Based on the book Lift Your Mood With Power Food by Christine Bailey, £10.99, Watkins Publishing Limited
The therapist and coach
Dr Suzannah Hill sees clients at her clinics in Pluckley and Egerton, by telphone or via Skype
What are key signs that you may have depression? Common symptoms include: changes in appetite, weight and sleep patterns, e.g. early morning waking – or a desire to sleep more. Prolonged periods of low mood, feeling helpless and hopeless, angry or irritable, or feelings of worthlessness and guilt. However, feeling numb or an absence of feeling can also occur and this can be just as unsettling, meaning it is hard to feel pleasure from activities that were previously enjoyable. A person with depression may have some, all or only one or two of these symptoms. Depression is sometimes accompanied by anxiety.
If you think you have depression, what can you do? The first step is recognising it and finding the support that feels right for you. This could involve talking to someone you trust, who will respect your privacy, and who can be impartial; be it a friend, your GP, the Samaritans, or a therapist or mental health professional who may recommend a drug treatment and /or seeing a therapist. There are a range of therapies available and the most important thing is finding what works for you. You can also find a therapist on the CounsellingDirectory.org or through the BACP or UKCP websites. Make sure the therapist is registered with a professional body. It is essential you feel comfortable with your therapist. Trust your instinct, and if they don’t feel right for you, find someone who does. Lastly, self-care is extremely important, so try and eat well, make time to rest and be kind to yourself. Unfortunately suicidal thoughts can accompany depression, and if these thoughts start to develop into plans and you feel you are at risk of harming yourself or anyone else, seek urgent medical help – call NHS 111, your GP or A&E.
The life coach
Maureen Dickie helps people to find their sense
What are the negative effects of stress in the short and long term? Too much stress leaves us feeling as if we are not living our own life. In the short term this can lead to lethargy, frustration or anxiety as we feel unable to listen to our ‘inner voice’. In the longer term, this can culminate in a sense of loss, regret or anger and physical ill health.
How can we manage or reduce stress day to day? A few minutes’ daily reflection can bring insight – and the strength to trust in ourselves. People say ‘I always knew…’ How did they know? Their inner voice was telling them – but they did not respond. What is your inner voice trying to tell you? A moment of calm allows us to listen to our heart – and prioritise accordingly. Chopra.com offer free guided meditations from 5-60 minutes.
What can be achieved by managing stress effectively? Clarity and focus. Our actions become aligned with our values, how we truly feel and indeed who we are. We can avoid living a life we later regret.
Eating a feel-good diet
Meals that help maintain good moods, energy levels and general health and well-being are based around a blood-sugar balancing diet rich in nutrients. However, we do not always manage to translate these theories into the food on our plates: busy lifestyles, bad dietary habits and the apparent convenience of less healthy foods often take over. Yet, by recognizing the powerful impact of eating good food and following some general strategies for boosting your moods and energy levels, it becomes remarkably easy to take the principles pretty much anywhere you go.
Feel-good diet basics:
- Start each day with a cup of warm water
- Add lemon juice or fresh ginger if required
- Include slow-release, low glycaemic load carbohydrates
- Include lean protein at each meal and as snacks
- Include essential omega 3 fats daily
- Eat foods high in B vitamins, zinc and magnesium
- Eat fruit and vegetables at every meal.
- Make each plate as colourful as possible
- Keep hydrated – drink at least 1.5 litres of water daily
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