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Healthy Tips for the Mentally Unhealthy

14481448 Massachusetts New

Hello, everyone. I'm very new here (as in joined yesterday), and I see a lot of positivity here and I feel very grateful. I'm very new to this journey and hope that people can help me find myself.

I have depression and anxiety. I take medication for both, and I also go to therapy, though last appointment was unsuccessful due to scheduling conflicts. It made me feel very upset, and I have a tendency to be hard on myself.

I am in college. It is my last semester and I am on the cusp of graduating. This is causing me a lot of stress with regards to my future.

I want to know if any of you have come from similar backgrounds and if you have tips in order to help me. I want to be healthier (via food and exercise), but I have no idea where to start or to keep me motivated.

Anything you can say will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited February 25

    I think one thing I think looking back on my time in graduate school with a mental illness developed in school was that I think I didn't realize that I had time. I could take a week or even a year off and try to get healthy.

    For being healthier meditation helped me a lot with depression from onset of mental illness. I don't have depression in general without a stressor but I do have incurable (though I have coping and medication) schizoaffective disorder. So on top of some delusions I had temporary depression and meditation helped with that in that immediately it was a small oasis. I use the word oasis to explain that it didn't reverse the depression rather it just was an oasis of time when I was meditating. I especially liked the feeling of relief I felt when I stood up after meditation. I can laugh and say that moment was true meditation perhaps and the other ten minutes was just experimenting with sitting.

    For diet I recommend a book called the Spectrum and the concept is that you can overcome and even reverse genetics potentially by choosing how healthy to be on 'the Spectrum'. It contains a lot of information about what is healthy and even includes a disc with guided meditations by the authors wife who is into yoga and meditation. One thing I believe is helpful both for mood and heart health is to get some fish oil in the diet either from eating seafood or taking fish oil pills. I've been taking fish oil pills for years and just take 2/day with lunch. Super easy aside from remembering which is the hard part. If you take the fish oil pills buy a brand that says they remove mercury and dioxin which are harmful parts of seafood that are good to remove.

    For exercise I recommend starting small and try to be frequent. Same as with meditation. For me I do three areas: cardio to raise heart rate, lifting or calisthenics to build some strength, and stretching for flexibility. Also I do a fourth which is fun like sports or rollerblading or something. This area is for fun and also helps the brain centers for balance to be activated. I do some basketball but not playing because I am 40 and would probably injure myself. I just shoot baskets or I would play HORSE or shoot around if with someone else. I also like tennis and pickle ball sometimes. and rollerblading with a helmet and pads.

    I don't have depression anxiety usually and not enough to take medicine but I do have pretty severe (without medicine) psychosis symptoms. The medicine I take for that also takes care of mania easily. So maybe someone with more experience with depression or anxiety can say something about those.

    Also welcome and I hope you can get something from being on the forum.

    edit: added that the diet and health book I mentioned 'the Spectrum' is by Dean Ornish just in case need of disambiguation

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 25

    My sister has depression and anxiety and without medication is not coping too well. Improving slightly. So well done on taking medication. 👍🏾

    My advice is do everything you can. Exercise is excellent. Really good. Helps my sister. She goes walking but due to anxiety needs an escort ...🏊🏽‍♂️

    Food: I suppose eating calming foods rather than stimulating foods such as those with sugar and caffeine. Which comes to mindful cooking and eating initially ... 🍱

    JeffreyBuddhadragon
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    I suffered from anxiety and depression in my college years and in my 20s. It helps to get outside of your self centered thinking. Try thinking about the well-being of others and try to help them be happy. It's counterintuitive, but focusing on yourself and always thinking "I" fuels anxiety and depression. You may also want to try loving kindness meditation. Here's an easy way... Just close your eyes, and whoever pops in your mind, say, "May you be blessed." Focus on others and you will begin to unravel the selfish mind which is the root of your anxiety and depression.

    The two causes of suffering are self-cherishing and self-grasping. Following these directions will help you begin to other-cherish.

    lobsterJeffreyFosdick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 25

    Hi @1448 and welcome to the forum.
    I'm sure you'll find much within this site to help, support and encourage you in your practice. I'm glad members have chimed in and offered the counsel they have; we're a pretty good bunch of folk when it comes to providing a shoulder or arm to lean on.
    Let me just add though that we're primarily people who share and discuss most things largely from a Buddhist outlook. Of course, we talk about many things, the subject matter is vast, as I'm sure you must have seen!
    The Members-Only sub-forum is the only one here that cannot be accessed by non-member prying eyes conducting web searches on sensitive issues or matters. Everything there can be access solely by members of the forum (as the name would suggest!) so it's a location where those who may need to, can open their hearts to fellow members on any subject that may be private or personal and rest safe in the knowledge that 'what happens in Members-Only, stays in Members-Only.'
    However, let me also add that we're not a professional body of expert therapists, counsellors or advisers, so any complex questions which could or should be tackled by those professionals, need to be dealt with accordingly.
    Naturally, we always support members in whichever way they might ask, but some issues may be beyond our remit, and rightly so.
    From a Buddhist perspective, we welcome anything with open arms and minds; should it come to areas requiring more expert and specialised support, we have to remain a closed book. ;)

    Glad you joined us. Hope you continue, onward and upward!

    BunkssatcittanandalobsterJeffrey
  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Explorer

    I am also close to graduating in my studies and I can relate somewhat.
    One thing that helps is to peacefully observe your feelings and thoughts. You can also observe what's around you or observe your breathing. Doing some breathing exercises helps. Take time to do nothing even if it is just short moment.
    Getting some sunshine is also good when you can, though take care not to get sun burn ofc. And even on cold windy days it can be good to get fresh air if possible.
    Exercise is always good, it should reduce feelings of lethargy and generally make you feel better.
    Good rest at night is also of key importance, ensure you get the right amount of sleep for you, not too much and not too little. It can help not to use screens before sleeping and having a sufficiently dark room at a comfortable temperature.
    Diet wise I think it depends on the individual and their circumstances, but generally you want to avoid too many processed and refined foods. That includes sugary things, these things affect your overall mood.

    Therapy might help you but remember it's up to you to make changes in your life and bring yourself into balance. There is also self therapy, including some methods pulled from CBT which work decently enough.

    Jeffreylobster
  • 14481448 Massachusetts New

    For diet I recommend a book called the Spectrum and the concept is that you can overcome and even reverse genetics potentially by choosing how healthy to be on 'the Spectrum'. It contains a lot of information about what is healthy and even includes a disc with guided meditations by the authors wife who is into yoga and meditation. One thing I believe is helpful both for mood and heart health is to get some fish oil in the diet either from eating seafood or taking fish oil pills. I've been taking fish oil pills for years and just take 2/day with lunch. Super easy aside from remembering which is the hard part. If you take the fish oil pills buy a brand that says they remove mercury and dioxin which are harmful parts of seafood that are good too."

    Thank you! I'm currently reading the books (and am very glad I have an external hard-drive in order to store all of these books) and I will definitely implement these!

  • I want to know if any of you have come from similar backgrounds and if you have tips in order to help me. I want to be healthier (via food and exercise), but I have no idea where to start or to keep me motivated.

    This free app might be motivational ...
    https://insighttimer.com/meditation-groups

    [Deleted User]
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    My brother is pychotic, one of my best friends is bipolar and a couple other good friends have had bouts of depression in different degrees of severity.

    As @JaySon pointed out above, I have also noticed a tendency towards self-centredness and ego-overprotection in people who are psychologically impaired, that's why my main advice always is: avoid navel-gazing and rumination as much as possible.
    DO, don't THINK.
    Thinking, which soon turns into obssessive and pointless overthinking, does not get you anywhere.
    So DO: meditate, go out a lot -alone or with friends,- take up hobbies, meet new people, do charity, help people in need...
    If you like reading, sit down in a café with your books.

    Do not take yourself too seriously and deconstruct that ego which gets unnaturally overinflated by psychological illnesses.

    SocairlobsterShoshin[Deleted User]
  • Generally, anxiety and depression suck, bigtime.

    However, as with anything in life, suffering especially, every new experience also enobles us in subtle ways. That has certainly been my experience. So my only piece of advice would be to be open to the possibility that these experiences have something positive to teach you. And I'm not saying that this will make them leave. That's probably a tall order. But in small ways, you will see yourself grow and can take some contentment from that. Just a thought.

    Socair
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Healthy Tips for the Mentally Unhealthy

    In some way, we are all mentally unhealthy...some it would seem more so than others, however we're all adrift on the same rocky Samsara raft...

    Healthy Tips...Go for a walk each and every day, (even if you don't feel like doing so-once you're out and about things improve)... Eat a healthy diet, make sure you have breakfast and eat plenty of fruit & veges....and drink lots of water....

    On a personal level...I also rinse the mind daily with a wholesome dose of Dharma ...

    The medicinal qualities of "The Dharma" is known to cure all aliments :)

    But as with any medicine... be careful with the dose... don't over do it, it's best to gradually increase the dose... :)

    lobsterBuddhadragonSocair[Deleted User]
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