This week I am partnering with one of the best in the Fitness Industry to bring you AMAZING tips + tricks to help combat your mental health with exercise and nutrition. Evelyn is BOSS BABE. I came to her when I was struggling to get my motivation back into fitness and nutrition. She is a certified personal trainer, co-founder of The Honey Studios, which supports women led wellness brands and influencers, and she offers amazing workout videos and health/nutrition tips on her instagram. She changed the game for me mentally and physically, bringing a whole new meaning to fit and helping me understand that healthy doesn’t mean “skinny”. So, here we go ya’ll.
Hey guys, I am Evelyn! Let’s talk about a subject that is highly talked about on Mentalie Me. Depression and Anxiety. With both being diagnosed rapidly these days, I thought I would share some tips that have helped me almost COMPLETELY control my anxiety without taking any mind altering medication. You see, I’ve dealt with depression in the past. I’ve dealt with anxiety my whole life due to childhood trauma. I used to be on every anti-anxiety/depression medication you can think of. But guess what, I haven’t taken a single pill in two years.
One of the MAIN things I do when I feel anxiety coming on is ask myself, how have my eating habits been, am I drinking enough water, am I getting enough sleep, do I have too much on my plate, and am I getting enough exercise in. This has been the biggest game changer. They are not kidding when they say, “food is your medicine.” When I’m eating junk food constantly I start realizing that I am mean, irritable, and I have tremendous anxiety. Just by simply changing your diet to nutrient dense foods will make THAT MUCH of a difference in your depression and anxiety. I PROMISE. I make the conscious choice everyday and it has helped.
There are 2 MAJOR components that will make a big difference in your mental health.
- The first one is food. Not only are nutrient dense foods and a balanced diet good for weight loss or muscle gain, in addition to that they are exceptional for your mental health. The cure really is the kitchen. We need to shift our focus on real food. Not Chinese takeout, processed food, chips, packaged foods, frozen meals, soda, cereal…you get the point. High processed foods can lead to a 50-100% risk for clinical depression. We need to stop eating ingredients, and start eating food that is full of natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are going to fuel our brain. For example, prisoners are very deficient in nutrients and minerals. There was a study I found a few years back that stated, once they changed the prisoners nutrient deficient diet to a more nutrient dense diet, violence decreased by 80 PERCENT!!! Let me ask you a question, how good do you feel after eating lets say Papa John’s Pizza or a bag of Oreos? I’m hoping the answer is terrible, because those kinds of food do not fuel your brain or give you energy. In fact, you may feel extremely exhausted after eating that kind of food. My point is, eat a balanced and healthy diet most of the time and watch that anxiety slip away!
- The second major component is exercise. Movement matters. It can be any type of movement, heavy lifting, pilates, yoga, the point is to get your heart rate up a little bit and get that blood flowing through your body and into your brain. When you exercise and move your body, what happens is your serotonin (your happy hormone) increases, which leads to a happy-mood life. I know that when I miss a couple days in the gym I start to get unmotivated, anxiety starts creeping in, and my mood instantly starts decreasing. Studies show that exercise is as good as or even BETTER than antidepressants/anxiety medications. Listen to this, consistent exercise will help boost your mood, increase your energy, and even improve your learning and concentration. Who doesn’t want all of that. I know exercising can be hard sometimes because we are working harder than our respiratory threshold can handle, but the thing is that there’s a pay off at the end of the exercise and you get an immediate mood boost with your endorphins firing off. Keep pushing, keep going, it’s going to pay off. TRUST ME.
A couple of other things I do to control my anxiety and depression:
- Unplug. Turn your phone off and stop scrolling. We all need to learn to recharge. Let your phone die and recharge your body. Take some time for yourself, take a bath, light some candles, read for 30 minutes, watch a tv show, etc.
- Journal. I write down what I am feeling and what is bothering me. I will write a list of what I am grateful for and then I write down manifestations. The first 3 manifestations I will rewrite is “I don’t have anxiety, I don’t have anxiety, I don’t have anxiety.” You have to manifest it then It becomes real. There’s something about writing it out and seeing it that makes you realize that everything is okay.
My passion for these topics come from hearing hundreds of thousands of stories of ill women suffering from mental health and then becoming healthy humans by taking a comprehensive approach to wellness in which they eat REAL food and incorporate consistent movement. I have never seen anyone evolve to be the best versions of themselves by eating a terrible diet and refusing to exercise.
Let’s make a commitment, make some goals and jot everything down you learned today in your journal. Tape them up on your mirror so you see these commitments everyday and lets work on becoming the best version of yourselves!