Detox Your Mind!

Aoife Ryan gives us hints into detox our minds…

 

During January, there has been a lot of talk about how to detox your body after the festive season. While cleansing and restoring your body is important, the new year is also a really good time to try and focus on detoxing your mind. A mind detox will help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, helping you to organise yourself better and be a happier you!

Here are some tips to help with the process:

  • Get Organised

Take a full day or two to yourself and clear your house of any unwanted clutter or mess. When you’re living in an unorganised environment it’s very hard to have a clear mind. Focus especially on your bedroom – clear out your wardrobe, throw away or donate anything you don’t wear or use anymore. Sometimes re-arranging the furniture in your room can give you the feeling of a fresh start, and help you to feel more on top of things.

Make lists of tasks you need to carry out/have been putting off. Prioritise – do what you feel is most important firsts and allocate time for the rest…writing down a date to have something done by can help make sure you don’t forget about it.

  • Switch Off

We are overloaded everyday with a constant stream of noise and information through multiple sources of media. Stepping away from technology for a few hours every day can be a huge relief. Try going out for a walk in the park and leaving your phone and music at home. Having no other distractions will allow you to really take in and enjoy your environment, alone with your thoughts. Taking time to be mindful out in the fresh air can help you understand and organise what’s going on inside your head. This also gives peaceful time to work through and find solutions to things that may have been wearing you out emotionally.

  • Diet

Try to reduce your consumption of sweet treats and processed/convenience foods. There is often a feeling of guilt follows indulging in comfort foods. Ease sweet cravings with fruit or a distraction like a hot bath or a walk.

Cut down on the amount of caffeine you drink. When living a busy lifestyle it is very common people get into the habit of drinking multiple cups of tea/coffee a day. The buzz these provide make you feel more able to carry on with energy, but in reality they cause you to crash sooner and can set your mind racing and make it harder to focus in the long run. Reducing alcohol consumption has also been seen as a beneficial way of keeping a clear head.

Keep hydrated throughout the day to help ease hunger distractions and cravings and the keep your head organised. Don’t skip meals – always factor in time to your day to have a balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will stop your energy levels from dipping and keep you on track throughout your day.

  • Wake Up To Positive Thoughts

When you wake up in the morning, take 10-15 minutes before you get out of bed and fill yourself with gentle thoughts. Think about nice things you will be doing with your day, what friends you will see etc. Try to avoid waking up thinking about the list of things you need to get done that day. Waking up in a happy mind frame often lightens the tone for the rest of the day, eliminating a lot of unnecessary anxieties.

  • Relax and Get Your 8h+

At the end of your day take some time to unwind – watch a nice movie, listen to some calm music, read a book, or light some candles and soak in a hot bath. Having some time to yourself before bed where you can escape from anything that may be on your mind can be very soothing and help you to have a better nights sleep. When your head is racing all day with schedules, deadlines or anxieties of any kind, it is very hard to go to bed at night and switch them off. It is very common that these plays on your mind will make it hard for you to nod off at night and may interrupt your sleeping pattern throughout the night. A bad nights sleep will leave you tired the next day, making you less able to cope with stresses of the day as well, and here a vicious cycle starts.

By allowing yourself some much needed “me time” and taking time to unwind you will nip this cycle in the bud.

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment and recovery in anorexia nervosa…

Part 4 – Aoife Ryan completes her look into anorexia… 

Anorexia is a serious disorder and should not be left untreated. Both the physical and the psychological issues that come with anorexia should be assessed and monitored by a professional. Treatment will vary according to the individual and the severity of the disorder.

Some people who have recovered from anorexia may become “orthorexic”. Orthorexia is viewed as an escape from anorexia while keeping still having food control. Typically, the person will no longer be severely underweight, but may be addicted to healthy eating plans and exclude major food groups from their diet. It is important to watch out for this as relapse is always possible.

The prospect of recovery can be frightening and is it normal for someone to resist treatment at first.

A GP should be seen first, to assess and monitor physical aspects of the disorder. Psychotherapy can also be very helpful in addressing any psychological issues underlying. Finally, seeing a dietitian for nutritional counselling can increase a person’s understanding of how their diet and eating patterns are affecting them physically.

A full recovery from anorexia may take time, but it is possible with the right support and determination.

How can anorexia affect you?

Aoife Ryan continues her thoughts into anoreixa…

Part 3; Consequences of Anorexia

Physically there are many serious consequences of anorexia. When the body is under nourished, it is forced to slow down all of its processes to conserve energy. Starvation affects every system in the body. − Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure produce changes in the heart muscle, giving a higher risk of heart failure.

Somebody who is under-eating and underweight will have a lowered resistance to illness, will experience physical weakness, and be more sensitive to the cold. The body may begin to grow fine downy hair all over as an attempt to preserve warmth. The loss of bone density is a common side effect, and can lead to osteoporosis.

Without the right nutrients, hormones cannot be produced and the reproduction can be damaged. The most obvious sign of this is the loss of periods in women. Fertility issues can arise as a result of this.

Anorexia also affects a person’s thinking and behaviour. With this, there are consequences emotionally. Poor nutrition and dehydration will produce changes in brain chemistry. These changes can lead to distorted thinking, untrue perceptions, obsession, and problems intellectually. It can increase vulnerability to other psychiatric disorders. The following are common consequences for a person suffering with anorexia:

− Body dysmorphic disorder is often seen in someone with anorexia. This is a body-image disorder where the person will find certain flaws that may exist at all, and become preoccupied and obsessed with it. For example, someone with anorexia’s image of themselves may be that they are over-weight when they are under-weight.

− Reduced concentration

− Poor memory

− Difficulties with abstract thinking, problem solving, decision making and planning.

− There are much higher levels of anxiety

− Depression is commonly seen in a sufferer of anorexia

− Obsessive-compulsive disorder may begin to develop.

These psychological side effects make the recovery process very difficult for the individual. Because of the nature of the disorder, a person suffering from anorexia may find it hard to admit to the seriousness of the risks to their physical and mental health.