The last of a series of posts I wrote for another blog, this one is particularly apropos for the coming season.
In it, I was visiting friends who live in a tropical area where everyone walks around half-clothed. I was having fun until I started focusing on my looks, comparing myself to everyone else. Doing that radically changed my mood, clearly bringing me down. It took away all the fun of my trip, and negatively affected my friends, too. I woke up feeling quite shaken by the dream. I viscerally felt how damaging my focus on my looks was.
I’m sharing this dream to explore the depression aspect of it. Because that’s where I think my sleep thoughts came from – depression induced by the Ambien. I’m not a therapist but I have experienced this down in the dumps feeling before, and have worked with many women who tell me they frequently struggle with feeling down.
I recently picked up a flyer at Whole Foods titled Healthy Mood. It discussed the difference between real depression and a blue mood. We all feel blue occasionally. Real depression is a different animal. Regardless which affects us, however, many of us distract ourselves from what’s really going on – feelings we don’t want to acknowledge perhaps? — by focusing on how we look.
As we enter the holidays, a time of true depression for many people, it was fitting that I found myself thinking about this problem when I was at Whole Foods. What we eat can have a major impact on how we feel, both physically and mentally. A diet of highly-processed, nutrient-poor foods can be a recipe for disaster in this regard.
My holiday wish for everyone: That we have the time and resources to take care of ourselves during this special time. The Whole Foods’ flyer listed these five ways to support a healthy mood.
- Sleep and rest
I’ll add two more:
- Eating well, enjoying what we eat and eating it in a way that makes us feel well
- Self-acceptance. A critical one for those of us who struggle with weight issues
A happy Thanksgiving to all of us in the U.S. and good wishes to everyone else, too.