In honour of mental health awareness week, I would like to bring you DMC’s top tips for mental health. Let’s get started with….
Drink water first thing when you wake up and throughout the day. This is important because a chronically dehydrated body is effectively like trying to drive a car without fuel.
We humans are resilient and even though we may be dehydrated the body will still function but not optimally. Energy levels will be severely compromised and the body’s ability to detoxify will be restricted.
Do some sort of exercise first thing and change your physical and mental state.
It has been proven over and over again that daily exercise is powerful, holistic medicine that has the power to improve mental health and in many cases alleviate depression.
The post exercise ‘glow’ is achieved due to the production of happy hormones and endorphins.
No one has ever done a workout and declared that they feel like shit afterward.
If you want to feel better, hydrate and move your body. You’ll be amazed at the positive effect it will have.
Eat a diet rich in whole foods. Some examples of whole foods are:
A piece of meat or poultry, or fish
A piece of fruit
Limit the consumption of processed foods. Processed foods have 3 or more ingredients or are chemically enhanced.
All “junk” foods are classed as processed foods. Most of them have specific ingredients to make the customer addicted to them when being consumed in large portions or many times a day.
I am not saying that processed foods are going to make you depressed, but combined with the other factors i.e. chronic dehydration, sub-optimal nutrition, lack of movement, all result in the human body being in a state of distress, thus putting excess pressure on the brain which can negatively effect the mind.
Take micronutrient vitamin and mineral supplements. All you need to know is in this blog on The Benefits of Supplementation.
Limit or remove alcohol from your diet. It is well documented that alcohol is a natural depressant and as this whole blog is about natural anti-depressants then enough said.
Relaxation and Routine
Get into a solid daily and night time routine. I can tell a lot just by viewing someone’s daily routine. Those of us with mental health challenges can improve their lifestyle by embedding a solid self care process within a stable and regular daily routine.
Learn to relax using the headspace app. The buzz word of ‘mindfulness’ is thrown around a lot, especially in the corporate sector. Being mindful is important though.
I believe developing the ability to completely relax your body and still your mind allows the reduction in specific stress hormones i.e. cortisol. In the presence in high cortisol levels, the immune system shuts down which leaves the body susceptible to bugs.
For more info on the negative effects on stress hormones watch the video below.
Start a gratitude journal. Keeping a written record of your ups and downs allows you to assess your thinking patterns and the experiences that you experience from day to day and week to week.
Journaling is a super effective self-assessment tool and a great place to record what you are grateful for in your life. In this article by psychology today, ‘7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude’.
Sleep for 7-8 hours – headspace will help with this. Every single person that I’ve spoken to who has been having suicidal thoughts, to the point of wanting to take their own life, have been chronically sleep deprived. When your mind is in overdrive and you don’t know how to control it, regular sleep patterns can be erratic.
I know from personal experience at times when I’m having an episode, I struggle to sleep. Sleep deprivation has many negative effects on humans. A good nights sleep is essential in the rejuvenation and recharging of human energy.
Read and educate yourself on mental health and the best holistic practices to manage it yourself. Here’s a couple of articles to get you started.
Do some sort of therapy. Different types of therapy include:
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
CBT (Cognative Behavioural Therapy)
RTT (Rapid Transformation Therapy)
Reiki, energy healing
What do I know about mental health?…
I share this not for sympathy but to show that I’ve been through periods of depression and came out the other side. I can be vulnerable. I’ve had plenty of practice.
I’m vocal about my mental health challenges. I used to suffer and now I manage.
I use my daily emotional, mental and physical fitness to manage my state and at times just get me thorough the day.
I’ve got scars on my wrists and I’ve taken lots of pills. My first suicide attempt happened when I was only 17 years of age.
Many times in my Army career I felt like swallowing the muzzle of my rifle and blowing my head of.
After my mum died in 2015 I wanted to kill myself.
But I didn’t.
I am still here.
I am staying and I know that after dark comes light.
Now many reading this will judge me. That’s ok because it’s your issue not mine.
I’ve had messages in the middle of the night from my old comrades saying my social media shares have helped keep them alive.
So fucking judge me all you want. I’ll take your shite all day.
To those in a dark place and feeling stuck Im always here to chat. I won’t judge you and I won’t tell you what to do. I will just listen.
You are loved and liked, even if you don’t feel it.
The dark thoughts can be harnessed.
You are valued.
People care about and love you.
It’s ok to not be ok.
Have the courage to talk to someone. I promise you will feel better afterwards.
“Strength for Life”
Davie McConnachie, creator of DMC Fitness and Dynamic Mind Conditioning, is an expert health and wellness coach, multi-award winning motivational speaker, award-winning gym owner, writer and published poet.
Athletically, Davie has competed nationally in MMA, Boxing and Thai Boxing, and internationally in kettlebell sport. Davie enjoyed the London Marathon, several half marathons and is a regular mountain trekker.