In my last blog post I wrote what you can do if you feel low. 5 ways to beat the blues. In this post I shared 5 things you can do if you feel low or depressed. So if you haven´t read it yet, head over and read that.
There are also many yogic techniques you can use to lift your spirit or energy.
One simple but powerful technique is Bellows Breath. It is pretty short and you can do it whenever you feel you have a stagnation in your body, are tired or feel low.
This is how you do it:
Sit comfortable with your spine straight.
Bend your elbows with your arms up so your hands are on the side to your shoulders with the palms facing forward.
Inhale through the nostrils as you lift your arms up and spread your fingers.
Exhale as you come down again to the starting position.
Repeat 20 times totally.
Rest for 30 seconds.
And repeat 20 more.
Let me know how this exercise is working for you, in the comments below.
Feeling the blues. Feeling low. I think we all get there sometimes. We are humans with different emotions. Flowing. But if we get stuck in that low feeling, being depressed for a longer time (or shorter) we need to do something about it. Life should be beautiful and full of wonderful things. This is not always so, I know. Especially if you have a terrible painful illness that comes in the way. This article is for you that need to get up from the darkest of places and beating the blues.
I am fortunate not to get depressed so often. If I do, it mostly has to do with my cycle and then I know it will only last for a couple of days. (Read this blog post about your moon centers and how they affect you) But there was a time in my early twenties when I was very depressed. I was very self destructive, a goth (yes, can you imagine! But I had some really fun times in that period too!), drinking and partying. The opposite of my current life. After seven years I stopped taking my contraceptives that I took for my endometriosis pain. I wanted to see if my headache was caused by the pills. It was not, but wow my depression was! All of a sudden I saw light again! It was a huge difference! Since then my depression is not a big part of my life anymore. Of course it can come and go. I´m like everyone else, having adversities, feeling useless and wondering what on earth is my mission in life some times. These times don´t come often and mostly if they come it is with my cycle…
But I have a strategy when they come up and that is what I want to share with you today.
1. Do things that lift you up
When I feel low I try to do things that are good for me and make me feel good. I take some big self care time. I try to do things that I know I love. For me it is to do creative things. I love images and working on beautiful images with lots of colors. I can take a break and go and see if I can find some beautiful things or clothes in my favorite shops. Cooking, fixing my home. Listening to beautiful music. To sum it up: Finding the beauty in life again.
What are the things you love to do? Do it!
2. Meet people
When you are low it can happen you don´t want to meet any people, I know. But being alone can make you more depressed. Sometimes we need to be alone, just to be still and listen to our heart. Figuring things out. But don´t get stuck there. Schedule a meeting with your best friend, so you have something to look forward to.
I remember once when I was in India. I was totally alone. I didn´t really know anyone. I had just finished a 6 week auyrveda treatment at a retreat center and had just moved to a big house. I felt like the most lonely person on earth. I remember crying and calling my ex boyfriend in Sweden (really expensive call!) crying, flooding in tears. Hanging up, there was a black out, electricity can be really unreliable in India sometimes. It was like someone was telling me that I needed to get out of there. I did. Took a walk to a shop I had been to before. Met some wonderful people there and felt better.
So reach out! Don´t be alone in that darkness. You know deep inside people love you, but they can´t support you or help you if they don´t know you need support.
And speaking of that: if you are depressed, don´t be afraid of reaching out to professionals in the psychiatry field or your doctor. They are there to help!
3. Go outside into the nature
Being at home can be quite depressing. Being in nature has a healing effect. Maybe that is the last thing you want to do. To go outside. You only want to be in bed inside. But it is worth it. Drag yourself out there! The light is good for you! The nature is good for you. Walking barefoot is good for you. And some sun on your skin can be good. Lack of D-vitamines can also be a reason of being low. And lack of light that helps to increase the feel-good-hormone serotonin.
Here in Sweden it can happen we don´t see the sun for weeks! Living here my whole life I never get used to it. The last years I have been travelling to Brazil to visit my partner´s family, so it has been easier. You can also buy some light therapy. I have a lamp that has the same light as the sun, at home. It really helps. I also try to have a routine to go for a walk every day regardless of the weather.
4. Continue with your daily routines
When you are depressed it is easy to slip down and stop doing your daily routines: Eating on regular bases, taking care of yourself with your hygiene, move your body and so one. You just don´t feel like doing anything. Maybe you only want to watch TV. That is not going to help (unless you are only watching comedies :-) ). Watching too much TV makes you a little bit apathetic I find. Go for a walk (again!). It has been shown that exercising three times a week for 30 minutes each time, has an anti-depressive effect. When you move your body, it sends out feel-good hormones. Avoid alcohol and other similar substances. Eat your food regularly. Try to sleep as usual during the night.
If you normally have very high demands or expectations on yourself, lower your demands. Every time you judge yourself with your inner critic, you are breaking you heart. Be kind to yourself!
Eat good and healthy food! Depression can lower your immune system. Eat good omega 3, leafy greens, berries and veggies!
Subscribe to daily uplifting email messages from The Universe! (from a website that sends an email everyday to inspire you)
5. Do yoga!
Yes, yoga can affect your mood in a positive way! There are many yoga sets, poses, breathing exercises and meditations that can help. When it comes to depression I personally feel that my energy is stuck in my body. The flow is not moving as it normally does. So moving your body and doing yoga that helps with that “stagnation” can be good. In my next blog post I´ll share some yoga for depression.
I hope some of these advices can help you. Maybe you have your own strategy when you feel low? What do you do when you are depressed? Please share!
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Helen Kåselöv is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist and the founder of Healing from within with yoga & food (former Yoga for Endometriosis & Pelvic pain). Helen has a history of severe endometriosis and is today helping women with endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids and other pelvic pain online, with yoga, nutrition and other lifestyle changes. Using yoga both as a tool in different kinds of healing programs, pain management, yoga has become the foundation in her work. “Yoga can help you in so many ways: Physically, mentally, spiritually and as a personal development tool.”