I have been one of the lucky ones. I don’t suffer from anxiety and depression, but I look around me every day both in and out of my circle of connections and see a world seeming with it. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that 18%, nearly 1 in every 5 American men and women has been diagnosed with anxiety and the lifetime risk for depression is 17%, nearly the same. Can you think of someone you know that exhibits regular symptoms of anxiety or depression, but who has not sought a diagnosis or treatment? I certainly do. This makes me believe the number is actually higher than 1 in 5.
Is it really luck at all? Or a result of a lifetime of creating habits that serve my body, mind and spirit well?
Discover the 7 tattered and worn things in my world that have created for me a life where I, instead of being tattered, worn and reeling with anxiety, depression and worry, am carefree, healthy and full of joy and energy, and how you can be too.
- The Bible
This represents the spiritual muscle. For you, it may not be a bible. Maybe it’s a devotional or a certain book that speaks to the spiritual side of your life, showcasing that there’s more to life than just you. Growing the spiritual side of life helps to put the world in perspective. The world is big, we are little, and love conquers all.
2. Running shoes
This represents the physical muscle. For you, it may not be running shoes. Maybe it’s your weight rack, your gym membership or your yoga mat. Whatever your preferred mode of physical activity is, tatter it up and wear it the heck out. That treadmill in the corner holding clothes from last Saturday’s night out? It is just a shirt rack, or is it the body builder you bought it to be?
3. Cutting board
This represents food eaten in your kitchen. You want your kitchen equipment to be more worn than the Wendy’s down the street. This means you are feeding yourself and your family optimal nutrition for energy and health. When you make a food decision, ask yourself two questions: did this, at one time, have to be washed, chopped and prepared on a cutting board, and if not, was this food at one time alive? If the answer is yes, go for it. Donuts, pizza, and Reese’s Cups don’t require cutting boards, and they were never alive. Pineapple, Stir-fry vegetables and eggs either require a cutting board at some point, or are alive. Eat it up.
This represents adventure. The goal most days is to have at least one adventure: to go somewhere, anywhere. To refuse to be stagnant and stale in one place; forward movement is good. Pack on the miles, the oil changes and the tire rotations. You will never regret a lifetime of adventure.
5. Library card
This represents knowledge. For you, maybe it’s your Kindle or your personal library. Reading brings you in to other worlds and shows you what’s out there other than yourself. It also provides knowledge, which breeds opportunity.
This represents laughter and sunshine. Smile wrinkles, freckles and sun spots are beginning to make their debut after 28 years of both. At the moment, they are worn proudly. Give me 10 more years, though, and I may be your next Rodan + Fields preferred customer. I would rather have a freckled and wrinkly face from a lifetime of outdoor play and laughter with family and friends than a white, clear, smooth face from a lifetime of sitting on the sidelines under an umbrella watching others laugh and play. Get in on the fun.
7. Boom box
Yes, there is a boom box from the 90s in the house as well as 3 pianos… Music is therapy. Whether it’s Pandora, the radio, iHeart radio, your iTunes playlist or your ukulele – play it up. Dance. Sing at the top of your lungs. Music gives the soul freedom to express itself outwardly, and it would behoove you to push play.
What are your personal strategies, outlets and habits that help reduce anxiety and depression in your life? Share the self-care love.
Sarah Harris is private practice Registered Dietitian and founder of Simpletic Nutrition, a nutrition services company focused on simplified strategies for weight management success. She lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and two sons. Her services, blog and contact information can be found at www.simpleticnutrition.com. Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/