Discovering possibilities in my life has become a life line in my quest for understanding stress and depression. The changes I have made as a result of exploring different possibilities have created hope and health in my life. I found my own life coach opened me up to a world I wouldn’t have known possible without her gentle guidance and questioning. She is the one who first gave me hope and clarity.
When I first started working with a coach, I was in a muddle. I didn’t know which way to turn and felt clueless. One powerful question she asked me was, “If you had a million dollars, could you go out and do what you wanted to do today?” At that point in time, the answer was no. I was not healthy. I was depressed, lethargic and feeling anxious. With that question, though, I realized my first steps were to get healthy.
I started exploring what it took to manage depression. I discovered seasonal affect disorder (SAD)had a great deal to do with how I was feeling. When I read the symptoms, it read like my life. Seasonal affect disorder symptoms include:
- Craving carbs
- Needing extra sleep or being lethargic
- Foggy thinking
- Extra emotional or weepy
- Being withdrawn in social situations
I could check off all of those symptoms and more. What was I going to do to get healthier? I started reading, Winter Blues by Dr. Norman E. Rosentahl and discovered possibilities within my own control for my health. I found several self-care practices that have made a difference for me. (I have since found out that SAD can also affect people in the summer as they stay inside frequently because of the heat.) Note: I also had a good physical before making these changes and I continued with the antidepressants I had been on.
Change 1 – Light Box
With the winter months, I needed additional light to extend the day. I had a light box with 10,000 lumens. I wasn’t using it on a consistent basis nor at a consistent time. The purpose of the light box is to help your body’s circadian rhythm elongate in the winter, giving you more energy. When I started using the light box at the same time and with regular consistency, I began to notice a increase in my energy levels. Because I get up early in the summer, I still use it now, to keep my day the same length of time.
Change 2 – Prayer and Meditation
In order to get my consistent time and place for my light box, I incorporated my prayer and meditation time with using my light box. Having the meditation time also calmed my anxiousness and gave my brain resting time as well as time to be still in God’s love. This focused time helps rewire this brain for positivity and peace. Research continues to explore prayer and how it provides links to healing. This time with God’s love continues to be my biggest key to healing.
Change 3 – Exercise and Being Outdoors
Exercise became my friend. I do not like exercise. However, I found if I exercise at least three times a week, it releases the endorphins my body and brain need to keep my mood elevated, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve sleep. I luckily have an exercise buddy that meets me so I have the accountability I need.. Even better is exercise outdoors. The fresh air and sunshine is a big boost to my mood. Studies also show that being outside makes a big difference to our brain chemistry.
Change 4- Nutrition
Last but not least, I am working on better nutrition. The best eating I have found is to eliminate wheat,sugar, and processed food from my diet- more of a clean eating approach. When I do that, my carb craving goes way down. However, I will tell you that this change has been the least successful. I get on this clean eating train for awhile and then get off at the station. Then I get back on the train again. I am much better when I am on the clean eating train!
I would not have discovered these possibilities without my coach. None of these items are new but together they have a snowball effect. I still have a coach so I can continually grow and stay accountable. I need the support of my coach for hope and self care and the forward movement I am still making.
What about you? What self-care discoveries are waiting for you? What would you like to discover and move forward with in your own life? I would love to offer you a free discovery coaching session, so you can explore the possibilities of coaching for yourself. Contact me for a free consultation. I would be happy to answer all your questions and get your free session set up.
What self-care strategies do you use to keep healthy? Post on Nancy Booth Coaching facebook or in the comments below. Let’s learn from each other!
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress. It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.