Steps to Improve Life with Depression
Did you make any New Year's resolutions? One problem with resolutions related to our health is that they're often impacted by issues outside our control. That can set us up to fail at some resolutions, and that always makes me feel that I've failed even though I really didn't.
I thought about making resolutions, but decided that instead of making resolutions, I'd make a firm, ongoing commitment to improving my health, both physical health and mental health.
Here are some steps we can all take to implement an ongoing commitment to improving our health:
Evaluate our healthcare team:
Is our healthcare team all it should be? All it can be? If not, it's time for some adjustments. Remember -- We are ultimately responsible for our health, so it follows that WE should be an active member of and in charge of our team.
There's no better time than now to evaluate our team and decide what changes, if any, need to be made. Remember too that if you have a family doctor or primary care doctor, it's part of their job to help you coordinate any care you may receive from other doctors.
Plan better nutrition and proper hydration:
Proper nutrition and adequate hydration affect every aspect of our health. When our overall health is better, it's easier to deal with illnesses and diseases. Also, did you know that dehydration can have a big impact on how well medications work? It can, so be sure you're getting enough water. Also, be careful of both caffeinated and alcoholic beverages and their impact on health and medications.
Yes, we need exercise:
It's hard to exercise when we don't feel well. Still, exercise improves our overall health, AND the endorphins produced by exercise can be a real help for depression. Even gentle stretches are exercise. Some days, between Migraine issues, arthritis, depression, etc., I find it a real chore to exercise.
Here's an article that you may find helpful, 10 Ways for Migraineurs To Sneak In Some Exercise. These methods can work for everyone. (Confession: I really dislike exercising, but with diabetes and a heart attack in my medical history, it's especially important. I tried to include easy exercise methods that even I will use.)
Organize and delegate:
Sometimes, I hate to admit it, but we're not superheroes. We can't do it all; we can't be everything to everyone. Still, with good organization, we can accomplish more and feel better about ourselves.
Whether you prefer to do organizational tasks on your computer or other electronic device, or you prefer old-fashioned pen and paper, there are more organizational tools available today than ever before. We sometimes laugh about people making lists, but they work! Make lists and use them.
Lists and other organizational tools can also help us delegate. We really do not have to do everything ourselves. Make a list of tasks that need to be accomplished to keep your household running, then delegate what you can. Most of the time, people around us are only too happy to take on some of these tasks because doing so can result in our feeling better and being more a part of their lives.
Take some "me time" every day, without fail:
The world is so fast-paced today! Sometimes, it seems as if everyone is running in several directions at once. If you have children at home, they're probably involved in far more activities than you were at their age. This usually means more time and work for parents too. All of this can be overwhelming. This makes it more imporant than ever that we take a bit of time for ourselves every day. Whether you spend that time writing a journal, meditating, praying, taking a bubble bath, or just sitting quietly, this time can improve both health and attitude. Setting aside this time for ourselves and not letting anyone or anything interfere with it isn't selfish at all. It's simply being less selfless.
What can you add to this list? Please feel free to click the "Add Comment" link below and share with us!
© Teri Robert, 2008.