Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Natural Methods to Treat Divorce Depression - 5 Strategies to Ease Symptoms

Depression often arises during the process of divorce.   This is understandable, as the emotional impact of divorce is very strong. There is a change is a large number of areas - living arrangements, finances, standards of living, the loss of ideals, a loss of intimacy, and loss of accessibility and/or time with children. It is not uncommon for sadness, hopelessness, anxiety about the future, loss of energy and interest in doing enjoyable activities, and changes in sleep habits or appetite to set in. In severe cases, you might need to see a doctor to take some antidepressants to help you through this trying time. However, for milder cases, a natural approach can be successful is managing the symptoms. Here are 5 strategies for attacking the depression of divorce with natural methods:

1.       Eat a healthy diet. Eat lots of fresh produce, proteins that are lean, and whole grains. The body and mind are connected and improving your physical health will help support your emotional well being. Often, appetite is impacted by feelings of depression. If you don't feel like eating much, try carrying around snacks and eating them throughout the day in small portions. If you eat more than you really need to maintain a healthy weight and good energy, try setting a cutoff time past which you won't eat. Also, turn off the TV while you eat. The distraction can keep you from being in touch with your body and sensing when you are truly full.

2.      Try supplementation if needed. A food based multivitamin can be a good place to start, adding calcium if you don't eat a lot of calcium rich foods. Fish oil is a good supplement that supports the body in various ways, including supporting brain health. L-theanine is an anti-anxiety supplement that can be beneficial, and os often taken with 5 HTP (hydroytryptophan), a natural antidepressant that converts to serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation. It is best to consult with your health care provider before trying new supplements.

3.      Exercise as a form of depression treatment. Check with your doctor to find out the best level of activity for your body and fitness level, then choose a cardiovascular regime that will elevate your heart rate for a period of time. This is important because endorphins are released with sustained cardio activity. Try to exercise regularly, ideally reaching 45 minutes five times per week. 

4.      Talk things out if needed. A professional counselor can be an excellent sounding board, and offer a trained and unbiased perspective to help you sort out your issues. Supportive friends and family are also a great emotional support, and can keep you connected and prevent isolation.

5.      Take a moment in each day to do something that honors you. Make a list of little things you enjoy, then choose one each day to do. Make this a habit - when the first list is finished, start another.

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