Oversleeping, lethargy, constant food cravings, and low moods can be signs of mild depression. There can come many emotional ups and downs during the Pitta (fire) season of the year, and can change our mood. With depression affecting over 19 million Americans every year, it is way more common than one would believe to catch a case of Summertime Blues.
Luckily, Ayurveda has much to offer for occasional emotional imbalance. It teaches that the mind and body are one, and by finding balance between the two we can attain health and happiness.
Depression can range from only being a little “off” to extremely severe lows. Some of the many forms of depression include: lethargy, weight change, anxiety, lack of interest in things, fatigue and oversleeping, insomnia, overeating, and the list goes on. Whether you are experiencing any of these symptoms or not, it is clear that depression throws us off in all areas of life. That is why maintaining a regular routine and treating yourself with love and kindness are so important. Here are some tips and tricks from Ayurveda that will help you get back on track.
1. Go to bed early. Falling asleep before 10:00pm is essential to getting a good nights rest and regulating emotional health. Sleep is the body’s time to rest and cleanse itself from impurities, as well as regulate neurotransmitters and stress-hormones.
2. Wake up with the rising sun, or as early as you feel comfortable. Waking up around 6:00am is critical to preventing depression because sleeping late in the day causes our channels of communication (shrotas) to clog with impurities. This may lead to dullness of mind and lethargy.
3. Take a break from social media. Social media platforms contribute to high levels of dopamine release when you scroll, this causes you to become attached and feel the need to keep having those dopamine releases all day every day. Take a week or two to stop scrolling and use the that time to go walk, start a new book, or reach out to someone that you trust and can talk to about your feelings of being off.
4. Exercise! Exercising is one of the most useful tools when it comes to combating depression. Going for an early morning walk through the forest and breathing deeply is a wonderful way to ease the mind. Daily exercise is important to fighting depression because activity will help clear stagnation and blockages. It also releases neurohormones, which help with elevating mood and positivity.
5. Make sure that every morning you go to the bathroom, as constipation can cause headaches, dullness and contributes to depression. Clearing the body of toxins helps the mind, as the gut is where 90% of our serotonin is produced, and blockages in the intestinal tract can directly affect our mental health.
6. Eat wholesome, nutritious foods that make you feel good. It’s hard to feel happy if you don’t feel healthy, and health starts with what we put into our bodies. By eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean proteins, you are giving yourself the proper nutritional support for good digestion and emotional health.
7. Do something you enjoy every day. In this busy modern day life, sometimes it can be hard to take the time to do something we really enjoy every day. But doing something pleasurable is so important to our overall wellbeing. Taking at least a half an hour every day to paint, meditate, practice yoga, journal or anything else that serves you in the line of health will help cultivate positivity and emotional balance.
Start small. Small changes build a foundation for long term growth. By following a regular routine that supports a healthy lifestyle, you can achieve mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. Lack of motivation can be hard to overcome, so only start with small things that will make you feel good. Even if that means just taking a warm shower, do something to love on yourself.
Ten Ways to Beat the Blues. Maharishi Ayurveda. July 17th. Web. Maharishiayurveda.com.