Mindy's Quantum Wellness

Autumn Article

I wanted to delve into the topic of depression today as we are in the metal season of Autumn which is known for stirring up these deep feelings. The Autumn element is paired with the Lung organ which is tied into the emotion of grief. Also, the paired Large Intestine organ symbolizes how well we are able to let go of people, habits or other things that no longer serve us.

Whether we’ve been dealing with this grief or loss recently, or if it has sneakily become woven into our long-term psyche, depression feels like trying to move through a pool filled with tar. It’s sticky, thick, hard to see anything ahead, it’s hard to clean off and it makes you feel like giving up and not doing anything. Self-loathing, pessimism and neglect can take over quickly.

I want to let you know if you’re feeling any or all of these things, you’re not alone. Especially after these past couple years that we’ve gone through, the pandemic has magnified every area of our lives for every individual. It has made us take a hard look at our lives more closely.

Everything is more challenging: work, being allowed to work, paying bills, feeding our families, child rearing, homeschooling, regular schooling, dating, socializing, or just trying to have fun in general. Fears and worries about contagions has sucked the joy out of life and is all very disempowering- creating the perfect storm for depression to manifest.

Please know that the power to change your mind and what you focus on all lies within you. Retraining your mind to think in a positive way when you have all the proof in the world that everything is falling apart is no easy feat. But if you do small things for yourself, everyday, in time you will notice a huge shift in your mental emotional state. I liken it to the momentum of the snowball effect.

I would like to give you 10 tools here to help reroute the energetics of downward spirals into upward spirals.

1) Log out of social media.

Getting off of social media will be the best thing you do for your mental health, hands down. These online platforms are toxic on multiple levels that work to keep you addicted to them, distract you from your present moment of life and reality, cause the full spectrum of negative emotions, and leave you feeling empty in the end. Delete the applications from your phone so it’s harder to access them and even deactivate if you can. Taking a break and focusing on what’s important to you and your life will set you up for a better day and a better tomorrow.

2) Wake up early, every morning to watch the sunrise.

I know, it’s hard to get up early, especially if you’re accustomed to staying up late every night and also when you’re depressed, getting out of bed almost seems like a monumental task. Shifting your body to go to sleep earlier, after the sun sets, will help align you with the energetics of the planet so that self healing can occur.

Getting eye exposure to the ultraviolet rays that happen upon sunrise is like charging your devices so that they work optimally for the next 24 hours. You’ll have more energy during the day and you will sleep deeper that coming night. If the weather is too cloudy, rainy, grey, or if you can’t easily access witnessing a sunrise, simply check what time the sun rises in your location and safely light a candle in an eastward facing area of your home. Either way you decide to sunrise gaze in the morning, spend 5-10 minutes gently gazing at the sun or candle with your eyelids closed and breathe in its life-giving energy, connecting it’s divine energy with the divine light within you.

The sun rays also help your brain to produce serotonin and dopamine – the feel good chemicals. Set your alarm at least a half an hour before the next sunrise comes to become accustomed to this simple but powerful health routine. The sun is not the evil demon that it has been propagandized to be.

3) Exercise

This is definitely one of the more challenging things to get up the momentum to do regularly when one has depression and also what usually comes with depression is body pain. But lack of moving or inertia only sets in our depression and pain deeper. Exercise if often the most crucial and best medicine we can utilize to combat our mental dis-ease.

Autumn Article Exercise Section

If it has been a long time since you last worked out, go slow and start with a simple walk around your block or drive somewhere in nature to take a walk if you’d prefer. Go for at least 15 minutes, and if this feels good, try another 15. Just don’t overdo it by pushing yourself too hard. Listen to your body and what its limits are. If you’re feeling pain and discomfort anywhere, stop and bring these issues up with your Traditional East Asian Medicine Practitioner or other Primary Care Provider so they can help work with you on an exercise regime best suited to your body and level of fitness.

If you’re not in pain and can work out with no problems, keep it up! Exercise releases so many healing chemicals in our bodies. If I could put all the benefits of exercise into pill form I’d be the wealthiest woman on earth! But alas, we all have to do it for ourselves. That’s the whole point. No one or thing is going to do it for you. You have to put your health in your hands and set your mind up to move your body everyday. Stimulate your muscles, pump fresh oxygen into those lungs and circulate the blood from your heart. It truly does wonders on so many levels.

4) Eat organic food grown locally from nature.

Eating as clean and close to nature as possible is very beneficial for our bodies. It connects us to the planet, nourishes our cells via the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. It decreases inflammation, increases energy, regulates our bowels, clears brain fog and helps to regulate our mood. Food is medicine!

Fill up at least half of your plate or bowl with vegetables. We need at least 9 servings of veggies a day so get used to working them into your breakfasts, snacks, lunch and dinner. You can easily prep fresh veggies to have on hand for snacking like carrot sticks, celery, radishes, turnips, snap peas, or whatever you like and is in season. I like to either steam or stir fry veggies for breakfast and dinner and will make salads for lunch occasionally.

Keep the carb count under 90 grams per day to help with weight loss, lowering inflammation preventing and reversing metabolic disorders and helping to regulate hormones. All this, in turn, helps to aid your mood.

Eliminate processed sugars and processed oils like safflower, canola, soy, sunflower, margarine, cottonseed and vegetable oil. These oils harden and clog arteries, increase inflammation and can contribute to serious health disorders including cancer. It takes 90 days for the body to detox from these oils, so do yourself a favor and ditch them today!

In lieu of the above nasty fats, replace them with plenty of healthy fats like avocados, fatty fish, olive oil drizzled on after cooking or used for salads or dipping sauce. Have a handful of nuts with your fruit or veggies. Eat eggs! The whole egg, please. Cook with gasp lard (yes, lard is actually good for you), grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, and ghee. Our brains are mostly fat so it is crucial that we consume fat to help them perform optimally.

5) Clean

A wise mentor, fellow healer, dearly departed teacher I had during acupuncture school taught us that the best thing a person can do if they are depressed is to wake up early every morning and clean their home for a month. You’re probably laughing your asses off at this suggestion and ready to close out of my article by now but hear me out.

Cleaning serves several purposes in helping with depression:

  1. It gets you out of bed early and doesn’t let you wallow in your head.
  2. It gives you something positive to focus on other than your mind.
  3. It gets you moving (aka sneaking in exercise without realizing it.
  4. It helps you feng shui your place by decreasing the clutter, letting go of what no longer serves you, clearing paths and dirt while stimulating your imagination to possibly re-organize your furniture layout, you may even be motivated enough to purchase new pieces of furniture or art or plants to help beautify your home.
  5. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment after it’s finished and you feel proud for what you’ve done.
  6. Having a clean, organized and beautiful space to live and rest in helps put your mind at peace and ease and allows the flow of more positive ideas and aspects to flow into your life.
  7. Lastly, it can help us to reach out to invite people over to socialize with because we’re not embarrassed by the mess and clutter of our homes anymore and connection is mental medicine in and of itself.

6) Do something you love to do

When we’re depressed it’s hard to find things that we would like to do anymore. The world turns kind of grey and unappealing to live in. It’s important to use our memories here and think back to when we were kids because this was a time when our brains were the most imaginative, creative and full of life.

What was it that we liked to do? Was it painting, playing with clay, riding a bike, playing basketball, making music? Making up stories or acting them out? Woodworking? Making miniatures? Magic tricks? Even if it was something as simple as laying in the grass and staring at the clouds, take a few moments to reflect on your childhood and pull in as many good memories as you can.

Look back and try to remember what used to bring you joy and then set up time everyday to dedicate to these activities. Doing this will help move you out of a funk and into joy.

7) Call a friend

When was the last time you actually used your phone for talking to another individual or even making a video conferencing date with your bestie? I mean, aside from the telemarketers and bill collectors? We have all become so disconnected from each other that it’s no wonder so many of us have been in this deep state of depression. Technology can be utilized in positive ways when used for enhancing our social life.

Talking or video conferencing with a dear friend or loved one you trust will help you to vent what you need to get out, help you feel like you’re being heard, help you connect with another living individual, maybe gain some perspective on your troubles or realize that your friend is going through something similar or even that they may need your help or advice for themselves.

Talking to someone we care for helps us to open up our hearts and minds to something greater. Helps us feel connected and loved. That someone in the world actually does care for you and want the best to come to you in your life. Good friends who can understand us, empathize with us and just hold space for us are real medicine and a true gift!

8) Give a meaningful gift to someone

The old saying,“It’s better to give than to receive” is true! Think of someone who has reached out to you lately or has helped you get through a tough time in the past. It could be the same person you reached out to in step 7. Think about them and what they like, what could make their life more easy right now or more full of joy?

It doesn’t need to be anything grandiose or expensive. Even writing them a card and sending it in the mail is a kind gesture. Who receives anything in the mail anymore that isn’t advertisements and bills anyway? Old-fashioned, hand-written letters need to make a comeback for the good of humanity.

Getting your mind off of yourself and turning your focus of doing good for another will bring you back blessings in more ways than you know, starting with lifting you out of a depressed state.

9) Watch a funny movie

There isn’t much more to say here other than what we all already know but for some reason are out of the habit of doing, which is – laughing! When was the last time you had a good laugh? Seek out laughter daily, even hourly if you can. Check out the comedy search button on your movie platform of choice or search for funny videos online.

10) Try herbal medicine

There is a famous formula in Traditional East Asian Medicine called Gan Mai Da Zao Tang which is a simple yet powerful herbal formula for helping uplift a person from the duldrums. The ingredients are gan cao, fu xiao mai and da zao which are Chinese licorice, wheat and jujubes. These herbs can be combined in a pot with water to make a tea.

If you have a local Chinese herb dispensary, or know of a local Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) practitioner like myself, they can help you procure this formula for your condition or even custom-tailor something more specific for your constitution or if you have other combined maladies. Also, these three herbs, while simple, may also be contraindicated if you have other health conditions or are taking certain pharmaceuticals so it is best to consult with a trained and licensed TEAM practitioner who knows the ins and outs of using these herbs.

It is my hope that these suggestions help guide you out of lower vibrations and help uplift you to higher ones. As with all my material, this isn’t to be taken as medical advice. Seek out your primary care physician, psychiatrist or psychologist for help first and foremost. And if you are feeling at your worst please don’t hesitate to use a good resource such as 988 Suicide Hotline for help 24/7.

I’m curious to hear which practices you will try or if there’s something else you’ve incorporated into your health routine that has helped in a significant way benefit your mental health. Feel free to respond in the comments below.

All my best to you and your health this Autumn season!

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