Natural ways to prevent depression vary from herbal remedies that you can either drink in tea form, or take in capsules, to B-vitamins that nourish the neurological system to environmental remedies that create a more positive mood. Or even treating yourself to something fun or tasty after you’ve had a big work day. I integrate all of these together for my anxiety which can sometimes lead to depression if I’m not vigilant about doing all of the things mentioned above.
This sounds like some far out thing that “hippies” would do, to quote my 13 year old. I had to laugh. Really, it’s nothing more than a very mindful walk in a abundant forest with lots of plant life and wildlife to go with it. While walking, attempt to be as in the moment as you possibly can. Being sure to actually “hear” the birds when they chirp or the rustling leaves of the trees when squirrels jump from limb to limb. The idea is to be as present as you can in the forest to heal and nourish your mental health.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying aware of the present moment. Actually feeling the tips of your fingers, or toes….or perhaps an itch on your head. Or, absorbing the red color of a cardinal as it feeds on someone’s front yard bird feeder. Whatever you’re experiencing in the present, your goal becomes to really experience it in a more amplified way, rather than just walking by things wherever you are. This and meditation are one in the same, but mindfulness doesn’t involve stopping and sitting still. You can be mindful no matter what you may be doing.
How about patting yourself on the back after a long busy work day in which you’ve accomplished tons of great things? Or after a great work out? You matter too, even if you have to be the one to show yourself that. Take yourself out to lunch with a friend, or buy something yummy to eat next time your grocery shopping. Treating yourself helps you keep your own morale up by giving yourself a small pleasant moment or two. It’s a great way to maintain a more positive attitude.
Watch the Kids
With 8 kids, I do take time to pay attention to the cute things they say and do. Even the teenagers come up with some funny stuff that helps to spur on some laughter or create some interesting conversation that you can engage in with them. Just watching my 2 sons play war in the yard with their nerf guns is heart warming and gratifying.