Lifting your spirits!
In Australia, 7 million prescriptions for antidepressants are written each year. My goodness that is a sad statistic and negative reflection on our society. We are the land of sunshine and beaches! We are the 'lucky'country, so what is going on?
Have we become, more materialistic? are we so busy that there is no time for friendship?, are relationships breaking down more frequently?, is the cost of living taking its toll?, is our working life becoming more intrusive? or is it a combination of everything?
We don't have to accept that life can't be improved! we can can steps to make things better Here are some basics that might just help a little.
Find a friend
There’s so much evidence to show that supportive relationships – whether with friends or family – can protect you against major depression. Since family members can sometimes be the cause of stress and emotional problems, finding new friends may be the best path to a happier life. But how do you make new friends. Joining a committee or taking a class may be the best way to start. Or try inviting the neighbours in for afternoon tea one weekend.
Get a dog
I have mentioned in previous posts that when we moved to a new town that taking our dog, Harry for a daily walk was the single best way of meeting the locals. Now our Harry is one very special dog and just loves all the attention but I don't think it was just Harry's superior K-nine qualities that got us "engaged" with people, I really think people are wanting to engage and Harry was the vehicle.
A university in the UK conducted a survey of 65 dog owners and found that they nearly always felt obliged to take their dog for a walk, even if they were feeling low and it was freezing cold or raining heavily. Once they had stepped outside, they usually felt much better. Being made to exercise also kept them physically fit and improved their social contact with like-minded people, which clearly played a part in helping to ward off any feelings of isolation and loneliness they may have had.
The reason why so many of us complain about being depressed could be that we’re not eating enough fish. That’s what a growing body of evidence indicates. The link, researchers say, is related to omega-3 fatty acids. These ‘good’ fats help nerve cells, such as those in the brain, to communicate with one another more effectively. Among the many studies into the links between fish consumption and mood, several found that people who ate a healthy diet that included oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, two or three times a week for five years, had significantly fewer feelings of depression and hostility than a similar group who rarely consumed oily fish. So elevate your mood with a daily dose of omega-3. If you don’t like fish, try taking 2 tablespoons of flax-seed oil or fish oil capsules (follow dosage recommendations on the label, as potency varies among different brands). Harry takes fish oil every day too!
Seek out the sun
Even in sunny climates, the winters can be cold, gloomy and depressing. Poor weather, lack of sunshine, grey skies by day and the seemingly endless dark nights all conspire to create a sense of gloom. A tropical holiday will give you a powerful dose of natural light, which can help to lift your mood. When you return home, you’ll not only feel refreshed and revitalised, you’ll be able to look forward to the arrival of spring.
Here’s a surprising finding that might make you feel better. Researchers have discovered that skipping an entire night of sleep can quell depression for as long as a month. No one is sure why this works, but speculation suggests that depriving yourself of sleep ‘resets’ your internal clock, and this enables someone who is depressed to relax and sleep better.
You’re always economising and doing things on the cheap. Someday, you say, you’ll buy cashmere, and splurge out on other luxuries. Don’t wait too long. There is evidence that constantly denying yourself life’s little pleasures can lead to a serious sense of regret as you get older. Over time, the regret gets worse, while the guilt from over-indulgence quickly fades.
So just a few basics that might help......try one or two it might just help!
...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE!