Hi friends! Happy Thursday!
Maxwell is 5 months old today! Drew + I love him with our whole hearts + we’re SO happy to be his parents. We’re always surprised by how fast he is developing. One day last week he started sitting up by himself + now he is really good at it. Although, half the time he is trying to eat his own toes + is folded over in an incredibly flexible position. Happy baby pose is now his go to position when he is on his back, namaste little Max! 🙂
This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a few of my fellow nurses. They were talking about their anxiety issues. I have to be honest, I was surprised to hear how many people in that small sample were dealing with anxiety issues + utilizing medication to help. As a nurse, I completely understand that some anxiety may not be helped by the information below. But, I do wholeheartedly believe that taking really good care of yourself will help everyone.
I went to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s website to read more about the positive impact that exercise can have on anxiety + stress. Much of the information that I’m going to share came from there or a previous post that I wrote on this subject.
Here are some takeaway messages for your Thursday:
-If you talk to me about your stress or anxiety, I always suggest that you try yoga. It has been proven to reduce stress. In my personal experience, I can head to the mat for a complete reset. There is just something about the poses + slow controlled breathing that makes your mind slow down. There are plenty of studios that offer a very affordable introductory month, so I would suggest really giving it a chance with 2-3 classes a week for that month.
-Exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, + enhance cognition. Complete bonus to all of the physical benefits that I keep sharing. How does it work? The FEEL BETTER PHENOMENON: it is a complex interaction of social + psychobiological factors that come together to improve your psychological state.
-Have you ever heard of runner’s high? A lot of people get this after a race, whether it be a 5K or a marathon. You just feel accomplished, happy, high on life. I’ve seen it happen in too many people to count + have definitely felt it many, many times. Scheduling a race in your future, training for it, + then accomplishing it is a great way to experience this high. I’m a huge fan of 5Ks instead of the longer stuff, but that’s a story for a different day.
-“Exercise is considered vital for maintain mental fitness + can reduce stress.” -ADAA
-“According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.” -ADAA
-When I’m feeling stressed or even in a rut, I always head to the gym. It’s the best way to turn it around for me + it is way healthier than grabbing a glass of wine.
-Exercise also increases confidence. I’ve blogged about confidence + self love many times before. I think it is such an enormous part of health + happiness.
-Breaking a sweat can also makes you more efficient at mental tasks + it slows the aging of the brain (this is important for all of us– but, especially if you have a history of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in your family).
Aside from exercise, another HUGE place to work on is diet. And by diet, I mean what you eat on a daily basis not a specific trend that you are trying. In the same way that exercise can improve mood including stress + anxiety, eating well also has a very well documented impact. Why? A balanced + healthful diet is the best way to ensure that you are meeting all of you nutrient needs. Meeting your nutrient needs allows your body + mind to function optimally. “You are what you eat” is the old saying. Changing your eating habits alone can help you feel worlds better.
I wish I would’ve listened to you + started years ago. This came directly out of my dad’s mouth on his 56th birthday. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my dad has recently made some BIG changes to his routine. He has stopped drinking soda completely + no longer goes to McDonald’s for breakfast every morning. He reported feeling much worse before feeling better. His body was addicted to sugar + whatever junk is in McDonald’s food. And now, he has been telling me how much younger he feels. How his energy is markedly improved. How his gout flare ups have subsided.
Are there some unhealthy habits that you have been thinking about changing? Maybe like him it’s soda + fast food. Perhaps you are making the wrong choice at the cafeteria everyday or you go through the Starbuck’s drive thru a little too often. I’m sure each one of us can think of an area where we could improve our diet. The time is NOW. Once you put the hard work in of breaking your addiction/habit, you’ll love that you made the change. Just like my dad you’ll be thinking…WHY did I wait so long?
All of us can improve somewhere. I’m far from perfect. I’ve been listening to TED Talks this morning + thinking: I need WAY more plant based foods in my diet. Less cheese, less meat. Drew came home from the gym + I started telling him all my revelations. He said, “do not come at me right now with all of that.” Haha, I get a tad excited.
I truly believe that there are so many people that have no idea how good their mind + body could feel. That one huge thing that is standing in their way is a sedentary lifestyle + poor eating choices. I want to again acknowledge that I also understand that for others anxiety is still a problem even with healthy habits.
Hope this post had a few helpful tips for you!
Have an incredible weekend. Xo. Ames