Self-Care, It’s Time for Action!
Currently, antidepressants are the most frequently prescribed medications. More of us are seeking help for depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses than ever before. Reasons for this uptick in stress-related disorders include a more frenetic pace of life, less access to nutritious food and a more sedentary lifestyle. Professional help is usually effective when sought early, but we can also actively participate in our healing by adopting a self-care mentality. Understanding the holistic scope of our health and some of the reasons behind dysfunction is empowering. With this knowledge, small lifestyle changes can pay large dividends to our health.
Our modern inter-connectedness has stoked our competitive nature, sometimes leading to an imbalanced lifestyle. Technological advances have enabled us to live with more ease and efficiency, but rather than enjoying more free time, we opt to add more to our plates. Before these advances, we were up with the first rays of light, worked hard for our sustenance, and were left with a palpable feeling of accomplishment before retiring with the setting sun. There wasn’t much free time for rumination and we probably slept well. Now, palpable evidence of our accomplishments is infrequent and we may feel that life is devoid of a deeper meaning. Self-care is more important than ever before!
Stress-related disorders are not wholly circumstantial. Physiological stress from poor diet and insufficient activity may lead to chemical imbalances, which exacerbate or cause psychological issues. Our western diet is high in saturated fats, processed starches and sugars, genetically modified food, antibiotics and pesticides. It should be noted that most European countries have outlawed many of the food production practices contributing to our food’s chemical overload. Sugar is known to cause massive inflammation in the body and the cases of Fibromyalgia ( a very serious pain disorder ) are on the rise.
Scientists are unable to explain why supplementing a nutritional deficit with a pill is not as effective as receiving the nutrient in the form of whole food. There’s something about food that optimizes metabolization. Are organics important? Yes – eliminating pesticides (which are neurotoxins) and antibiotics (added to animal feed) is always worthwhile. Many are reluctant to spend more for organic food and supplements but weighing the cost of prevention vs. treatment will put the choice into perspective. Mainstream medicine will always have a place in our healthcare, but when it comes to nutritional intervention, Functional Medicine doctors have received more training and are able to individualize care based upon test results. Optimally, these two doctors should work together.
The importance of physical activity cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, this notion is hard to swallow for someone who struggles to get out of bed. Properly framed, however, going from no activity at all to a ten-minute daily walk represents a 100% improvement. The resulting small endorphin boost may be enough to encourage a constructive habit that will build over time.
In the depths of depression, laughter might be unthinkable, but a belly-laugh can be surprisingly effective in rebooting a negative circular thinking pattern. Enjoying cleverly written humor in the form of situation comedies or written satire is certainly worth a try. Stepping outside ourselves for a little while can refresh a stale perspective.
These suggestions for self-care are only a few of the ways we can participate in our own treatment. Our inter-personal relationships will be more rewarding and we’ll be more effective in all our pursuits as we effectively manage our health. With all the demands on our time and energy, prioritizing our well-being makes sense. Adding organic, healing supplements like CBD oil would also be very beneficial. This non-psychoactive derivative of Cannabis is in demand as people seek natural solutions to their “modern world” health issues.