Who remembers their lovely science class at school on the fire triangle, for a fire to burn you need Heat, Fuel and Oxygen. Without one the fire will distinguish. I work with the same principle for a healthy mind set.
Might sound silly living your life to a triangle but it works for me and it’s so simple to follow and stick up around the house like on the beer fridge or the draw that holds all the take away menus. Just to give you that second thought to change your mind of your actions. I find it really useful to reflect on why I feel like I do, if one morning the 10 stone duvet has got hold of me and won’t let me up I always look at the 3 elements first. EXERCISE, SLEEP AND HEALTHY EATING / DRINKING. 9 out of 10 times I hit the nail on the head within a few seconds and know where to make the changes.
I'm not saying you need to sign up for the next marathon or become an Ironman overnight but exercise is the best medicine for depression. Choose to walk to the shop instead of drive, take the stairs at work instead of the lift, take your kids to the park with a ball. There are many ways to get that endorphins release. It’s not until I am feeling down and can’t be arsed to go to the gym I notice my mood change, not straight away but if I am lethargic for a couple of days the first step is the hardest as it is with most things but once you do the rest of the steps will follow and you will feel better and motivated.
This is the hardest one out of the 3 as with the other 2 you can control. How is it, that you are tired sitting on the sofa so you go upstairs get into bed and you are wide awake for bloody ages. It’s not until your alarm clock goes off that you realise how tired you are and how heavy that duvet is. How can you help with this? Stop looking at anything digital I-pads, phones, T.V's, laptops the lot at least 30 mins before you want or need to be asleep. It triggers brain activity and you will want to chill out and relax. I have never been a reader but I find this to chill me out and get me in the mood for sleeping. I think routine is a good one as well, yeah have a lie in at the weekend but in the week try and set the alarm to go off at the same time and go upstairs at the same time.
Healthy Eating and Drinking
My favourite subject but also the one that has the most temptation. Looking back over the years I’ve had depression but wasn't aware at the time I used to drink a fair bit, I wouldn't say I had a problem but if I was stressed or had a bad day the offie would be the port of call on the way home. I also have the no pint or 10 pint characteristic to my personality. I'm not so bad now I’m older but in the past if I had 10 in the fridge I would off stayed up until they were drank. The trouble is with depression and alcohol is that alcohol is a depressant so with drinking a lot whilst being depressed just causes a firework display in the noggin. During the drinking part though it makes you happy and that you can take on the world or it does for me, I'm not saying don’t drink but you need to do it in moderation and know your limits or trust someone enough to tell you your limit.
Next subject is about what I love........ FOOD, Cooking, eating and everything about it. I understand not everyone has the same passion but it doesn't compute in my brain when someone says they can’t cook, or I haven't got time to prepare a meal or the best one I don't like healthy food. Same as the alcohol everything in moderation. No need for you to go on an "I only eat dust" diet, it’s just healthy living. A bit of planning and room in the freezer there’s no reason why not, it makes you feel better in yourself and goes side by side with the other 2 elements. Who knows you may even lose a couple of inches or pounds to top it off.
Over the next few blogs I shall be sharing with you some videos of cooking healthily and working alongside The Mind Set Triangle.