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  • Are You Making These Depression & Anxiety Mistakes?

    Depression and anxiety are tricky beasts to deal with.  The laundry list of reasons includes: overwhelming swells of negative emotion blocking out any and all optimism and the inability to respond to setbacks with pragmatism and reason. These are just a few examples of the challenges people living with depression and anxiety experience.

    If we’re being honest, depression and anxiety can make taking care of oneself seem overwhelming or even seem impossible.  That is because they prevent you from doing the things that would make you feel better, like:

    1. Exercise

    You know going to the gym would lift your spirits, and maybe you even miss the rush of feel-good endorphins. But you just can’t bring yourself to go for X, Y, and Z reasons.

    But exercise does wonders for symptoms of depression and anxiety, particularly practices such as yoga which teach us to focus on the breath. Breathing techniques help to oxygenate our blood, which improves functions often impacted by depression and anxiety such as immune system and cognitive functioning.

    2. Nutrition

    You know you’re not eating well and that you’d feel better if you had a decent meal, but you have no energy to go grocery shopping, much less to cook for yourself. So instead you opt for quick, easy, and highly processed TV dinners or microwaveable meals.

    Nutrition is one of, if not the most, important aspects to health and proper body function. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (tuna, salmon, avocado) as well as B-vitamins (blueberries, walnuts, leafy greens) have been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression.

    3. Basic hygiene

    Simple tasks like brushing your teeth or taking a shower can become as formidable as climbing Mt. Everest if you’re in the middle of a bad episode. You’re lethargic and sluggish, wishing you could melt into your bed and disappear…so what does it matter if you skip a shower or two?

    Failing to accomplish basic tasks of daily living due to depression or anxiety leads us to judge ourselves harshly and see the reduced self-care as more evidence of our own incompetence.  These assumptions and self-critical thoughts result in more depression and anxiety that lead to more avoidance and inactivity. Thus, this inactivity locks us into a cycle of behavior, negative thoughts and inactivity or avoidance. Learning how to become active again and how to approach and complete important tasks is an integral part of reducing depression and anxiety.

    If you’re having a hard time digging yourself out of the well of depression and anxiety, it’s always best to seek professional help. Contact John Gallagher, LMHC. A practicing counselor for over 15 years, John has experience helping to treat depression, anxiety, and many other issues.