Feelings of isolation have been increasing during the times of quarantine. During the coming cold North Dakota months, you may notice more signs of depression in yourself or your family. The following are tips on how to recognize the signs as well as ways to help yourself, your friends, or your family through their difficult times.
Some of the signs and symptoms of depression include: deep feelings of sadness, feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, appetite changes, sleep changes, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, isolating, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, preoccupation with death or thoughts of self-harm, getting rid of belongings or giving away treasured possessions, or talking about feeling trapped or wanting a way out.
Have an honest conversation. You can’t force someone to talk but knowing you’re available can really help them feel supported. Ask your friend if they’ve seriously considered suicide. They may want to talk to someone about it but are unsure of how to bring up the difficult topic.
Offer to help with everyday tasks. With depression, day-to-day tasks can feel overwhelming. Things like laundry, grocery shopping, or paying bills can begin to pile up, making it hard to know where to start. Your friend may appreciate an offer of help, but they also might not be able to clearly say what they need help with. So, instead of saying “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” consider saying, “What do you most need help with today?”
Exercise starts a biological cascade of events that results in many health benefits. Some of these are things such as improving sleep and lowering blood pressure. High-intensity exercise releases the body's feel-good chemicals called endorphins. The real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time. That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression.
One factor that may contribute to depression is a person’s dietary habits, which will determine the nutrients that they consume. Focus on what you put into your body. Eat plants like fruits and veggies, whole grains (in unprocessed form, ideally), seeds and nuts, with some lean proteins like fish and yogurt. Avoid things made with added sugars or flours (like breads, baked goods, cereals, and pastas), and minimize processed or fast foods.
Sometimes people lack what nutrients they need from their food. At that time someone may choose to add in supplements to help get them on the right track. Vitamin B and Curcumin. A good methylated Vitamin B (a blend of all of the B vitamins) can help to improve both low mood as well as help to improve your energy level on those low energy days! Curcumin supports normal liver detoxification activity. The gut brain connection plays a big role in mood. So how your body breaks down and detoxes will play a big role in how you feel that day and possibly may impact days later.
Practice self-care. Spending a lot of time with a loved one who has depression can take an emotional toll. Know your limits around difficult emotions, and make sure you take time to recharge.
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*The statements in this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products or ingredients discussed here in are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.