Right now, one in six Australians are experiences depression or anxiety or both. If that’s not you, it one of your friends will be struggling with this. Here are some natural ways to help calm anxiety and elevate your mood:
10 tips to lift your mood
- Move your body: leave the house and go for a walk if possible, drag yourself to an exercise or yoga class, or put on your favourite tunes and dance.
- Sunshine: Spend time outside, breathe fresh air and if possible, hang out in nature. Vitamin D is also important, as sub-optimal levels (less than 75 mol/L serum, which is often within the standard pathology ‘normal range’) can trigger depression and anxiety.
- Skip the grog: even one glass can trigger the blues, anxiety and make you feel more tired the next day.
- Ever noticed that ‘flat brain’ feeling when you haven’t drunk enough water? Dehydration can make you feel dull, miserable and sluggish. Aim for at least 2 litres of water a day, as well as cutting back on caffeine and soft drinks.
- Eat a rainbow of vegetables and fruit. Plant foods are packed with nutrients. Take a break from eating processed foods like flour and sugar.
- Shift perspective: try moving out of an endless cycle of rumination by being curious. If you find yourself having a panic attack, give the STOP technique a go.
- Change your language: self-care begins with kindness, not just to others but towards yourself as well. If you have negative self-talk, call yourself ‘hopeless’ (or worse), catch yourself saying or thinking this and counter it with a kind thought (‘I’m a good person who is just having a tough day’).
- Connect: Brene´ Brown so famously said, “Humans are hard wired for connection.” Loneliness is a strong predictor of depression. It may feel hard to reach out to others right now, but try to connect with a friend or relative and say hello.
- See a naturopath or herbalist: we are experts in finding ways to get your diet back on track, check for any underlying physical conditions that maybe making you feel worse and prescribe appropriate herbs to support your nervous system.
- Get help – consult an experienced psychologist. If you can’t afford this, book an extended consultation with your GP to request a mental health plan for Medicare subsidised consultations with a psychologist.
Depression and anxiety are serious conditions. If you’ve tried these tips and they don’t make help, or symptoms are constant, you have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, see your doctor.
These tips may help transient episodes of anxiety or depression, some herbs have even been proven to be as or more effective than antidepressants, but self-preservation always comes first.