managing mental health.

By: Monique Danae, HNC | May 9, 2020

Over the past 2 years, I was faced with persistent anxiety and PTSD-related symptoms. Fortunately, I was already transitioning to a more holistic lifestyle. I was able to find a path back to “sanity” through a combination of prayer, therapy, anti-inflammatory diet, chamomile tea, and essential oils. 

To be clear, I do not have a chronic “condition” or psychological diagnosis. Before you continue reading, please understand that I encourage you to consult a physician, licensed health professional, and set up an individual consultation with a holistic nutritionist or registered dietitian. ALSO consult a pharmacist before incorporating the following herbs if you are taking Prozac, Xanax, birth control pills, diet pills, etc. 

GENERAL Tips

  • If you are experiencing severe depression or suicidal thoughts, please seek professional assistance immediately by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or chat with counselors here.
  • Identify and address YOUR stress factors and triggers. Don’t be afraid to talk with a counselor, a good friend, or a pastor. Work with a licensed health professional who can help you create action steps for addressing any contributing factors and triggers.   
  • Create supportive daily habits, schedules, and morning/evening rituals. Get regular physical activity. Sleep 7-8 hours. Incorporate moments for reflection. Limit screen time before bed. 
  • It’s okay to cry!!! Cry in the shower, in the car, on the couch, or even at your desk. Crying does NOT make you weak, it actually strengthens your ability to manage your emotional state by releasing stress hormones and more.
  • Get at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day! Sunlight and regular exercise are great components of managing depression and other mental health states. 
  • Be aware of your posture and breath. Proper posture will improve proper breathing and help to better regulate your stress hormone levels. 

NUTRITION Tips

Herbs & Oils

  • Anxiety symptoms — Chamomile, Valerian Root, Motherwort, St. John’s Wort, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Mimosa Herb, Rose, Ginseng, and Kava.
  • Depression symptoms — Gotu Kola, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo, Valerian Root, Mimosa Herb, and Rose. 

Foods & Fluids

  • Consume caffeine mindfully. You may need to reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake. Start swapping some cups of coffee for green tea.
  • Consume enough foods rich in vitamin B, C, E, folic acid, calcium, selenium, potassium, and zinc.
  • Aim to consume an anti-inflammatory diet. Eat more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flax seeds and salmon; those that fight inflammation like Turmeric; and fiber-rich foods like oatmeal. These tend to be fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. 
  • Mind your stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, and some medications). Limit your intake, especially in the 4 hours prior to bedtime. 
  • Avoid processed and junk food.

FITNESS Tips

  • Get regular physical activity! It is a great way to stabilize moods and release stress hormones, and encourage the circulation of “healthy” hormones. 
  • Manage anxiety with yoga, tai chi, meditation, and breathwork! These are great for easing panic attacks. 

Please don’t be afraid to reach out to one of the following professionals if you have persistent concerns and individual questions regarding this topic: Primary Care Physician, Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian, Licensed Healthcare Professional, Pharmacist, etc. 

Published by Moniqué Danaê

Holistic Nutrition Specialist, Student Physical Therapist, and Strategist.

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