Care For Your Health
Having poor overall health can make recovery harder. Finding ways to take care of your health can aid your recovery and help you feel better. Get routine check-ups and visit your doctor when you’re not feeling well. Sometimes, it is hard to tell whether not feeling well is due to a side-effect of your medicine, a symptom of your mental health disorder or a different health problem. Your doctor can help you to sort it out.
Once you have practiced living healthy you should make a list of things that work for you to stay healthy; for instance walk my neighbor’s dog, eat more apples and get enough sleep. It is also a good idea to make a list of things that you know from experience trigger unhappy moods and make symptoms worse. Making a list of the ways to live well and triggers to avoid will help you live the healthiest life possible and avoid some unnecessary health (mental and physical) complications.
Some websites (like SparkPeople) and smart phone applications offer free calorie counters, workout trackers, and personalized diet and fitness plans. They can be a great resource to learn about stretches, healthy eating, and being active. They also allow you to track your progress and see how you are doing in reaching your goals.
Sometimes, medicine can cause you to gain weight. Other times, eating unhealthy foods can cause weight gain. Foods high in calories and saturated or “bad” fats can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol. This can increase your chances of gaining weight and having other health problems, like heart disease and diabetes.
No one knows exactly which foods promote maximum mental health. But following some basic suggestions can boost your energy, mood and overall wellness:
Consider the new nutritional tool: MyPlate: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which builds MyPlate, says a healthy diet:
Emphasizes whole grains found in bread, crackers, rice, or pasta;
Includes a variety of fruit and vegetables, encouraging dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans, and peas;
Includes getting calcium (often from milk);
Chooses lean or low-fat meats and poultry, adding a variety of fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
For additional nutritional information, see choosemyplate.gov. You’ll find a food tracker, menu planner and other tools.
Don’t skip meals. Eating consistently throughout the day provides your brain and body with a steady supply of fuel. It also prevents your blood sugar from dropping, which can cause nervousness, irritability, and other problems.
Snack well. Sustain your energy by eating healthy snacks. Try to eat some nuts, whole or dried fruit or other portable food.
Work on your balance. Maybe you know that your body needs a varied diet. But have you thought about your brain? Your brain needs a healthy supply of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, or it can’t perform functions that affect your mood and thinking.
Don’t over-diet. Eat to be healthy and fit – not to compare to anyone else. Strict food rules usually backfire, and excessive dieting can be dangerous. If you or someone you know seems at risk of an eating disorder, professional counseling can help.
Talk to your doctor to learn more about how to have a healthy diet.
Diet and Depression
Some evidence links depression and nutrition, although some of the research is still under debate. Nutrients that may play a role in combating depression include:
Vitamin B-12 and folate. Good sources of B-12 are fish like salmon and trout and breakfast cereals that indicate in the nutrition information that they are fortified. Folate is found in dark leafy vegetables, almonds, dairy products, and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals. Examples of fortified food include milk, salt, and certain cereals such as Special K, Cheerios, Total, Wheaties, and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.
Omega-3 fatty acids. The best source of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish like salmon, catfish, and trout. Other sources include ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and egg yolks.
If you’re feeling depressed, diet alone is likely not the answer. Consider contacting a mental health professional to get help.
Be Active and Exercise
Along with a healthy diet, exercise can improve your health and well-being. Exercising regularly can increase your self-esteem and confidence, specially if you opt to attend a Wrestling School; reduce your feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression; improve your sleep; and help you maintain a healthy weight. Living with a mental health condition can lead to isolation and loneliness. Getting active is the antidote.
While the object is to start getting active, it’s good to start gradually. When you are not well, a small amount activity can tax your energy and concentration, so it is important to pace yourself to start with. Talk with your mental health provider about how much activity to take on. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do all that you hoped to at first. You will gain stamina and strength with time and practice.
There are lots of ways to start getting more active. Go to the library or get out to the mall. Pursue your favorite hobby or take one up. Go to a musical event; while some cost money, others are free. Check for free or low-cost activities at public recreation centers, parks and adult education programs. If there is a tuition charge or admission fee, there may be discounts for people with disabilities or seniors.
For your overall health, the American Heart Association recommends:
At least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (think walking or a leisurely bike ride) five days a week PLUS strength training twice a week.
At least 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (like jogging or a challenging bike ride) three days a week PLUS strength training twice a week.