Recent scientific discoveries in China drawn a link between vitamin B12 intake and depression. (Credit: MRC Neuropsychiatric Research Laboratory). To test the assumption, I committed to taking Raw B-Complex by Garden of Life. After only two weeks I felt like a new person. Try B-Complex helps to regulate your mood and optimizes your brain function. It works, try it out!
We all feel sad at times. I do too. The key is to recognize when the feelings are more than just a temporary bad mood, and you need to act and get help. Consider making an appointment with your doctor. Lastly, try Five Steps to Better Mood Routine today:
- Workout Outdoors: walk/run at least for at least 30 min/daily until you feel very warm
- Reduce Stress: practice yoga, get a massage, connect with friends, enjoy hot baths
- Get Enough Sleep: get a minimum of 7 hours of solid rest daily
- Snack Healthier: eat between meals, reduce processed foods, eat more fresh fruits
- Take B Vitamins: take high-potency B-complex supplements
Lastly, stop by the library and check out a gem of a book, that will transcend your life and give you hope in a fight with depression – “Spark” by Dr. Forney
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Questions to Readers:
- Have you or someone you know has been affected by depression?
- What seemed to help you the most and what did not work at all?
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