When I think of depression, I see it as a murky moat around the castle of joy that is your life.
When you're experiencing depression, you're outside the castle. You're detached from your joy, standing on the other side of the moat. The drawbridge is up. You can see lights on in the castle and hear children laughter. Nevertheless, no matter how much you want to be inside the castle, you can't figure out how to get there. You feel exiled, unable to move, and hesitant to act. Your castle of joy feels far, far away.
Why are so many people experiencing depression?
The drug industry claims that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Psychologists maintain that the causes of depression are unknown.
The antidepressant drug industry is driven by multibillion-dollar sales each year. Since 2008, depression has been on the rise.
What's going on here?
In a nutshell: Drug companies are treating the symptoms, not the person.
As a Certified Holistic Health Consultant, my point of view is from a whole-person perspective. I don't just look at the symptoms. I look at the person.
Let me ask:
Are you feeling sad or depressed?
We all feel sad, from time to time. Feeling sad is a normal part of life and living.
However, if you're experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, and disinterest in things you once enjoyed, this is not normal.
Depression impacts you and everyone around you.
Whether you observe depression in others or know this about yourself, depression is all-encompassing.
· Depression affects your ability to make healthy decisions.
· It negatively affects all your relationships.
· It affects your ability to love yourself.
· It impedes your ability to maintain healthy habits.
Depression is insidious and keeps you from experiencing joy.
Castle of Joy
If you've been experiencing depression, I have great news for you.
Today, I'm lowering that drawbridge.
I'll help you cross over the moat and enter your castle of joy. I'll show you how to interact with the world better; how to be clear headed when making decisions; and start you on your way to incorporating healthy habits back into your life.
No matter how you're feeling now you deserve joy.
Three Things You Can Do to Lower Your Drawbridge
You can't afford to allow depression to sabotage your professional and personal efforts.
Yet, it does.
According to the National Sleep Foundation: "The relationship between sleep and depressive illness is complex – depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorders."
So, the first thing to do is pay attention to your sleep, get it regulated and under control.
Follow these three tips to ease depression:
1. The most important thing is to make sleep a priority.
Chronic stress elevates your cortisol levels. And since cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, when your cortisol levels are bumped up, day after day, your adrenal glands eventually poop-out. This is called Adrenal Fatigue.
Lack of sleep causes hormonal imbalances that affect brain activity and physiological responses.
Cortisol production should gradually decrease through the day, until it reaches its lowest levels late in the evening, when you're ready for bed.
When cortisol production doesn't get shut off, it leads to serious sleep issues. And when cortisol remains elevated, your body receives an energizing signal that makes it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
There are supplements that help reduce cortisol levels and enable you to sleep better. Supplements vary for each person and depend on other health factors. Excellent choices are:
· Valerian root.
· Magnolia bark.
2. One hour before bedtime, begin powering down.
You can program your smart phone to alert you, get Alexia to set an alarm, or set an alarm clock to notify you when it's one hour before bedtime.
When it goes off, that's the cue for your body and mind to begin to wind down.
Just like when you were a child, you'll create for yourself a bedtime ritual that is soothing, peaceful, and nourishing. You can do that by:
· Quieting your mind with meditation.
· Using relaxing scents in your room.
· Sipping comforting tea.
3. Balance your body with healthy eating throughout the day.
In order to get a good night's sleep, consume protein first thing in the morning.
Eating protein for breakfast or having a protein smoothie in the morning sets your body up for restful sleep in the evening by balancing blood sugar levels.
Next, stop eating carbohydrates three-to-five hours before you go to bed.
Since carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to spike, if you eat carbs right before bed you'll experience low blood sugar during your sleep cycle and that may cause you to get up and eat. Not only will that cause you to gain weight, it throws you out of the deeper sleep that is so needed.
Choose snacks before bed that 'relax' the body rather than stimulate it such as:
A banana protein smoothie made with nut milk, whey or pea protein.
· A bowl of Kiwi.
· Peanut Butter on a spoon.
· Walnuts and Almonds.
· Sugar-free, organic yogurt or Greek yogurt with flaxseeds and oats.
So, before you go the traditional route and start taking prescription antidepressants or, if you've been prescribed antidepressants and aren't seeing the results you expect, know that there are natural health and healing alternatives to ease depression. And one of the best ways is through sleep.
I'll end with this:
A client of mine who suffered from periodic depression agreed to implement these natural health and healing steps so that she could experience more joy in her life. Several months later she found her professional purpose in life and became engaged to be married. I asked her how she was doing with her sleep cycle and she replied, "I depend on it. I have too many wonderful goals in life now. I want my happy goals, so I make sleep my priority."
My client deserved joy. So do you.
In order to live fully in your castle of joy, you must first love yourself. Love yourself enough to give your body the time it needs to rest. The drawbridge is down. Come in and enjoy your castle of joy!