Eating Well for Better Mental Health
At this point, I want to start focusing on self-help. Self-help is massively important because if you aren't willing to help yourself, how do you expect others to be able to help you.
You need to give something to get something in return.
The first self-help is, eating well.
Eating and me
For me eating throughout my struggles has been difficult. That's both on medication and off of it. (The reason I brought up medication is often most medications will have side effects which affect your appetite). I have found over the years I have gone through periods of not eating at all, to binge eating excessively.
I do have a weakness for takeaway food I must say, one it tastes too good (especially a dominos pizza) and two, its quick and easy and I don't have to worry about cooking. Basically, it's all done for me apart from eating it. Also, part of me associates takeaway food with feeling good much like alcohol and various other things so often I think, going and getting some takeaway food when I'm low will help me feel better.
I will often find myself not eating at all during the day because I'm not feeling hungry and I have a lack of energy to cook something. Eating seems to be the last thing on my mind majority of the time.
As I said before though I would be looking for a short fix to feel good and going to get some takeout would satisfy that for a short period of time and I would then find myself binge eating everything I find insight. Possibly making up for the lack of food I have had and also part of me wouldn't care if I put on weight. It goes into that side of me not caring and trying to sabotage myself.
Luckily for me, I am relatively quite active between the gym, football and walking etc otherwise I am pretty sure I would be considered overweight.
Eating well can play a huge part in feeling emotionally well. It also prevents such diseases associated with being overweight such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart problems and sleeping difficulties just to name a few.
Food can directly affect how we feel and if we aren't giving our minds the nutrients it needs to perform to the best of its ability there are bound to be problems which arise. Same goes for not giving our minds any at all.
Some small dietary changes may go a long way to helping with your mental health. I have certainly noticed mine has improved through eating better.
The small adjustments I have made are, first of all, making sure I am eating regularly. Breakfast had become a thing of the past, don't get me wrong I still find it difficult and I miss days but it is key to keep going and trying to be as consistent as possible.
Part of eating regularly was also eating three meals a day. Making sure I had fuel in my body as the day went on.
The next thing I did was try and cut down on the takeout food. For one it was going to save me money but also it has made me more active as I had to cook my own food and not spend all day in bed.
Initially, I did have help off of family and still do during periods of when I don't feel up to it.
These aren't massive changes either. There is a lot more that can be done in terms of exactly what you eat And how different foods have an effect on the brain. I'm not quite there yet but it may be something I look into in the future.
We all fall into bad habits and it is difficult to get back out of them. Even writing this now I'm slightly low and I want to binge eat crap food. There are times where I do give in but it is important to put it in the past and keep going.
It's not going to be a quick change. It will happen gradually but it is definitely worth trying. Along with other self-help which I will write about in the coming weeks, we can make our mental health more manageable.
*Disclaimer, I am not a healthcare professional or anything similar, this is my own research and experiences.
If you want to read more please find more information at http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/food-and-mood/about-food-and-mood/?o=6831#.WKT2eRKLSRs