Depression Toolkit

Fall, my favorite season. 🍂🍃

But it also marks the beginning of seasonal depression for some people.

As the days get shorter, and darker, depression can start to invade our minds.

I am not naive to this phenomenon.
I too have suffered from seasonal depression, although not often. My depressive episodes have mostly been triggered by something specific. For example, the loss of someone (whether it be a friend, boyfriend or the death of someone), if my personal identity is challenged, or if someone tries to ‘change’ me , or makes me feel like I am not worthy or enough.

The most important thing for you to do, step one, is to know your triggers.

This way you can prepare yourself and have your ’emergency kit’ ready.

Your emergency kit is encased with things, or ideas that can help you cope through the low times. It can also include a plan.

A kit can include:

▪ Social Support.
(from friends or family or significant other or a support group).
▪ Spa day, or do it yourself (Massage, Facials, manicures).
▪ Art & Crafts (painting, DIY).
▪ Coloring Book
▪ Self-help book or favorite book
▪ Journal (for thoughts and feelings and logging mood)
▪ Support Animal
▪ Sleeping Aid
▪ Psychologist
▪ Psychiatrist
▪ Family doctor
▪ Medication
▪ A plan: for example, “on days where I feel unmotivated, I will still get up, shower, comb my hair, and go to the gym – even if all I can do is 15mins. I plan to eat healthy, nutritious meals – and this may mean only one healthy good meal a day or fruit throughout the day. I will tell my friends and family of my low mood and lean on them for support – I will talk about it…..” etc.

What would you add to your toolkit?

Please a comment.

-Rachel Page

My Mental Wellness 101

Exercise for mental wellness and stability is a no brainer. Exercise makes you feel great, body and mind. Your brain releases the chemicals known as endorphins and serotonin when you exercise, the ‘feel good’ chemicals.

In today’s society, people eat ‘garbage’. Unhealthy fats, sugar, and processed foods is what is contributing to a lot of the diseases you see these days.

A well balanced nutritional diet helps to ensure that your body and brain get the essential nutrients it needs to function at an optimal level. Majority, if not all, of your meals should be prepared using whole foods. Focus on the outside of the super market, the fresh fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index. Stay away from processed frozen foods or buy organic. NO white starch, or simple sugars. Think whole wheat or grain.

Still, despite are attempts to maintain a balanced diet, it is sometimes difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals we need. This is why I take a multivitamin. I also recently integrated a vitamin B complex, fish oil, GABA and L-theanine into my daily regimen to help enhance my mood, focus and promote calmness. These natural drugs have so many additional benefits, but I dont have enough room to mention them all here.

Meditation and mindfulness…. it really is an art. Two techniques I am still learning, but have already proved to create mental calmness and focus in my life.
Cuddles with my furbabies are always a daily ritual for me. Their affection is an instant pick-me-up…
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Follow my Social Media sites for more material related to mental health:

Blog: divineminds.ca
FB Page: /divineminds1
IG: mind_over_mood
Pinterest: /divineminds1

Ways to Get Through Failure

Failure doesn’t mean that you have been defeated. It just means that particle course of action wasn’t meant to happen for you. When something doesn’t go the way that you want, learn from it. Reflect. Reflecting on it allows you to grow in strength. It simply gives you the means to either try again, taking a different approach, or it shows you what you don’t, in fact, want. It means that there is another, and a better, opportunity out there waiting to be discovered by you. .
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Follow my Social Media sites for more material related to mental health:

Blog: divineminds.ca

FB Page: /divineminds1
IG: mind_over_mood

Pinterest: /divineminds1

Simplify Your Life

Your life will be less stressful if you live a simple life. Living simple means creating a life that is organized and follows a routine. You creates your own values and beliefs or adopt them from past generations. It empathizes continuity, but remains flexible in times of change. Life is forever change, it is when you don’t allow change to evolve naturally, you feel the constraints and pressures of life. Roll with it, embrace it. A simple life is a happy life.

When thoughts turn into actions

Dreams turn into reality…

My thoughts have turned into actions. I’ve taken the next step into my career journey and enrolled in becoming a Certified Wellness Coach.

The Plan: is to integrate my nursing with coaching, and start up my own business to offer services for mental wellness (with a focus on depression and anxiety). I will work with my clients to empower them to discover ways to effectively cope using positive (and proper) adaptive techniques.

I will continue to act as an advocate and help facilitate the allocation of supportive resources, making access to support easier and readily available to everyone. One of my goals is to create an App that allows peer to peer support in the form of one on one or group support.

I will also provide services on preventative health (focusing on living a healthier lifestyle to prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, or diabetes) which will take a holistic approach and look at multiple areas of a person’s life.

If you don’t know already, I am very passionate about mental health. After suffering a relapse with Major Depression that required me to take a month and a half off of work, I found out first hand just our shitty access to support services are. It was so frustrating to know that I needed help but that help either came at a ridiculous cost or I had to wait months to be seen by what seemed like the only psychiatrist in all of Ontario, or group supports that I’ve been waiting on now for 6 months… although, I do not require the group support anymore. (I am very grateful of my family doctor throughout this entire process as she was always there when I needed her, even with minimal notice).

I ended up starting my own blog and website to share my story, and provide education and tips about depression and anxiety. I wanted people to know that they are not alone. But more importantly, I wanted to locate resources for people, so I went on a scavenger hunt to find resources that were available to people all over the world. My list continues to grow.

I have just over 1k of followers on my blog, 7.5k follows on instagram(which grows about 100 new followers a day now), 10k on Facebook, and 50k views per month on Pinterest.

It is increbible to know how many people I have been able to reach and potentially help in short period of time (only about 5 months).

I can’t thank each and everyone of you for making this possible. Together we are helping each other.

It has been such an incredible journey so far. ♡

Medication Phobia

I used to have a medication phobia.

I thought medications were for ‘crazy’ people, and well, I was not ‘that’ crazy.

Sure I’ve had my ups and downs and inbetweens. Actually there were no inbetweens. Either I was more up or more down. I found it very difficult to be in a happy medium. If I wasnt feeling low, I was feeling irritable. Low to me was being disengaged and withdrawn; I thought my low mood was purely boredom. Not wanting to leave the house, or talk to my friends and family, or deciding to put off going to the gym until tomorrow. It was always going to be tomorrow. I became so used to doing nothing, that I convinced myself that I was going to be nothing. The only thing I was going to be was a Nurse. Nothing more, nothing less. At work, I was my happiness. Outside of work, I was a girl that barely wanted to leave the house. I was never quite satisfied. I’d get these brilliant ideas to try something new, only to quit before it ever really began. I started to feel like a failure. I went through 4 years of nursing school, and yet I couldn’t seem to accomplish anything now, no matter how small. Very frustrating to say the least.

I had been well educated with depression, but for some reason, when it came to myself, I was in complete denial.

Anyways… I got a bit side tracked.

Medication Phobia, right!

I finally went to my doctor for something unrelated to depression (or so I thought). I was experiencing very high levels of anxiety, and I was getting to the point where I couldn’t cope well. I was coping, but not to the best of my abilities. I started to show avoidant behaviours.

While I was at the doctors, she made me fill out these questionaires, one of which I score d high on depression. I walked out of her office with not only one diagnosis BUT TWO. Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Before I walked out though, my doctor kindly provided me with all my options to managing my conditions, and we both agreed that the pharmacological route would be the best option for now.

Boy was I scared.

I had grown up believing that medications were ‘taboo’, and that they were the reason that my Nana turned nutso. Sorry Nana.(God bless her soul – Love you Nana). But it is the truth. It was something that became rooted in my family beliefs. I also thought I was going to become addicted or be on them for life. I probably will be on them for life, and I am okay with that. The fact is, we (and I do mean my specific people in my family), were uneducated, and simply learning about it helped erased that stigma.

Going on medication was the best thing for me. I’m not afraid to admit it. Yes I am a Registered Nurse and take psych meds. NO I’m not crazy. And yes I can save your life. My conditions never affected my ability to practice safety and competently as a nurse. It affected my feelings and emotions but not the knowledge and skills I gained over the years. I am a great damn nurse. I’m really not sure why I felt the need to justify any of that.

Side tracked again.

What have medications done for me?

  • They brought me back to the light
  • The fog has been lifted
  • I can concentrate and focus
  • I can go out with my friends again
  • I can say hello to a stranger
  • I can go to events and parties
  • I can get out of my own head
  • My thoughts don’t race
  • I feel calm and content
  • I have more motivation
  • I am back at the gym
  • I’m wanting to be outside in the warmth
  • I am wanting to discover more hobbies
  • I am blogging again
  • I know I am enough
  • I am doing me, for me
  • Laughing feels great

And the list goes on.

The bottom line is I truly feel like myself again.

And that is what matters the most.

You only have one life to live.

This is it.

Do what you need to do to feel your best.

Follow my Social Media sites for more material related to mental health:

Blog: divineminds.ca
FB Page: /divineminds1
IG: mind_over_mood
Pinterest: /divineminds1