All ‘Diet and Fitness’ Posts

29 jul

Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

JennaSmithIt took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t successfully coping with my depression and anxiety on my own. It took even longer to come up with a plan to fight back against my own lying brain. It has taken even longer still to fully adopt that plan because it turns out that fighting back against your own brain is not like fighting back against other types of conditions. Anti-depressants and other meds can work wonders but they don’t fix everything.

This blog has talked before about dealing with depression. Today I want to talk to you about living with and living through depression and anxiety. Before I do, though, it is important to note that these conditions manifest differently for everybody. What works for me may not work for you so it is important that you work with trained doctors and therapists to figure out the best way to help yourself feel better.

That said—here are the two things that have helped me the most:

Establishing A Routine

For me, depression often manifests itself as an inability to make even small decisions without feeling overwhelmed. For example—I know that I need to get up but deciding what I should do first makes me immediately anxious. What if I pick the wrong thing? This combined with the fact that mornings are often the hardest time of day for people with depression means that a morning routine is essential. Britt Reints, a favorite blogger and author, talks about her morning routine in Every Day Health.

For me, I need the structure that Reints uses in the mornings all day. For example: I make sure that I eat lunch at the same time every day and try to eat dinner at the same time on most days. I do X at this time, Y for this long and Z on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. The fact that I don’t have kids and that my friends are also creatures of habit helps with this. Scheduling as much of the mundane as possible gives me incredible peace of mind. It also helps me feel like I am more in control of what is happening each day and that gives me a (small, sure, but still important) confidence boost.

Exercise Regimen

Yeah, yeah, endorphins. Exercise increases endorphins—the happy making hormones—which is why one of the first things people are told to do when they even mention symptoms of depression is to work out. For some people this is something that they can do passively. I’m not one of these people.

Exercise is part of my daily routine and I’m not going to lie: it is not my favorite thing in the world. By nature I’m a sedentary creature, preferring reading to running every darn day of the week. Still— sticking to the routine and working to help my body feel strong is an important confidence and mood booster.

What worked for me was figuring out a way to keep my workouts short and, sure, okay, cheating the system. Typically, a workout will take an hour: twenty minutes of strength, twenty of cardio, twenty of endurance training. I decided to devote just twenty minutes a day to elliptical training. One of the (many) benefits of elliptical training is that the elliptical machines or bikes work all of the areas of your body at once. It’s like I’m killing three birds with one stone.

Remember: depression and anxiety manifest differently for everybody. You might find that deviating from a steady routine helps you feel better. Or maybe you prefer to run and swim for your exercise. Or you might have entirely different coping mechanisms. What matters is that you find what works for you and stick with it!

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on July 29th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, Health, Personal Stories | No comments

22 jul

Treating Knee Problems

JennaSmithA swollen knee is a common condition among the elderly as well as those with an active lifestyle. Many refer to it as water on the knee, although determining the cause is often challenging and pain is often associated with a recent injury.

Athletic and slip and fall injuries are common instances that result in swollen knees, but swelling can also be a sign of long-term knee problems, known as chronic injuries. The swelling can be in the soft tissues surrounding the knee or within the knee joint. Excess fluid build-up causes stiffness, which makes it more difficult to move the knee in proper motion.

Can swelling cause bleeding inside the knee?

While some injuries do result in knee bleeding, such injuries are less common than the majority of knee swelling causes. In case of a ligament sprain or a meniscus tea, the fluid inside the knee is not blood; it is created by the body naturally to help the injured area and provide cover to soft tissues.

The length of time in which the knee stays swollen is determined by the extent of the injury. Minor injuries cause knees to swell for only a few days while more severe injuries could result in swelling for several weeks.

You should consult a doctor if you’re experiencing extreme pain with swelling, while light to moderate swelling can be treated with the following remedies:

Massage therapy

If not contraindicated, gently messaging the area around the knee can reduce swelling. Use circular, light pressure movements on the skin over the knee in circles for stretching the connective tissue just below the skin, where the majority of vessels are located.

Continue to massage in circular motions until the skin is warmer, software and stretches with ease. Then use alternative hands to stroke from the knee to hip joints in the location of lymph nodes. Massaging with oil relieves pain and reduces the water inside the knee. It is also a great way to promote blood flow to the damaged soft tissues.

Light exercise

Light exercise and mobility of the lower body is essential to prevent repetitive injuries. It also helps in strengthening muscles around the knee joint to prevent further and future harm to the injured tissues. Swimming is a great way to work out your legs and knees, but you can also go for a brisk walk if you do not feel pain in the swollen area. Ice should be applied immediately to the affected area to prevent onset of inflammation.

Mens compression products and women compression clothing can assist the recovery process and also complement the exercise session. Compression knee high socks can improve blood circulation and relieve modern swelling and fatigue, in the knee, ankles and legs. The modern ones feature true gradient compression, which decreases at the top of the garment to promote blood flow.

A healthy diet

Diet can make a significant difference to how quickly your knee recovers. Eating a nutrient-dense and balanced diet reduces pressures on the joints and improves the overall flexibility of the knee. Foods high in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits and berries increase collagen production, which is an important component of knee cartilage and bone and can prevent swelling.

You can also increase Vitamin D intake as adequate amounts of Vitamin D delays the onset of degenerative disease like osteoporosis. Research also says that omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like salmon can speed up the healing process of knee swelling.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on July 22nd, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, Health | No comments

17 jul

Sneaky Ways to Exercise for Stress Relief

JennaSmithIt’s no secret that exercise is a great way to relieve stress. It works off nervous energy, releases endorphins, and helps you focus on something other than whatever is stressing you out. The problem is that not everyone likes, or is able, to do traditional exercises. For some people exercise itself could be stressful, making them adverse to even trying. For others it could be a simple matter of time and access.

The good news is that there are several activities that supply you with sneaky ways to acquire the stress-relieving benefits of exercise.

Gardening/Yard Work

Yardwork gets you outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and can be one heck of a workout. You do a lot of bending, digging, lifting, and hauling that gets your heart rate up, builds your muscles and endurance, and releases endorphins. Plus, at the end of it, you have a beautiful yard where you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

If you plant food crops, like vegetables or fruit trees, you have the added benefit being able to harvest the produce for your table. If you buy apple trees and other food crops online, you can often get special varieties, such as heirloom plants, that you wouldn’t normally find at your local garden store.

House Work

Cleaning your house from top to bottom is an excellent way to burn a lot of energy. Depending on how thoroughly you clean, you could end up doing a lot of bending and lifting that strengthens your muscles and raises your heart rate. Plus, at the end of it, you have a nice clean house to relax in.

Plus, mess can actually cause stress, so having a clean home can greatly improve your state of mind. You can try cleaning in one marathon session, or stretch it out over days so you can get activity in multiple sessions. You can also include your family in the act so that you can have some quality time, and get more done.

Dancing

The great thing about dancing is that you can do it almost anywhere. You can enjoy a night out at your favorite club or, if you are self-conscious about dancing in public, bust a move in the privacy of your own home. Dancing raises your heart rate, improves your endurance, and releases endorphins. If you want to go high-tech, you can invest in one of those dance video games and play alone or with friends and family.

Playing With Your Kids

Kids are little bundles of energy – wind them up and they can go for days. Play a game of hide and seek or tag and you will get your heart rate going, the endorphins flowing, and spend quality time with your kids. As an added bonus, if you tired them out enough, they’ll probably go right to sleep at bed time.

Walking the Dog

If you don’t already have a dog, you shouldn’t get one just for exercise unless you are also willing to be a good pet parent. However, you can volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog, especially if your neighbor works earlier or later than you do. If you have your own dog, you can extend the length of your walk, to get more activity. You can also volunteer at an animal shelter that has dog play groups. You might need to get special training, but you would be helping dogs in need get forever homes.

Window Shopping

Whether you walk through an indoor mall, a strip mall, or a street with a lot of shops, window shopping gives you something interesting to look at while also getting you moving. To get more out of your session, consider making at least one circuit of the area before you pause to look at all the shop windows, that way you have a period of continuous movement to really get your heart going and the endorphins flowing.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on July 17th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, Health, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in

27 jun

7 Apps that Can Help You Get in Shape

RobertCordrayIt’s easier than ever to get in shape with the incredible selection of fitness apps that have been developed to help you incorporate the right exercise regimen into your daily routine.

Here are seven exercise apps that will give you all the guidance you need to reach your goals:

Nu Skin TR90

The Nu Skin TR90 app, previously available exclusively online, can now be downloaded to iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. TR90, which stands for Transform in 90, is a versatile free app that tracks all the variables that help you lose weight successfully, including exercise, food consumption, and product use. A plethora of other helpful features motivate and inspire you while keeping close tabs on your progress.

Endomondo Sports Tracker

If you’re into running, cycling, or another similar sport and you enjoy being cheered on (and held accountable) by your friends, Endomondo lets you use your social media community to meet your fitness goals. The app, available online and on a variety of digital devices, lets you share your progress by posting updates to your social networks. Available in both free and pro versions, the app also incorporates a number of other dietary and fitness-enhancing features.

Pact

Offering a slightly new twist on fitness motivation, Pact lets you reap monetary rewards for meeting your health and fitness goals — or makes you pay up if you don’t. It’s a different take on accountability that has the members who don’t meet their weekly fitness goals paying those who do. You decide whether and how much you’ll pledge if you don’t manage to meet your target. This free app is available for iPhone and Android.

Fitocracy

A fitness social network that combines a video-game-like points system and leveling-up concept with morale-boosting support from the rest of the community, Fitocracy is free for iPhone and Android and is also on the Web. With a focus on weightlifting, the app also helps you track weight loss and other exercise goals. Fitocracy also offers online coach-led fitness groups that provide a dietary and fitness program that’s tailored to your goals.

Lose It!

Available on Android, iOS, Nook, Kindle, and the Web, Lose It! logs your daily food and activity to help you achieve the right balance between calories consumed and calories expended through exercise to meet your weight-loss goals. This free app and website offers a database containing thousands of foods and allows you to add your own personal favorite commercial foods by scanning their barcodes using your smartphone’s camera.

RunKeeper

This free mobile app lets you use your Android or iPhone’s GPS capability to track your progress while running, walking, or cycling. The app also offers an optional audio feature that enhances your experience by providing spoken updates on all the key stats you typically track to measure your fitness level.

MyFitnessPal

Offering the largest nutrition and calorie database in the world, containing more than 4 million foods and growing, MyFitnessPal is a free website and mobile app for iPhone and Android. Flexible enough to support your favorite weight-loss diet, this free app and free membership offers your own personalized diet profile and preferred foods database and helps you track physical activity and food intake.

Once you’ve found the exercise app that’s right for you, the sky’s the limit on what these digital programs can help you accomplish.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on June 27th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

07 jun

3 Purchases that Have Actually Improved My Life!

JennaSmithBeing a 20-something working girl, I lead a busy life–stress is part of the deal. Recently, I’ve been trying to work on my work-life balance by incorporating healthy techniques. I started maintaining a healthy diet and getting eight hours of sleep.

These changes were really beneficial. Regular exercise and stretching gave me an added boost too–but of all the changes I have made, there are 3 purchases I’m obsessed with and honestly could not live without:

1. Coffee Machine

I used to spend so much money and time in coffee shops it’s not even funny. Standing in line, frantically waiting for my overpriced latte while trying not to be late for work, was taking its toll on me.

So I decided to take the plunge and get a coffee maker and start making coffee at home. You would not believe how much this change has simplified my life, both monetarily and psychologically. Instead of forking over $5+ dollars, I simply pop in a cup and presto! My coffee is done within minutes. I do not have to wait in long lines and, because it’s so quick, I don’t have to worry about chatty customers making me late for work.

Since making the switch, I enjoy my coffee time at home and I don’t think I could ever go back to coffee shops for my morning java. My favorite perk of brewing coffee at home is that I do not add in all the unnecessary sugars and syrups that coffee shops use. Less calories and less money equals a win for me!

2. Massages

Working in the hospitality industry is a fast paced gig, which can be tough on my bones and joints. Most nights I come home totally exhausted and sore. Even though I started getting about eight hours of sleep a night, I would still wake up not feeling my best.

To better manage this problem, I started getting regular massages and this helped tremendously. That is, until I saw the bill. Keeping up with routine massages was incredibly expensive, so I opted for the next best thing: I looked up portable massage tables and bought one of my own. Getting my own massage table has allowed me to relax in the comfort of my own home.

3. E-Reader

After conversing and interacting with tons of people day in and day out, I need time to unwind and decompress. I have always had a love for reading and I try to get in a good book when I can.

To save on space in my apartment, I opted to get an e-reader. I checked out a bunch of options and decided to go with a Nook. I love my e-reader because it is specifically for reading. When I am on my day off or when I have a moment to myself, I plop down on my couch and read for hours. It helps me detox from my hectic schedule and restores my peace of mind. I can download books very quickly and I do not ever have to worry about having a million of books in my place. Plus, the battery life is great so I can get lost in books for a good period of time without having to worry about my device suddenly dying and interrupting my narrative flow.

I love my busy, on-the-go lifestyle. For me, it is fun keeping up with the hustle and bustle of my everyday life. With that being said, I know that I have to maintain my health both mentally and physically. Relieving the stress of depending on a coffee shop has helped me significantly both financially and emotionally.

No longer am I standing in long lines, yay! My portable massage table is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love to relieve all of the pressure that work and being on my feet brings. My stress level is at an all time low because of it too. Curling up on my couch with a good e-read is another favorite after-work activity of mine. These three purchases have changed my life for the better and are items that I surely do not want to live without.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on June 7th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, General, Personal Stories | No comments

27 may

The Golden Age Diet: 5 Foods to Eat After Retirement

RobertCordrayRetirement can be a period of great change in your life. Some changes may be good, like having more free time. Some changes may be less helpful, like dealing with a much different budget than what you’re used to. All change, no matter what kind, requires a great deal of adjustment. The same holds true for what’s in your diet. Eating healthy is still very important as you age, so check out some of the food you should be making a part of your diet.

1. Yogurt

Dairy products should definitely be a regular part of what you eat every day, and yogurt is one of the tastiest options out there. Dairy plays a large role in bone health, which is especially important for post-retirement life since the older you get, the weaker your bones usually become. If you’re not in the mood for yogurt, you can always try other rich sources of calcium, like cottage cheese or plain old milk. Just make sure you go for the low-fat variety.

2. Salmon

It may seem like an unusual choice, but salmon can make an excellent addition to a retirement diet. One of salmon’s major benefits is how rich it is in omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients do a lot to reduce inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. If you’re looking for omega-3 fatty acids in seafood but think salmon is a bit too expensive for your budget, you can always try sardines.

3. Apples

It almost goes without saying, but it needs to be mentioned that adding more fruit to your diet is essential. Increasing your fruit intake, like eating more apples for example, is especially important since fruit contains lots of fiber and vitamins. If you want even more out of your fruit, try some blueberries. They are rich in antioxidants, which as Nu Skin describes, “slow the internal and external aging process” and will keep you healthier for longer.

4. Broccoli

Like fruit, vegetables should become a common sight on your plate. When we age, our metabolism slows down, so it’s best to avoid calorie-heavy foods. (Tweet This) Vegetables are loaded with vital nutrients and don’t come with empty calories like potato chips or candy. Eating broccoli is an excellent option for healthy eating, and the magnesium it contains can help keep your teeth strong and free of cavities.

5. Almonds


If you want to add some protein to your diet, you should stay away from the more expensive and less healthy red meats and instead go with nuts, specifically almonds. Almonds can provide you with a quick boost of energy that lasts longer than other options out there. Almonds also have choline, which is an excellent nutrient to have for improved memory and for handling stress.

In addition to all these foods, always remember to drink plenty of water. Hydrating your body is essential for every age group, not just for older generations. If you take all these suggestions into account, you’ll be eating a healthy diet and be able to live an active lifestyle for many years to come.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on May 27th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

24 apr

5 Ways to Remodel Yourself (without Plastic Surgery)

JennaSmithA total-self-remodel differs from reinventing yourself, in that it’s about both the inside and the outside. It’s about changing your appearance for the better, as well as improving your attitude and outlook on life. Remodeling yourself takes some work, but if you’re willing to go the extra mile the results will be life affirming.

The following are some steps to take to remodel you. You don’t have to follow this guide to a T, but rather are encouraged to use it as a base guide for the work you want to do on yourself. Please, keep in mind that change requires action. In order to remodel yourself, you’ll need to make a conscious effort that is both thought out and deliberate. You must be serious about transformation, in order for transformation to occur.

1. Define Your Career Goals

It’s a harsh truth to face, but luck isn’t going to rescue you from your dead end job. Do you truly believe that someone, someday, is going to recognize all your hard work, pluck you from the crowd, and promote you? If so, you’re not being honest with yourself. The harsh reality is that no one recognizes your skills until you point them out. Part of remodeling yourself is remodeling your life’s aspirations.

Now is the time to define your career goals.

Ask yourself where you’d like to be career-wise in 5, 10, and even 20 years. Brainstorm your childhood hopes and dreams, as well as what you’re good at. Come to a conclusion about your aspirations, and then identify your goals. Even if you’re not sure what you want to do with your career, at least you’ll have defined what you’re good at.

2. Change Your “Look”

Changing how you look on the outside can have a really positive impact on how you feel on the inside. Although shopping for new clothes and a hairstyle will get this activity in motion, the real reinvention comes from long-term commitments to health, exercise, and beauty. It’s time to define what you want from your appearance.

You don’t need cosmetic surgery to change your face or body. Instead, you can opt for healthier, less-invasive procedures, such as body wraps, facials, and skin rejuvenations. These procedures will help you feel younger, as well as they can help jumpstart weight loss or improve skin quality.

“We believe that everyone has the right to go through the world with confidence,” says leading skin rejuvenators, americanlaser.com. “So whether it’s about looking better in a bathing suit, seeing a younger version of an “old friend” in the mirror, or whisking away unwanted hair, we’ll help make it happen. So you can love what’s looking back at you.”

3. Keep a Schedule

Transformation isn’t going to happen overnight, so schedule in your changes. Keep a list of the changes you want to see in yourself, as well as journal about your progress. Set reminders for yourself, so you don’t forget important activities, such as trips to the gym and daily affirmations. Keeping a schedule will ensure you stay on track while you’re redesigning a whole new you. Plus, a schedule oriented person is more successful in all areas of life.

4. Meet New People

Forging connections can help you in both your career and your personal life. It’s time to fill your life with positive people who support the new you. These people can be met in a variety of places, which should add some interesting experiences to your new lifestyle. Make sure to only frequent places wherein you’ll find like-minded supportive individuals.

For example, if part of your reinvention is spiritual, try introducing yourself to some friendly new faces at church. If your reinvention is focusing on the physical, look to meet active people on nature walks and hikes, as well as at the gym. Finally, if your reinvention is primarily about work, look for connections on LinkedIn, or ask your boss to refer you to some new clients.

5. Put the Past Behind You and Follow Your Dreams

You can’t move forward with a new life if you’re being held back by your old one. It’s time to put away the past and embrace the future, which is full of promise.

If you need to, seek therapy for this part of your remodel. Dealing with your personal and professional issues will help prepare you for dealing with any new issues that may arise. Your past could be holding you back from a happier, more productive future, so embrace and face the pain, deal with it, and move on.

Finally, follow your dreams. Your dreams are as unique as you are, and following them will bring untold joy and happiness into your life. Staying positive and never giving up are important to keeping a commitment to your dreams. Commit to a positive attitude, to working hard, and to redefining yourself and everyone will adore the new you!

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on April 24th, 2014 in Career, Diet and Fitness, New Directions, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in ,

08 apr

How Social Media Can Help You Start Exercising

RobertCordrayWhen it comes to fitness, social media may not immediately come to mind. After all, most people are visiting social networks while sitting at their computer or using their smartphone. Nothing about social media immediately screams “physically active,” but it’s quickly becoming a potent force in helping people lose weight and exercise. If you’re looking for a way to start your own exercise regimen, here are some tips to get you on the right path.

Motivation and Reminders

No doubt you’re already well connected to friends and family on social media. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are now regular destinations for people looking to keep up to date with what others are doing. Those same friends and family have the potential to help you set and work toward your fitness goals. If you have a goal to get out and run a mile every other day, your friends can help remind you of that fact, helping you stick with it. Social media can also be used to look for others outside of your Facebook friends. There are communities out there specifically dedicated to working out. These communities can offer consistent motivation when you lack the drive to exercise.

Instruction and Advice

Social media can also be an effective tool if you’re not sure what kind of workout you should adopt. YouTube in particular is a massive resource for finding instructional videos of workout routines or getting tips and advice on how to meet your goals. YouTube is also the home of numerous video blogs put on by regular people as they strive toward a fitter lifestyle. Like friends and communities on Facebook, these video blogs can be a motivating factor that help you understand your goals are achievable no matter how difficult things may get.

Companies on Social Media

Many companies are seeing the effect social media is having. As a result, they’re increasing their own social media presence. These include health companies, who have it in their interest to help people get healthy through weight loss and exercise. Many of these companies will send out motivational posts on Facebook or Twitter. They may also give diet and exercise advice, while providing example of workouts you could use for your routine. Personal care company Nu Skin’s Facebook page is a good example of this.

Social Exercise Networks

Some social media networks you might want to check out have been specifically built for exercise communities. They provide added motivation while also giving you a way to track your progress. Fitocracy gives out awards like badges and props whenever you reach certain goals. Traineo not only helps you track how many calories you’re burning, it puts you in touch with four other members who will serve as your motivators. MBodyment allows you to join specific workout groups while giving you access to fitness videos.

Social Media Apps

There are plenty of social media apps you can use as well. When downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, they give you daily and weekly reminders that help you keep pace with your fitness goals. In addition to giving you another way to track your progress, they also give you the chance to write your own motivational messages to save for later.

Social media is used or almost everything, so it should come as no surprise it can be quite effective when promoting fitness and exercise. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals. All it takes is for you to get started.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 8th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness | No comments Read related posts in , ,

13 jan

Tips for Dealing with Depression

RobertCordrayDepression affects us all from time to time. Sometimes we get moody for a day, or experience a difficult life event, such as a divorce or a death in the family, and that depression can last for weeks or months. The tricky thing about depression is recognizing when the feeling is temporary and can be overcome through therapy or exercise and when the depression is an actual medical condition that needs psychiatric treatment. Often, jumping immediately to a medication is not the best option if your doctor can’t say with certainty that the depression is caused by a medical condition, but the sad feelings and lack of energy do need to be addressed. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to deal with depression, and the results you see—or perhaps don’t see—could indicate whether you need to seek further assistance from a psychiatrist or not.

1. Turn to Others for Support

When we get depressed, we often like to wrap ourselves up in a cocoon and shut ourselves off from the rest of the world. The problem with this is it allows those negative feelings to escalate, and we have no positive interactions to combat those negative emotions. Depression can also leave us feeling isolated, as though no one cares for us. It can also leave us feeling guilty for neglecting relationships. Taking that first step of picking up the phone or going to a social activity is hard, but you should find that doing it the second time is easier.

Start by asking your closest family members or friends for support, and share what you are going through. If you have no one available, try joining a support group instead. It may be helpful to ask someone else to check in on you, so you don’t have to take the first step of communication every time. Creating a scheduled social activity that you feel obligated to go to, such as a paid class or a weekly walk with someone can help provide motivation as well.

2. Approach Feelings Logically

It’s a common misconception to think that it helps to start being optimistic about things in order to combat negative thoughts, but the problem is these “happy thoughts” most likely aren’t real or replacing the negative thoughts. Rather, try to recognize your negative thoughts when you have them and make them more balanced by looking at them logically. Doing this often requires you to separate the thought from what you are feeling. Try writing down negative thoughts when you have them along with the triggering event. Later, return to the thoughts and analyze whether the response was overblown or if you were jumping to the worst conclusion possible.

Avoid striving for perfection. If you find yourself being self-critical a lot, ask yourself if you would say those things about a close friend. If the answer is “no,” think about what you would actually say to another person and start using those statements instead.

3. Be Healthy

It’s important to take care of yourself when dealing with depression. Work to develop good sleep habits, and be sure to head outside and get some sunlight for at least 15 minutes everyday. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, can help you to find balance if the depression is caused from external stressors. Exercise has been found to be particularly crucial in combating depression because it releases endorphins and triggers new cell growth in the brain. Focus on exercises that you can do continuously and frequently throughout the day, such as going on a walk. Finally, be sure to eat healthy and avoid skipping meals. Depending on your particular situation, adding vitamins that are deficient in your diet may be beneficial as well.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to depression, and many people with clinical depression cannot overcome it with exercise or social activities alone. Thus, it’s important to consult a doctor who can help you find the right solution for you.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on January 13th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, Health | 1 comment Read related posts in

03 jan

Finding a Career to Suit Your Healthy, All-Natural Lifestyle

JennaSmithIf you enjoy a healthy, laid-back kind of lifestyle, you may find it difficult to balance a stressful career with your relaxed inner self. Thankfully, you don’t have to compromise. With a little training, and a lot of ambition, you can find the perfect career to suit your way of living.

Keep reading to discover career options that won’t disrupt your calm, healthy lifestyle.

1. Life Coaching

Are you eager to share all the benefits of healthy living? If so, life coaching may be the perfect fit for you. Basically, a life coach works with clients to help them make specific, positive changes in their lives. For example, you may assess a client’s situation and needs, then help them set and achieve goals on their path to a better life. What’s more, life coaching can span the spectrum when it comes to specialization. From health and wellness coaching to helping clients manage their careers or finances, there are many different options for potential life coaches.

2. Massage Therapy

If you like the idea of promoting health and relaxation, you may find your niche in the field of massage therapy. Due to an increased demand for these types of services, massage therapy is becoming one of the fastest growing industries in the United States today; and because of high demand, massage therapists have a significant amount of options when it comes to location, pay and more. Plus, since massage therapy can focus on overall health and relaxation as well as specific conditions and areas of the body, the opportunities to grow and advance are virtually limitless.

3. Fitness Instruction

Do you enjoy working out and discovering new, fun ways to stay in shape? Are you always inviting loved ones along for workouts and encouraging others to achieve their fitness goals? If so, you could find your ideal career in fitness instructing. With a career as an instructor, you could focus on one type of exercise, like yoga, pilates or aerobics, or branch out into overall fitness. With all the available options in the fitness world, the choice is yours to explore the field and find the career that best suits your personality, professional goals and lifestyle needs.

4. Acupuncture

Like the other career paths mentioned here, acupuncture is a great way to help clients relax, unwind and heal. An area of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world, as it can be used to treat conditions ranging from infertility and sexual dysfunction to migraine and fibromyalgia.

Acupuncturists have quite a bit of freedom when it comes to technique and specialization, and can also choose to work on their own or with other practitioners or therapists.

5. Nutrition

If you enjoy a balanced healthy diet, as well as staying abreast of current nutritional information, a career as a dietitian could compliment your lifestyle perfectly. There are plenty of benefits to be had by becoming a registered nutritionist or dietitian, a few of which include constant industry growth, above-average salary and a variety of opportunities when it comes to specialization. Plus, you’ll get to spread your love and knowledge of nutrition, helping others to get healthy and improve quality of life.

And there you have it: five careers that will suit your health, all-natural lifestyle. Get started today and work toward your goal of having the successful, fulfilling career of your dreams.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on January 3rd, 2014 in Career, Diet and Fitness, Health, New Directions | No comments