I have to say that I am dealing with some melancholy right now and it is not due to Covid. I just got back from the Okanagan and spending time with my siblings. My parents have gone into assisted living in the last month, after being in good health last summer. All of my siblings are in a state of shock right now. This was completely unexpected. My Mom was particularly vital and strong but she has had a number of surgeries and has broken her hip. We are all praying that she can regain her strength. My Dad is adjusting and is walking everyday (outside) in the care home that he is at which is good but they are separated (as my Mom is in a different care home) and it is wearing on him. These are all the things I do when I am gripped with melancholy. Hopefully if you are feeling this state too, my tips will help you.
First things first, I love music so no matter what I am feeling, music brings me up. I stream artists on YouTube for free that I like. Today I am listening to Jeremy Dutcher, a former Polaris winner (2018), and an aboriginal artist. His music inspires me; people living up to their true potential I find inspiring. My adopted brother is Metis so there is my connection albeit a distant one. Ralph was the only sibling that was not able to travel to see my parents and I am close to him so a shout out to him at this time. He is an artist too!
The next thing I do when I am feeling melancholy is get on my meditation mat and breathe. I am currently doing a meditation by Deepak Chopra. After getting into a rhythmic breathing routine, I ask myself questions like Who am I, What do I intend for my life, What is my purpose, What am I grateful for? There are more components to this meditation but I will share that I meditate for twenty minutes twice daily to be consistent. I have a mantra that I repeat if my mind starts to wander or I get bored (“be still and know that I am God’ is my current one.)
Homeopathy can be helpful when you are feeling melancholy. I will dose Ignatia 200c five pellets if I am feeling grief due to loss. If you have lost people due to a death, Ignatia can be really helpful. It can even help you access tears; when your emotion is stuck, it is easy to feel heavy and fatigued. So expressing that emotion will help you begin to feel better. I will dose Pulsatilla 200c- five pellets if I am feeling abandoned and needy for love or affection. It is a subtle difference but this is the space of needing Pulsatilla. Homeopathy can result in an energetic shift in the right direction. Taking a homeopathic case, in office, can help me be sure of my patient’s remedy choice but these are a few remedies I turn to initially to treat melancholy.
I have some botanical medicines that are useful to shift mood. Neuropas is a natural alternative to antidepressants. It is a botanical blend of St. John’s wort, Passionflower and Valerian made in Germany. This medicine can be useful for mild to moderate depression. I use Unda homeopathics to treat complex cases of depression along with gemmotherapies. Plants can be matched to the person and shift physiology for optimal balance.
Emotional Freedom Technique is my most useful technique to shift mood rapidly. I have blogged about it before but I will just say that it is a meridian tapping technique that works on Chinese meridians to target blocked energy channels in your body, mind, spirit. It is the most useful counseling tool that I use in my practice.
Exercise is key to balancing out your mood and shifting your mental space. I exercise at least 30 minutes daily if not an hour. I will work up a sweat and get my heart rate up. Cardio is key but I also like to do yoga and I am dragging myself back to the gym to do some weight training. Strength training is key to help maintain your bones as you age. Exercise boosts mood lifting neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Get out into the sunshine to get some Vitamin D. Making the time to get outside without sunscreen for at least 20 minutes 3 x weekly with as much of your skin exposed as possible between 10 am and 2 pm is what I recommend. Optimal levels of Vitamin D can help lift your spirits and sitting in the warm sunshine helps release endorphins in your body.
Open up your heart to generate a positive mood. Find something that you can love whether it be a pet, family members, or plants. Loving something other than yourself can help lift your mood as can giving back in the form of volunteering or random acts of kindness. How can you make other people feel better? That is the question to ask yourself… as your life is not about you, rather all the other people’s lives that you touch with your life.
Thinking of what you are grateful for can dramatically shift your mood. Keeping a gratitude list first thing in the morning in your head (for instance bullet gratitude 5 items) and the last thing that you do before bed (5 new items) can keep you feel happier. Focusing on the good keeps the positive thoughts flowing.
Lastly, in terms of diet to help you shift your mental/emotional space. Research suggests that 7 fruit servings and eight vegetable servings daily are optimal to balance mood. The Smiles Diet is sometimes used to treat mood disorders as is the Mediterranean diet. Avoid mood killers like sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats and transfats. Make sure you hydrate optimally with filtered water. If you do all these things daily, I can assure you your mood will shift. Be sure and book an appointment to get more pointed advice for your particular condition. Book in with me at Parallel Wellness. Until next time, stay well.