With the change of clocks at the weekend the onset of winter really begins. By half four or five o’clock it’s now dark outside and this can have a big impact on us. In this article from the Anxiety Slayer they help with the question of how to deal with the dark evenings when they cause anxiety and depression levels to rise. You can listen to their short podcast, or just take a few minutes to read their great tips. These range from practical solutions such as changing the lighting in your home and getting outside as much as you can when it is light, to more mindful ones such as meditation techniques. Why not take a look?
It has been reported this week that there are huge gaps in mental health care provision for new mothers. This story, featured in the guardian, is just so moving and this mother is so very brave to share it. Soon after the birth of her first child Joanna Friend experienced acute anxiety and depression; so severe that a friend told her to call the mental health crisis team. Unfortunately there was no specialist care available in her area and as a result she did not receive the care she really needed and relapsed when she became pregnant again 18 months later. Find out more about her experience and its consequences by following the link below.
As we are all well aware, physical exercise has many positive effects on our health. It also promotes good mental health and there is a larger amount of evidence that exercise protects us from stress-induced depression. A recent study looked at the mechanisms behind this effect and it was discovered that exercise training induces changes in skeletal muscle. The muscle then produces a substance that can break down a chemical harmful to the brain which builds up in our blood when we are stressed. This study could open up whole new ways to treat depression where skeletal muscle could be targeted instead of the brain.
The world can sometimes feel a dark and lonely place no matter how many blessings you have in your life. Alex Blackwell of ‘The Bridgemaker’ writes that depression, fear and a sense of panic that everything is falling apart can contribute to an overwhelming feeling of despair. However where there is darkness, there will again come hope and light. Alex provides ten truths to help you move towards that light. His writing provides calm and wise words for the storms of life, so why not give yourself a bit of time to really read and really think about what he says?
This is a gentle and insightful article on the authors experience of depression. Lauren Talbot describes depression as a dark grey cloud that envelopes a person and their spirit. It steals days, months or even years of a persons life. She knows from her own personal experience that if you find yourself in a dark hole then its very hard to see beyond it. So what can you do? If things get tough and unbearable seek help advises Lauren. She writes that in every decision you make towards getting help you can let go of something that is holding you down! If you would like to seek help then we have experienced therapists at The Affinity Centre, who have the right skills to support you on your journey.
When you are depressed the social connections that you already have, or make, during your depression have been shown to be very important in alleviating your symptoms. New research has investigated this a step further and found that it’s not just being in a group that helps depression but actually identifying with it too. If you feel supported because you feel like you belong and have the sense that ‘you are in it together’ you have a much higher chance of your depression lifting.
The article finishes with a great quote from the author of the study;
“…that tackling the challenge of depression involves not just putting the person back into the group, but also putting the group back into the person.”
Therese Borchard author of ‘Sanity Break’ is an accomplished writer and editor and she also lives with depression. A few years ago she was furious and hurt when, just after being discharged from a psychiatric ward, a family member asked her “Do you WANT to get better?” It was the implication that somehow the illness was her fault and she was the cause of it that made her feel so strongly about the question. If you are in, or have been in a similar situation, why not take some time to read Therese’s article. Her writing is so honest and frank she really does get to the heart of things.
If you struggle with self-like let alone self-love then this article is a must read. Therese Borchard of Sanity Break gets you to notice the word “like” straight away; she admits she wouldn’t be so bold as to introduce eight steps that would get you to love yourself ; start with baby steps and build up to bigger ones!
Therese lives her life dealing with depression and speaks from the heart. She writes from her own experience of steps she has taken recently to like herself more and perhaps they will help you too.
You know what? I really think they will!
If you have a friend or family member suffering from depression this article may be a really great help. Perhaps if you have depression it might be a good article to recommend to those you would wish to read it! Therese Bouchards website Sanity Break is always full of honesty, great writing and excellent advice and this article is no exception.
So what can you do? I’m going to feature her last but most important recommendation here and that is to………………
“Suspend all judgments, save all interjections … do nothing more than make excellent eye contact and open your ears.”
Starting the day with exercise is Therese Bouchard’s first daily engagement with her constant battle with depression. She swims every day and has experienced for herself the beneficial effects of exercise on her mood. If you suffer with depression like Therese then she has some other tips for things that she does every day to help keep things as stable as she can. They include eating healthfully, meditating, listing joys and accomplishments to name but a few. So for a ‘good dose of perspective and compassion’ as one of Therese’s readers describes her blogs; read on…..