Blue Monday has been pin pointed as the most depressing day of the year. At MamaBabyBliss, we are not calling it Blue Monday any more. We are coining it “Opportunity Monday”. We feel we should be looking at all the factors that make us feel blue and creating positive behaviours for ourselves to benefit from through the rest of 2017 and beyond!
Below, we prescribe a good dose of the following remedies! Me time, happy jar, foods for healthy moods & planning ahead & changing career…
“Taking five” for some well deserved me time should be your No.1 strategy every day. Find a quiet comfortable space, and follow the deep breathing exercises as instructed by our expert Justina Perry.
Pre-plan for next Blue Monday and start a “happy jar” – Get a large empty jar and decorate it. Then write down something every day that makes you happy and fold it and place in your happy jar. Next “Blue Monday” read through all the beautiful moments that made you smile through the year.
Look after your body – Guest blog by The Taymount Clinic
Foods For Healthy Moods
Depression can be a debilitating mental health condition in which a conglomerate of factors can contribute to depression including diet, stress and gut health. Foods and supplements to help reducing inflammation in the brain and supporting the production of feel good neurotransmitters that are often reduced in depression include:
- Sugar – Reduce it. Blood sugar imbalances can increase the release of stress hormones including noradrenalin which inhibits the production of serotonin. Sugar also robs your body of nutrients such as B vitamins and magnesium that are required to produce feel good brain chemicals. In fact according to Magnesium Man Morley Robbins it takes 64 molecules of magnesium to process just 1 molecule of glucose.
- Omega 3 – Omega 3, especially in the form of ecosapentanoic acid (EPA) and decosahexanoic acid (DHA) found in deep sea cold water fish, krill and algae, are anti-inflammatory and studies with high intakes of EPA and DHA have been correlated with lower levels of depression.
- Turmeric – The active constituent curcumin has been identified to increase a compound called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which protects neurons from being damaged due to the effects of chronic stress hormones. Curcumin has been used for a long time in Traditional Chinese Medicine to reduce the effects of mental stress and when compared with the antidepressant Imipramine, also significantly reduced levels of stress hormones in the brain.
- Resveratrol – Found in red wine (good quality of course), red grapes and some herbs such as Japanese knotweed. This compound also increases BDNF and has been identified to inhibit an enzyme involved in the degredation of serotonin.
- Protein – Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids which come from protein. Choose good quality organic proteins low in nasty chemicals and excess hormones if possible.
- Zinc – this calming mineral is required for the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, GABA and melatonin. Many people these days are deficient in zinc due to this mineral being rarely found in our soils. It is also rapidly excreted when we are stressed (and lets face it these days who isn’t stressed) and is displaced in the body by copper, cadmium and mercury which seem to be everywhere.
- B Vitamins – The B vitamins work together and are all needed either directly or indirectly to produce beneficial brain chemicals. Vitamins B9 and B12 reduce the build up of homocysteine, a compound that has been associated with depression and neurological conditions when it is present in high amounts.
- Probiotics – Dysbiosis in the gut can result in increased toxins moving from the gut through the intestinal barrier and irritating the eneteric nervous system which is the nervous system of the gut. This sends messages to the brain which can result in increased mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Pathogenic bacteria can also release a toxic particle know as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) which can move into the blood stream from the intestinal tract and travel to the brain, crossing the blood brain barrier and increasing inflammation in the brain. Wen there is inflammation in the brain it is hard to produce feel good brain chemicals. Studies utilising probiotics including Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum resulted in participants having lower stress levels scores and reduced feelings of depression.
- Vitamin D – There are many observational studies between serum vitamin D levels and mental health disorders with study participants who had higher levels of serum vitamin D being are a greater reduced risk for depression.
- St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) – This herb when compared with tricyclic antidepressants was shown to be just as effective at reducing depression. St John’s Wort was also better tolerated than study participants compared with the tricyclic antidepressant.
Lifestyle and Attitude also play an important role in mental health.
Gratitude is a state of mind in which one feels thankfulness and readiness to express appreciation in whatever situation they are in. Research has shown that gratitude in the form of appreciation of the world around you and reassuring yourself as opposed to attacking yourself can have a positive effect on both depression and anxiety. Gratitude challenges negative thought patterns which can over time lead to anxiety and depression.
Write a list of goals you would personally like to achieve on a monthly basis. Think about the following areas;
- Me time
- Spouse time
- Family time
- Places/people to visit
- Your career
- Family holidays
- Financial goals
Think about a change of career
If you are fed up of the treadmill of work, not getting your work/life balance right and want to do something new and exciting that could make a difference, then look to retrain for a new career. We speak to many parents who have decided to take the risky step off the work treadmill andretrain to become teachers, midwives, yoga teachers and much more. At MamaBabyBliss we support those who choose to give up their jobs to become a MamaBabyBliss teacher and make a difference to parents and babies across the country. As our Hitchin MamaBabyBliss teacher, Isabelle, explains below, giving up that safe boring job is a risk, but boy is it worth it!
Before deciding to become a MamaBabyBliss teacher, I was a lawyer. When my children were at pre-school, I decided I needed some balance. I wanted to work, but I wanted to be able to take them to pre-school too.
It is a real privilege to be a part of the journey of motherhood that we are as MamaBabyBliss teachers. Seeing mums go through their pregnancy journey, and helping them through the anxious feelings they may have with breathing and relaxation techniques right through to seeing them when they come back with their new babies, is very exciting. We get to share the whole journey with a range of classes from pregnancy to toddlerhood, and I love that. With MamaBabyBliss you get the whole package – the business already exists, the branding looks great, and it just feels really welcoming and nurturing. The training is great, and the support of everyone else – both the head office and other teachers, is like nothing I could have ever imagined to have, working for myself. It’s a real community I am part of- more than just work. We all communicate and collaborate on ideas, and there’s a full package of marketing material and support.
The decision to change career and invest in the MamaBabyBliss Training and business model is a big one, but I can honestly say for me it has been an excellent choice. I can make a difference but feel the warmth and care back in return from the parents and babies and also the MamaBabyBliss team.
If you are looking to change your career, then I would say definitely go for MamaBabyBliss. If you don’t have any business experience, then it’s a great way to gently ease yourself in to running your own business.vBeing a MamaBabyBliss teacher is not just a business, but a change in your lifestyle and something you can really enjoy!