5 Steps to Improve your Mental State and Motivate

October is Mental Health Awareness month, the 10th of October is a day we dedicate to ending the stigma in raising awareness of Mental Health issues around the world and supporting those who battle day in and day out.

As the seasons change and the days become shorter many of us suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It can happen to many of those who don’t suffer Mental Health Issues the rest of the year. One of the most difficult symptoms of depression is a lack of motivation. It's not that we don't want to feel better, we just lack the physical motivation to move and the emotional motivation to care if we move. Everything seems so difficult. Everything except staying under a warm blanket, hand on the remote, doing nothing, thinking nothing, feeling nothing. 

While we might not be able to completely lift your spirits, here are some self-love tips that will hopefully help you cope with SAD just a bit better.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others:

The most important thing you can do to start loving yourself is to stop comparing yourself to someone else’s. Comparisons only lead to jealousy and envy, and you will never be happy with yourself if you compare yourself to another. Everyone has flaws, even they are not visible to you. We were all made differently and every body has its beauty. 

Don’t even think about comparing yourself to the models that you see in the magazines or on the runway. Magazines are photoshopped and what you see on the runway is often the result of heavy makeup and body sculpting. 

Change how you perceive yourself:

In order to love yourself, you must change your perception of yourself. Say positive things about yourself and keep saying them until you actually start believing every word. The proof that this works is because this practice is how you started to dislike yourself in the first place; you kept seeing yourself in a negative light and finding the flaws until you started believing every thought. Turn that process around and start finding the positive.

Exercise:

Or go to the park, a dance class, a yoga class. Physical activity is a great way to learn to love your body. Trying new exercises or taking on a physical challenge helps you get to know your body in a whole new way. You will discover new abilities, new strengths, and new power, just by moving your body. When you see yourself, you will also start to see just what you are capable of.  Exercise helps boost production of 'feel-good' chemicals in your brain. Physical activity can help increase levels of the “feel good” chemicals, endorphins and serotonin. Helps distract your mind from anxious thoughts

Practice gratitude:

It can always be worse. Be grateful that you are healthy and that you have the resources or mental clarity to pursue something different. Be thankful for what you have, what you can do, and how far you can go. Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous.

Eat for your Happiness:

When you don’t feel happy, what we look for is something to comfort us. Food is the best thing to comfort our soul. But a solid diet can help you tackle the winter blues making sure you get your Omega 3s, Vitamin D’s and B’s. When you do succumb to those carb cravings, go for whole grains such as oatmeal or a complex carbohydrate like brown rice. These dense carbohydrates have been found to increase serotonin levels. When you’re craving something sweet, reach for the humble banana. It has a lot of weapons in its arsenal when it comes to battling SAD. Bananas are loaded with tryptophan and B6. In addition, stress will deplete your body’s potassium reserves, and the potassium found in a banana can provide a boost that can actually lower stress.  Known as “the sunshine vitamin," milk is loaded with SAD-busting vitamin D. Yogurt is also high in protein and calcium, which can ease anxiety and mood swings. 

Before you can move forward in life, whether it is in a relationship, a job, or a new endeavour, success will only come after you learn to love and appreciate yourself. Remember it’s ok to not be ok, as coaches we are here to listen, motivate and enhance your life in any way we can. During these months specifically, we know all too well the challenges one can face with the lack of sunlight. Take these tips and practice them every day.

Yours in health and wellness, the BODZii team