I worked in a pharmacy for years & I honestly got sad about the amount of medication some people take.
(( I’m not recommending that anyone just stops taking their medication – just have a discussion & maybe bring up ideas to discuss with healthcare providers. I fully understand that some people have health issues that are completely unsolvable without medication. That is not what I’m talking about.))
I’m referring to people who would rather take a pill everyday for the rest of their lives to cover up the problem, rather than make a lifestyle change that would completely solve it. I’m also not blaming them. Personally, I think healthcare providers promote that, & I fully believe it’s money motivated – but I’ll cut that off there because I could rant on the topic for hours.
I’ve gone through my own personal battles with taking medication. I’ve cycled on & off over 15 different antidepressants/anti-anxiety medications. Truthfully, none of them made me feel much better & most came with some brutal side effects; still, I continued taking them anyway with the hope that one day they’d miraculously cure me. These medications are also somewhat controversial & I highly recommend doing your research before starting to take one. I’ve been off medication for awhile & I’m honestly the happiest I’ve ever been.
Here’s the things I focus on to manage my depression and anxiety, medication free:
People tend to underestimate the power of food. I fully believe that diet is the most important aspect of anyone’s health, both physical and mental. If you eat better, you will feel better. You’ll have more energy. You will be happier. I find my mood is best when I cut out animal products and cook at home. Whenever I change that – i.e. eat out alot or eat a high intake of animal products – my mood tends to be down, i can’t concentrate, i’m lethargic etc.
More exercise = more endorphins = more happiness. I find starting my day off moving keeps me in a better mood & also makes me more energized. I actually split my workout up & do cardio in the morning and lift weights in the afternoon. Obviously that’s not necessary, but I feel like it keeps my mood in check for the entire day. It’s also a great stress relief and people tend to feel better about themselves when they’re in better shape.
Recently I’ve been attempting to meditate daily. I find it relaxing and a great way to clear my mind when my anxiety seem out of control. I don’t even do it long, just a few minutes everyday; however, I promise those few minutes of silence will make a huge difference in your mental health.
This one has always been a struggle for me, but you need to express your feelings. Personally, I’ve had terrible experiences with psychologists/psychiatrists but am lucky enough that I have one or two friends that I can speak to openly. If you don’t have a friend you’re close with, talk to a therapist. If that’s not your thing, I’m always here as well.
Still not up for talking? Me either most of the time. Find an outlet to express yourself. Whether it’s drawing, piano, journaling, singing, blogging etc. etc. Have something where you can express your feelings or even something where you can just let the stress out. Take up running, boxing – I’m sure hitting things would feel good every once in awhile + even more endorphins!!