RSVP Magazine

HEALTH NEWS: Banish The Blues, Help Improve Your Mental Health

Alleviate the pressures of everyday life by getting active and eating well – it’s not just your body that will thank you, your mind will too! Irish GP and TV presenter, Dr Pixie McKenna offers advice to help improve your mental health.

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1. THE STRESS FACTOR

These days we’re busier than we’ve ever been, with most women holding themselves to increasingly impossible standards. As a result, we are so stressed and the level of pressure we’re placing on ourselves is getting worse. This stress is making us physically ill, and we’re not good at recognising it. I see many patients coming in with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches, low sex drive etc. The last conclusion they consider is what is happening in their own life. But it is nearly always their stress levels that is behind the illness.

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2. ASK FOR HELP

If you are experiencing stress or poor mental health, the best thing you can do is recognise it, talk about it, and ask for help. If you don’t, it isn’t going to get any better, most likely it will get worse. Anxiety and depression affect more of us than you think and the people who seem to have it all, don’t! Exercise is the best thing you can do for both physical and mental health, as well as avoiding depressants and stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine. In addition, a healthy, balanced diet is key.

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3. CAN YOU SUPPLEMENT YOUR WAY TO BETTER HEALTH?

From boosting immunity to a better complexion, it seems there is a supplement for everything. However, if you are already eating a well-balanced diet, they just aren’t necessary. There is one exception to this rule though, and that’s Vitamin D, something Irish people struggle to produce. At this time of year if you’re flagging, tired and generally feeling a bit rubbish, Vitamin D is excellent. I’m not a huge fan of supplements, but we know we don’t get enough Vitamin D due to our lack of sun, so I always recommend it.

Pharma Nord, D Pearls, €13.95 for an 80-day supply

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