Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

I thought I’d write a post about mental health symptoms and how they’re linked to what you eat, since I just finished Sunday brunch, which included several pancakes with margarine and maple syrup. Can you guess how I’m feeling now?

– that’s right: I’m feeling sluggish and tired. I ate too much and now I’m paying the price.

A lot of mental health symptoms that show up can relate back to what we ate, when we ate it and how much of it we ate. Obviously, there’s a lot more that may be involved in why mental health symptoms show up for each of us, but paying closer attention to what we eat each day is very important.

Tips for Minimizing Mental Health Challenges Brought on By Diet

What I don’t want to do here is try and sound like a nutritionist, since I’m not one. I do, however, want to share some key things to be aware of when it comes to what you eat on a daily basis. Obviously we’re all different, but some general things to watch out for are:

– Making sure you’re eating well-balanced, smaller meals roughly every 3 to 4 hours to ensure that your insulin levels remain stable. This will help minimize mood swings and irritability.

– Be aware of any foods that you may have bad reactions to. Even if you love a certain type of food, but it makes you feel sluggish or you have another type of bad reaction to it, make sure to cut it out of your diet or keep it to a bare minimum. For me, ice cream used to be an issue because I was lactose intolerant. Fortunately, there are pills I can take that enable me to still be able to eat ice cream without having an upset stomach. Alternatively, I can purchase lactose-free ice cream.

– Avoid overeating. This one can be tough for me, since I sometimes enjoy larger portions after a hard workout, but don’t need to eat that much if I’m not working out (but I still feel like eating that much sometimes). I’ve always had a healthy appetite, but since I work from home on my computers, I don’t need as many calories each day now that I’m not working a labor job.

– If you find yourself eating too much or eating a lot of the wrong things, then instead of beating yourself up, get back on track the next day. Don’t allow yesterday’s indulgence to “spiral” into something bigger – regain control and start fresh tomorrow.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up – Stay Consistent Over the Long-Term

As with anything, being gentle on yourself and simply doing your best each day is what matters over the long term. We all have moments where we fall off the wagon and overindulge, but the key is to stay as consistent as possible and remember the impact that your eating habits have on your overall physical and mental health.

Last but definitely not least, if you feel that you have a problem with eating that may result in an eating disorder or anything else where you feel like you’re out of control, make sure to ask for help. I have asked for help many times in my life, and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to ask for help again if needed. It takes courage to ask for help and you should be very proud of yourself for doing what it takes to improve your life for the sake of your future. I know I am. In fact, I might not be here today if I hadn’t asked for help.

Love and light,

Jeff