DAY 16 March 15, 2018, A month of working on my wellness.
I am a full-time professor, but not this week. It’s spring break. Like a hard-core workaholic, I filled my week off from my responsibilities at the college with additional work. I used my time this week to do some additional consulting and give two presentations. Today, though, is my stay at home, work at home day. My plan was to get in cross fit and run on the treadmill, reengage with my meditation practice, and review some student work. That’s not exactly what happened- I am kind of noticing a pattern.
This is Pepper, my sleep hygiene mentor.
I woke up to my alarm at 5:15am to meet up with my workout buddies at cross fit. I was SO tired, I started to text them and let them know I would not be going. I was about to write “see you Friday,” and then I realized I could not go Friday because I would be presenting out of town again. I dragged my ass out of bed and did the workout. Instead of getting on the treadmill after the workout, which would have been excessive anyway, I went home and went back to bed. I left my sweaty and somewhat stinky workout clothes on. I was that tired. I got in a decent nap, felt better, and moved through my day doing a bunch of errands. Then something interesting happened; I decided even though it was cold and a little windy out, I was going for a run. Outside. The sun was shining and I was craving an outdoor run.
I felt amazing while I was running and focused on incremental goals along the way. Get to 3 miles, get up the hill, run through the discomfort, get to mile 4, make it to the corner, get to mile 5. I did it! I did 5 miles without a walk break and at good pace (for me). It felt good to be running. So, good that when I got home I went right back to bed. I took another nap. Yep, I overachieved in the nap department! Between the run and the naps, I did not really get anything else accomplished. I am practicing being ok with that.
Can I share?
I have been re-reading Dr. Kelly Brogan’s book a Mind of Your Own. My copy is tethered and filled with notes. There’s a lot I want to share with my mental health counseling graduate students, there are things I want to share with some of colleagues and patients and then there are the new things I am learning that are relevant to the experiences I have had as well as members of my inner circle. I recommend this book, it’s really an important read for mental health professionals and people who are challenged with depressive symptoms. I teased these knowledge gems that are food/supplement means of combatting depressive symptoms out of Dr. Brogan’s book.
These are my five favorites:
Activated B Complex
If you don’t even meat, please supplement with activated B complex. You need it. Even if you eat meat you should consider supplementing with activated B complex. The vitamin Bs have the greatest impact on your mood. They act in ways that help with stress, they are contribute to healthy skin, nails, hair, eyes, liver, and the adrenal glands. We don’t store the Bs so you have to take them daily. I use an isotonic version because it’s easily digestible, there are no fillers or binders, and it gets into my system quick. Its associated with decreased risk of depression.
Taking magnesium helps settle you down. Those us who have anxiety, insomnia and PMS really benefit from supplementing with magnesium. Full disclosure, I do sometime have wacky dreams when I take it, I still take it because when I cannot sleep I get wacky in my wakefulness and that seems to be a greater liability. Here too, I opt for an isotonic form. This especially valuable when I am taking it when I cannot sleep because it takes about 5 minutes before it is absorbed into my system. In pill forms it would be hours.
This is a mineral that used to be in our food to a greater degree because of soil quality that has changed. This mineral promotes mood-lifting neurotransmitters. Essentially this helps with improved mood and the alleviation of anxiety. Therefore, selenium helps with both anxiety and depression symptoms; there are many people who have both.
I don’t really get how this works in the body, it’s beyond my understanding (at least for now). What I do understand is that supplementing with SAMe can help with pain, depression, liver disease. In Europe, they have been using SAMe to combat depression and anxiety for over 30 years (without the nasty side effects of SSRIs like Prozac).
This is a calming amino acid that is found in tea. I love my cup of tea so this is an easy one for me. This amino acid can help reduce anxiety, produce a healthy mind –set; that is simultaneously focused and relaxed—wait that’s a thing. Dr. Brogan calls it “meditation in a capsule!”
Tomorrow I am presenting all day out of town and taking the day off of exercise. I thought you should know that. As a way of addressing my psychological-emotional wellness I am practicing not having such an “all or nothing” mind-set.
With Love & Gratitude~
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