Secret #38 Avoid Depression and Anxiety
In my life I only had a few bouts of depression and anxiety mainly triggered by a traumatic situation so I could relate.
Then when I had my triple bypass suddenly this all changed and find myself battling anxiety on a much more regular basis. Topped off with cancer and I can just be sitting, talking or playing with the grand children and it will come upon me.
Now I already take drugs for heart and cancer so I am not going to take any more so how I overcome is remove myself from the current situation until it goes and I find walking get rid of it pretty quick.
Research from the Institute on Aging at Boston College found that grandparents who were able to both give and receive support from grandchildren are less likely to be depressed. In fact, “the greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health,” said Sara M. Moorman, an assistant professor at Boston College.
This is so true as my granddaughter who was only about 3 seemed to know I was not well leading up to and after heart operation. She would just sit with me and say nothing but a smile every now and then. She’s a little wilder now but I will never forget how she helped me.
If you have grandkids, spending active play time with them can help you stay healthier. Active play doesn’t have to mean that you’ll climb a tree, but you can play other games and go on outings together. The National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) says spending time with the little ones you love is also great for bonding.
Six activities you can do for your wellbeing every day
Taking some time each day to focus on your own wellbeing can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. They might seem like little things, but they really do add up. Here are some suggestions to incorporate into your daily routine.
Go for a morning walk. If it means getting only up five minutes earlier and walking around the block, it’s still worth it. Starting your day with fresh air and movement not only has physical benefits, it also kick-starts a positive mindset. Try to incorporate a walk into your commute to work/university/school.
Read because you want to. Not because you have to. Pull out that book you were given for your birthday two years ago that is still sitting on the shelf and give it a go. It’s true what your primary school English teachers used to say – reading really is exercise for the mind. Few things are better than being engrossed in a good book and losing all track of time. So make time for reading.
Get creative in the kitchen. For many of us, cooking is somewhat of a chore. The easiest way to flip the script on this is to challenge yourself in the kitchen. We all have nights where we’re tired and dinner is either a takeaway or a mixture of leftovers from the fridge. But try and make the effort one night a week to create something new. Put some music on to get you inspired while you do it. Taste have an awesome range of easy recipes..
Address your posture. Even though we know excessive sitting has detrimental effects on our health, so many of us still do it. At home. At work. On the commute in between. Your lower back is crying out for a change. If you have a desk job, try and get up for a walk every 30 minutes. If it means investing in a back-support cushion or a stand-up desk, it’s worth it. Talk to your employer – after all, it might be something they are happy to cover financially. Substituting sitting time for standing or walking time might seem annoying – but your body will thank you for it.
Listen to podcasts. Podcasts, for those who are new to them, are basically audio programs on demand. That is, you can choose what you listen to and when you listen to it. And they are taking the world by storm. There are over 700,000 podcasts (and nearly 30 million episodes!) out there about all manner of topics and subjects. Listen to podcasts on subjects you are passionate about, or want to know more about, or simply ones that make you laugh. You’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.
Box breathing. There are no shortage of great breathing exercises and guided meditation apps out there. One simple exercise that you can do anytime, anywhere is a technique known as box breathing. It’s called ‘box breathing’ because it consists of four counts of four. Picture a square with each side representing a different count to four. Start with a slow inhale to the count of four, hold for the count of four, exhale for four, hold for four…and repeat.
How do I get started — and stay motivated?
Starting and sticking with an exercise routine or regular physical activity can be a challenge. These steps can help:
- Identify what you enjoy doing. Figure out what type of physical activities you’re most likely to do, and think about when and how you’d be most likely to follow through. For instance, would you be more likely to do some gardening in the evening, start your day with a jog, or go for a bike ride or play basketball with your children after school? Do what you enjoy to help you stick with it.
- Get your mental health professional’s support. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional for guidance and support. Discuss an exercise program or physical activity routine and how it fits into your overall treatment plan.
- Set reasonable goals. Your mission doesn’t have to be walking for an hour five days a week. Think realistically about what you may be able to do and begin gradually. Tailor your plan to your own needs and abilities rather than setting unrealistic guidelines that you’re unlikely to meet.
- Don’t think of exercise or physical activity as a chore. If exercise is just another “should” in your life that you don’t think you’re living up to, you’ll associate it with failure. Rather, look at your exercise or physical activity schedule the same way you look at your therapy sessions or medication — as one of the tools to help you get better.
- Analyze your barriers. Figure out what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising. If you feel self-conscious, for instance, you may want to exercise at home. If you stick to goals better with a partner, find a friend to work out with or who enjoys the same physical activities that you do. If you don’t have money to spend on exercise gear, do something that’s cost-free, such as regular walking. If you think about what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising, you can probably find an alternative solution.
- Prepare for setbacks and obstacles. Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small. If you skip exercise one day, that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain an exercise routine and might as well quit. Just try again the next day. Stick with it.
Do I need to see my doctor?
Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program to make sure it’s safe for you. Talk to your doctor to find out which activities, how much exercise and what intensity level is OK for you. Your doctor will consider any medications you take and your health conditions. He or she may also have helpful advice about getting started and staying motivated.
If you exercise regularly but depression or anxiety symptoms still interfere with your daily living, see your doctor or mental health professional. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to ease symptoms of depression or anxiety, but they aren’t a substitute for talk therapy (psychotherapy) or medications.