Over the last 18 months or so I’ve been struggling with a real resurgence of an old problem, namely low mood and depression which I know a lot of us struggle with, so much so that often getting on with the day to day running of the Eldrum Tree is really difficult and all I want to do is curl up into a corner and sleep. Now, there are a number of factors that are probably contributing to this, so I thought I’d share with you a few of the tips and tricks I’ve been using to cope and to pull myself free from the black slumps as often as I can.
Firstly, after thoroughly going over my symptoms – not just the low mood but everything else as well – I suspected that oestrogen dominance was causing some of the problem, so I began taking DIM supplements. This, for me, worked really well – within a week I was feeling some of my old drive and enthusiasm for life and for my work. Anyone who knows me can probably attest that I am like an energiser bunny – I just don’t seem to stop! Sometimes that is very much because its easier to avoid personal demons if I’m too busy to confront them, but honestly a lot of it is that I genuinely love to be busy. I love my job and what I do, and am happy to just keep going. So when depression stops me my tracks, obviously something has caused a major problem. With the DIM supplements, after a week of nagging headaches while they kicked in, I suddenly woke up one morning with a clear head instead of the low mood fuzzies, and some of my old drive back. I’ve noticed that the slumps creeps back up on me again if I run out of DIMs and don’t take them for a week or more, so for the moment I’m sticking with them. I’ve also noticed that a lot of other symptoms I was struggling with have let right up – no real PMS any more (thank goodness!) and my periods are a lot lighter and less painful. Best of all, the weight that I have struggled with for so long is beginning to come off!
Secondly, I started to supplement with a good quality B vitamin complex – I can’t recommend this highly enough as it really does have a huge knock on effect on a lot of mental issues. For me, my low mood was also causing me to trip over my words, forget what I was saying mid sentence, and it was making me clumsy, as well as giving me a major case of head fog. All in all, I felt pretty crummy!
Thirdly, I’ve been taking a herbal concoction (of course!) featuring Roseroot, Ashwagadhna, Gotu Kola and St John’s Wort in equal proportions, which has really helped kick start my system back into action. My head is clearer, I can focus for longer, and my drive to exercise is slowly picking up again, thank goodness. For me, depression manifests as everything about me just slowing right down, from my metabolism to my mood, and I literally find it hard to haul myself off the couch when it gets really bad. This blend of herbs has kick started my liver, given me more energy and made it easier to shrug off the slumps when they occur.
What this has really taught me, or reminded me, is that I need to be more gentle with myself. I am a perfectionist who finds it hard to accept that I can’t get it right 100% of the time, and who tries to keep a pretty punishing routine a lot of the time. I’ve learned over the last year that I just can’t keep doing that – I need to make more time to play with learning new things, reading books, resting, going for walks, and doing things that are nurturing and calm for myself.
I hope some of this helps you folks – I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for coping with the slumps when they occur! I’ll post next about coping with anxiety, in the hopes that that will help folks as well.