Category Archives: Mental Health

How To Get Out Of Your Funk

Do you ever get into a funk?  Of course you do!  We all do!  Funks suck so I want to share some tips on how to get out of your funk.

Ways To Get Yourself Out Of A Funk

You can’t avoid low moods all the time but if you’ve been feeling down for a while it’s time to do something about it.

Reach out to a friend.

Contact a friend and be totally straight with them.  Tell them that you’re in a funk and you just need to talk.  Talking about what’s bothering you is very therapeutic and your friend will be supportive.

Read something inspirational.

Whether it’s a book on your favourite topic or an article written by someone who excites you this can be a great way to get yourself out of your funk.

Do something physical.

Physical activity results in a release of endorphins so just get up and move.  Maybe you’re already an active person but you’re in a workout funk.  This is the perfect time to try out a new program.

Do something nice for someone.

Commit a random act of kindness!  Doing nice things for others has a way of lifting your spirits.  Hold the door for a stranger, give someone a compliment or even volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

Do something that scares you a bit (or a lot).

Sign yourself up for an event, join Toastmasters, commit to a 30 day challenge – anything that gets you out of your comfort zone.  The surge of excitement you experience will totally get you out of your funk.

Get away.

Book a trip.  Even if it’s just a weekend at a B&B in the next town or city, a change of scenery can really help.

Explore your funk.

Take some time to think about what got you into your funk.  It’s better to recognize and deal with stressful issues rather than bury them.  In fact, burying them is really unhealthy and will eventually catch up to you in a very negative way.

Journal what you’re grateful for.

Take some quiet time to yourself and write down everything that you’re grateful for.  Thinking about the great things in your life will really help to lift you out of your funk.

Sh!t Happens

Life can be challenging at times and it’s not always easy to stay positive.  It’s totally normal get into a funk once in a while and it’s perfectly okay.  Just make sure you address your issues and ask for help when you need it.

Unusual Reasons To Workout

You know that working out lowers the risk of heart disease, it helps burn fat, improves your cholesterol profile, keeps blood sugar levels in check and keeps your blood pressure under control.  But do you know all the other great reasons to workout?

For many individuals, these health related reasons don’t provide enough motivation. So here are some other reasons to workout that you may not have realized.

Reasons To Workout

Keeps the brain young. Research shows that exercise improves memory by enlarging the brain’s hippocampus, lowers risk of dementia and stroke, and enhances cognitive skills. Exercise can reverse age-related brain shrinkage and reduce the risk of spontaneous brain bleeding that can occur in the elderly.

Makes it easier to rebound from major surgery. A trained body is less likely to suffer complications from surgery and will recover faster than an out-of-shape body.

Makes you more capable in everyday life. When you have a fit strong body you’re able to move better and handle more physical stress such as moving furniture or climbing stairs.  A weak, stiff body severely limits what you can physically do.

Increases coping abilities. According to research regular exercise may improve mental health by helping your brain cope better with stress.  Exercise actually seems to give the body a chance to practice dealing with stress.  As we all know when you practice something you get better at it and this seems to be the case with our bodies when they experience the physical stress of exercise on a regular basis.

More Reasons To Workout

  • Helps you sleep better
  • Fights off depression and anxiety
  • Has a calming effect
  • Builds self-confidence
  • Lowers odds of having to one day rely upon a walker or cane
  • Helps prevent chronic back pain
  • Can suppress migraine headaches
  • Preserves quality of life by keeping you mobile into your later years

No Excuses!

You can’t deny that a well balance fitness plan improves your quality of life.  Some people say they can’t fit it in but with all the amazing payoffs from putting in just 30-60 minutes a day 3-6 days/week everyone needs to fit it in.  There’s no excuses!  Don’t like the gym?  Go outside for a workout.  Can’t leave the house for a workout?  There are at home programs you can do.  Crazy schedule?  Again, at home workouts can be done any time and if you’re traveling you can take your workouts with you.

The Best Workouts For Every Mood!

What kind of mood are you in right now?  Are you in the mood to exercise?  I’m betting a lot of you answered ‘no’ to that.  Are you feeling too angry?  Too sad?  Too bored?  Too stressed out?  Did you know that there are workouts for every mood?

Workouts For Every Mood

Research actually shows that even mild exercise can work to lift your mood.  The trick is to find a workout to match the mood you’re in.  Here’s some help:

  • When you’re angry: Try something completely new that keeps you from focusing and obsessing about what made you angry.  Try a new sport, or new class.  Learning something new will keep your mind off what’s been upsetting you.
  • When you’re sad: Just moving will help boost your mood.  If you’re just not up to your usual high energy workout, try gardening, going for a walk or any leisure activity that you enjoy.  Look at it as mental recreation rather than a workout.
  • When you’re bored: We’ve all been there.  We just feel too bored with our current workout program to go do it.  This is a great time to do something that involves other people.  Come to Wholey Fit for a class!  Doing an activity that involves a group working together as a team is invigorating and engages your mind.
  • When you’re stressed out: When your brain is overwhelmed and anxious, you need to turn to a mindless activity to calm it down.  Something repetitive such as swimming or walking requires little mental input and is effective at reducing feelings of stress and increasing calmness.
  • When you’re happy: Even a happy mood can throw you off your usual fitness regime.  Sometimes you can feel too ‘up’ to do the same routine.  Take advantage of your good mood and go out and really challenge yourself!  See if you can run one more mile than usual, or add another set to your weight training routine.  Use that energy to feel even better!

Work That Mood Out!

As you can see there really is a workout for every mood, so the next time you’re not in the mood to exercise, figure out what mood you’re in, check this list and pick the workout that’s suitable.  I guarantee you’ll feel better after!

Asking For Help

I’ve never been one to shy away from asking for help when I absolutely need it.  If there’s something I’m struggling with and I just can’t figure it out I’ll reach out to people.  Over the years I’ve been able to interact with many amazing people. I’ve learn SO many new things that I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Some people find it really hard to ask for help.  I think that in their mind, asking for help is like admitting that they don’t know something.  Some people see that as admitting failure.  This doesn’t sit well with them.  Personally I don’t see not knowing something as a sign of failure.  We can’t all know everything.  If I need help to learn something I want to ask someone who knows all about that thing.

Benefits Of Asking For Help

There are some real benefits of talking to people about things you are struggling with.  Even if the person you’re talking to doesn’t have the answer they very well may know someone who does.  Here are some other benefits:

Asking for help means that you will be more successful more quickly.  Nobody knows everything no matter how much they like to think they do.  If you’re struggling with something, you could either spend a ton of time trying to figure it out on your own, or you can ask someone who already knows and be able to gain that knowledge a lot more quickly so you can implement it and move forward.

Asking for help means you’ve got a growth mindset.  If you ask for help with something it means that you’re open to learning new stuff that will help you move forward.  People who are closed minded assume that they know all they need to know and that no one can help them.  These people stay stuck.  Open minded people let the knowledge in and then use that knowledge to help them grow and prosper.   Even if you don’t get the answer you were looking for at first, chances are the feedback you get will get your mind thinking in a new direction which will solve your problem.

Asking for help brings us closer together.  When you ask for help you’re showing people that you value their opinion and want to learn from them.  Research within self-determination theory has shown that people want to have meaningful and caring relationships with others.  In such a relationship we want to both care for others and be cared for by others.  When we ask for help it satisfies our need to be cared for and if we’re the one being asked for help it satisfies our need to care for someone.  Asking for help strengthens bonds with one another.

Asking For Help Gets You To Where You Want To Be

If you never ask for help you’re really limiting yourself and missing out on some great opportunities.  There are always going to be things that you struggle with and need help with and there will always be things that you can help someone else out with.  Part of the human experience is sharing and bonding.  Asking for help brings us closer together.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?  Many people do and this time of year can make them want to hide under the covers until spring comes.  Unfortunately you can’t do that.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

 

We all feel down now and then, but SAD is a depressive state that occurs every year, usually in the fall and winter.  People who suffer from SAD may feel perfectly normal during the spring and summer months, but starting around October or November, symptoms of depression begin showing up.

Because this type of depression come and goes some people wonder if it’s just all in their head.  Quite often a person who is experiencing SAD is not taken seriously but this is a real condition and can have a devastating impact on your life.

Researchers still don’t know the exact cause of SAD, but the factors involved are effected by the decreased amount of sunlight that fall and winter bring.

  • Internal clock: Some scientists think that decreased sunlight disrupts normal rhythms of wakefulness and sleepiness.  This disruption leads to sad and depressed feelings.
  • Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that impacts mood and sleep.  Levels increase when it’s darker so as the seasons change melatonin levels can fluctuate and may cause feelings of depressions.
  • Serotonin: While melatonin rises when the amount of sunlight drops, serotonin levels drop.  Serotonin is what gives you feelings of well-being and happiness.  Not having enough of it can cause your mood to drop.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

 

People experiencing SAD will have feelings of sadness or depression.  You may feel sleep deprived and struggle to get out of the bed in the morning.  It may be a struggle to get through the day because you feel drowsy all the time.

Low energy will affect your ability to concentrate, and this can affect your productivity at work and home.  Because of the low energy, you’ll struggle to get things done, which leads to frustration and more feelings of depression.  Typically, SAD sufferers will crave foods high in carbohydrates which will often lead to weight gain.  Finally, your social life may suffer.  When people are feeling depressed they quite often withdraw from their friends and family.  This isolation can make you feel even more depressed.

Now for the Good News – Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

 

Luckily there are treatments you can try if you think you may be suffering from SAD.  Try experimenting with different treatments until you find one or a combination that works for you:

  1. Light therapy: Bright light stabilizes  out of balance chemicals in your body helping you to feel more like yourself.  The best lights are those between 2,500 and 10,000 lux.  Many people really benefit from this treatment alone.
  2. Vitamin D3: Vitamin D is frequently referred to as “The Sunshine Vitamin” because your body produces it when exposed to sunlight.  Because of the lack of sun in the fall and winter Vitamin D levels drop.  Vitamin D is actually a hormone that has important roles in supporting mood & mental health as well as a healthy heart, cellular replication, a healthy immune system, blood sugar levels, and more!
  3. Exercise: When you exercise, your body releases “feel good”chemicals called endorphins.  These chemicals cause you to feel happy, confident and bring about a feeling of well-being.  The elated feelings that endorphins bring are comparable to the feelings that morphine and heroin create.  To release endorphins, you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes and this can be any activity that you enjoy.  Contact me if you need an at home program with nutritional support and accountability!

You Are Not Alone

If you find yourself feeling depressed during the fall and winter you are not alone. Experiment with some of the treatment options and, if you’re not already, definitely start exercising 😉