Wellness Protocol for Depression: Exercise, Nutrition
This week’s Natural Cures blog carnival is spotlighting depression, a growing health problem in the modern world. Just recently, I heard of two heartbreaking cases of depression, one, which ended in suicide, the other, in the break up of a family. Depression is a sobering malady, as it has many ancillary ills, anxiety, mania, anger, sadness, lethargy. I personally had a major struggle with depression, and conquered it, fortunately. It took concerted effort and multiple strategies.
How I Discovered the Swimming “Cure” for Depression, Anxiety
One week, when I was so discouraged that I didn’t even have the energy to get out of bed, I decided to force myself to get to the health club and swim laps. Reluctantly, I went, and went through the motions of the crawl and the breast stroke, until I literally swam out of the depressive mood. Perhaps it was endorphins, perhaps it was taking a positive action forward, maybe it was the muscle activity. All I know is that it worked. Recently, I heard of a young woman who got off her depression medication through working with a personal trainer and committing to a regular exercise routine. So, clearly exercise can play a role in overcoming depression.
I also believe swimming is good for anxiety. Once, I had a new public relations client, and I was very nervous about doing a good job. I had to write a press release and had writer’s block on top of it. Once again, I took to the pool, and as I swam my laps, I focused on the project and how to articulate my clients message to the media. Believe it or not, I wrote the entire press release including an eye grabbing headline while swimming. Then I went home and typed it into the computer.
I often took to solving my problems in the pool, after that experience.
Something about the rhythm of the strokes and the support of the water that makes the exercise of swimming so effortless, sets my mind free to explore and mull over issues and challenges of the day.
Dietary Deficiencies May Bring You Down
Now that I am involved with Weston A. Price Foundation as their publicist, I also can see where poor nutrition may have played a role in my moods. As a single gal, I relied heavily on fast food, frozen dinners, even had nachos for dinner, my diet was high in carbs, low in fat, and heavy in vegetable oil, skim milk and margarine. I rarely ate eggs for breakfast, rather I had a scone, bagel or cereal. According to WAPF, cholesterol found in foods like eggs is very good for your mood, as it plays a role in the utilization of serotonin, your bodies “feel-good chemical”.
Now that I have studied the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, I realize the vital importance of animal fats for human health. And, my diet had nearly eliminated them! No wonder I felt so funky. And, when you see how often animal fats are vilified, it is no wonder there are masses of folks falling into depression, by trying to follow the extremely low fat dietary guidelines that are so popular in this modern age.
Here is a link to a depression search on the WAPF website, and there are many, many articles that may be clues to nutritional solutions to your depression. I highly recommend spending some time digging in these archives.
A recent commenter on Hartke is Online! has a link on her website, to an interesting website that promotes nutritional suggestions for depression. It mentions Omega 3’s and the B vitamins as important factors in overcoming depression. Here is a quote from the site: “Many people feel better in just weeks after adding nutrients to their diets that they have been lacking..”
I plan to do more articles on depression in the future, as it is a complex subject and their are many possible ways to tackle it. I am also open to guest bloggers who have knowledge on the subject, so feel free to pitch story ideas to me, via my email address (see About page).
Fight, Don’t Retreat from Life
All I can tell you is not to accept depression but to strive to overcome it. Fight it with all you’ve got. Equip yourself with knowledge, try different strategies, until you hit upon what works. Depression’s ultimate aim is to destroy you, and you must resist it with all you have. To medicate it, is to manage it–not to defeat it. If I can overcome it, you can too.
Today’s first contributor to the blog carnival is another blogger who focuses on natural health solutions, NaturalRemedyGuides.com.
Kelly the Kitchen Kop shares a post from her archives on The GAPS Diet and how it may be helpful for Depression sufferers and others.
Now it is your turn, either put your ideas in the Comments, or if you are a blogger send me a link from your archives or a recent post, as long as it relates to the issues of depression and related ills. See blog carnival instructions on our Natural Cures page for more details.