Many of my clients have not been able to come and see me and many are isolated at home as we work our way through the Covid-19 Lockdown. I am acutely aware that this is a difficult time for our mental health, on all levels. So I offer some resources to support you and your family.
Population surveys in the UK estimate that one in six people experience a common mental health problem in a typical week, with mixed anxiety and depression being the most common. At this time with the enforced absence of contact with others, either friends or professionals, whilst medication can be effective and appropriate, it’s no substitute for human contact. The effect of a smile or someone holding our hand or giving a hug is enormously beneficial to our mental wellbeing. There are also some nutritional and lifestyle solutions which may help:
Online guidance and support
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many who live with depression are finding it difficult to stay afloat during mandated or self-isolation. This resource can be one of many stepping stones for those struggling, and their loved ones, to better understand their situation and lead them to find a supportive and safe environment.
Have a look at this useful guide for many supportive suggestions.
Nutrition affects mental health as much as it does physical health. A good nutrient-based diet rich in wholefoods promotes a healthy mood, memory and cognition.
Of course, the usual nutritional advice is appropriate – to cut down on processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine and move more towards natural foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and natural oils like olive oil. Pulses, fish, seafood, eggs, poultry and some red meat are good to include. Vegetarians should ensure they get enough protein by eating soy foods like tofu for protein.
Once a base of good nutrition is achieved you can gain even more improvement by supplementing the diet. There are many supplements which can help mental health – seek support and help from a good nutritionist. Here are some of the most well-known supplements:
Good for efficient brain chemicals and detoxification. Also good for reducing the effect of stress on the adrenal glands and for the making of red blood cells which keep the blood supplied with oxygen. B vitamin deficiency has been shown as evident in depression, poor memory and cognition.
Great for controlling blood glucose and for supporting a stable mood. It can help with emotional stability by improving the quality and quantity of sleep.
All minerals play an important part in mental health. Iron is critical for the nervous system and for optimal transport of oxygen to the brain and also for thyroid function. Zinc also supports thyroid function and hormonal balance. Zinc and selenium are antioxidants which help protect from free radical damage.
Is involved in brain development, neurotransmission and is also anti-inflammatory. It is associated with improving mental health overall and most people are aware that some time outside in the daylight every day will support the making of Vitamin D in the body. There have been some studies which suggest that Vitamin D is a very good support against the damaging effects of Covid-19.
Please make sure that when you supplement you use good quality – cheap is not always good in the case of supplements. Take the supplements every day for efficacy and take the recommended dose.
I was pointed to an interesting article on weighted blankets.
These blankets are a natural tool to help manage depression and its oppressive symptoms. Although I have no personal experience of them I have heard that they can be a great way to manage and curb depression with Deep Touch Pressure (DTP). I know that I seem to sleep better under a heavy covering combined with an open window.
Weighted blankets are popular resources for insomnia and a host of other physical, mental, and emotional problems – including depression.
Teachers and practitioners working with children have had a lot of success with children and weighted clothing, finding that they create security and calm. The link is to a non-UK site but I see they are widely available in the UK too.
If you would like any support in managing your mental health during this time please get in touch. I can either offer you my expertise or point you in the direction of many of the professionals in my circle.
Wishing you safety and health.