Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

South Denver Psychotherapy: The Importance of Sleep, Diet, and Exercise: Part 1: Exercise.

There are those who have had a certain proclivity towards anxiety or depression from a very young age, and is something they must work with in their day to day—no matter how “good” things in their life may seem. In other cases, the effect of depression or anxiety can be more acute or situational.

Whatever the case may be—there are things one can do to mitigate the severity of the symptoms that may accompany these physiological imbalances. Of the many things one can do, sleep, diet and exercise are incredibly important in the balancing of mood.

This particular blog is part 1 of a 3-part series, and will focus on exercise.

The Benefits of Exercise

The movement and circulation alone will improve your mental state, and depending on how much exercise you can commit to each day/week, the aerobic effects as well as the endorphins will elevate your mood on a regular basis. Ideally, at least 3-4 times per week will make this type of routine most effective and balancing.

Frequency and Intensity

Exercise does not have to mean becoming an ultra-marathoner or creating an exercise routine that turns your daily schedule upside down—it can be something as simple as a 1-3 mile walk, a 30-minute jog, a 45-minute hike if you have nice hikes nearby, or a bike ride for 20-30 minutes (though if you can do more, great!) Ideally, while starting a new exercise routine can be a challenge at first, it should be something you can/will enjoy—if not at first, then, eventually.

Setting Realistic Goals

Regardless of how much you wind up exercising, start with a goal that is do-able, so you will be sure to stick with it. And of course, it needs to fit in with your other obligations like work etc—so, find a way to fit this into your daily routine. If you find yourself saying “but I don’t have time”, you may be surprised—often taking the break to exercise will make you more productive and less stressed in the other things that you have to do that day, thus it can be a time saver in the end. Or, if it means waking up a bit earlier to fit your exercise in—you may find that while it can be challenging to wake up earlier than usual, that inevitably your day will be better, and you will be glad you did, feeling more awake, alert and calm.

Balance is important

While exercising every day can have great benefit, be sure to always give yourself at least one rest day per week, if not two. Ideally, exercise should be an enhancement to your day to day, and not something to create more stress for you.

Also, tune in with your body and make sure you are not overdoing it. There is a fine line between pushing past your comfort zone and pushing yourself too hard. All the while, be gentle with yourself even if pushing yourself in a new routine.

As we have already mentioned in this mental health care blog, exercise is just one of many ways to work with balancing your mental health. There is no one action of self-care that will “solve” all of your problems—you can perfect your diet, increase your daily exercise, and be getting plenty of sleep—and still struggle immensely.

It may be that counseling is a support that may be needed in addition to these other elements of improved body health. And, if this is the case—South Denver Psychotherapy is here to support you. South Denver Psychotherapy offers counseling for women, counseling for men, relationship communication issues, teen counseling services, and more. Call South Denver Psychotherapy today to schedule an appointment, or check out our website for more information.

Healthy Eating for Better Mental Health.

Traditionally when we think of diet and nutrition, we think of physical health.

But it turns out that diet is just as important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. More and more, psychiatrists are trained to ask patients about their diet.

So, how should you eat to ensure better mental health? Below are some tips from Mental Health America.

  1. First, make sure you get plenty of water. About 8 glasses of water a day helps prevent dehydration. Even mild dehydration can result in fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes.
  1. If you have an anxiety disorder or are prone to panic attacks, avoid caffeine, as excess caffeine can trigger panic attacks. If you feel like you need caffeine, try having a cup of tea instead of coffee.
  2. Diets that consist primarily of high-fat dairy and fried, refined, and sugary foods are found to significantly increase the risk of depression. On the other hand, diets that consist primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and unsaturated fats can decrease the risk of depression by up to 30%.
  3. People with Vitamin D deficiency also have higher rates of depression. While most foods do not naturally have Vitamin D, some foods, such as orange juice and breakfast cereals, have Vitamin D added. Taking Vitamin D supplements and getting enough sun exposure can also help ensure that you are getting ample Vitamin D.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in walnuts, flax, olive oil, fresh basil, and dark green leafy vegetables, may also be helpful in the treatment of depression and can help children with ADHD.
  5. Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast, as this can lead to fatigue and “brain fog.” If you are in a rush in the morning, take something to go, such as a whole grain granola bar, yogurt, and a piece of fruit. This will give you the energy you need to jump-start your day.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues and are seeking psychotherapy or counseling services, contact South Denver Psychotherapy today.

Source: Mental Health America. Healthy Diet: Eating with Mental Health in Mind.