Depression rates have risen dramatically during the lockdown.
As I found myself struggling with lockdown depression and a lack of motivation, I had to assess why. Everyone recognizes that stress is a main driver of depression, but what else?
Years ago, I read the book A Mind of Your Own by Dr. Kelly Brogan. The theme of the book is that depression resides in your gut. Our lifestyles are the contributing factor to depression. I thought I would pull this book back out to see if I could find any nuggets of truth that would help answer why so many people are struggling during the lockdown. I found two reasons I think have contributed to the epidemic of lockdown depression.
Lack of Exercise
It is very well known that exercise is the antidote to stress. During the lockdown, gyms were closed. Online exercise programs soared. Even though my gym sent me workouts to do at home, I never did any of them. If I wanted to work out at home, I would not belong to a gym. A gym is a motivating environment and it is a place meant to work out, not to watch TV.
I did really well during the lockdown to get outside and walk. I walked to the grocery store almost every day whether I needed anything or not. There was a destination and a reason for a walk. But, here is the issue:
You need to sweat while exercising, 5 days a week!
Dr. Brogan says this is the only standard for addressing depression. I know I did not meet these criteria for keeping depression at bay.
Toxins: Hand Sanitizers/Chemicals
This book was published in 2016, long before we were told that we would have to walk around 24/7 with hand sanitizers at our side. As we know, what we put on our skin is absorbed into the body. This is why the cosmetic industry has gone “green” in light of the knowledge that chemicals we put on our skin are absorbed into the body.
Hand sanitizers are alcohol-based. Alcohol kills all bacteria, even the good bacteria our bodies need. Viruses need even more chemicals to be killed. Not to mention that when you eat after using hand sanitizers, there is a good possibility you are ingesting them.
A customer in my store pulled out her hand sanitizer. There was so much fragrance in the hand sanitizer that I had to leave the lobby to breathe. Chemicals and fragrances are toxins our bodies do not need.
As lockdowns and restrictions continue, look at your own daily habits to assess what might make a change in your mindset. Use non-toxic/chemical-free cleaners for personal hygiene and home cleaning.
Amp up the exercise and of course, eat clean and healthy.