Try These Simple Depression Meals When Life Gets Hard by Kara Reynolds

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Being an adult is exhausting.  We’re expected to work, build a career, keep a house, feed ourselves, socialize…the list goes on and on.  When you have kids, that list doesn’t get any shorter — instead, it expands to include keeping small humans alive, healthy, entertained and happy.  Becoming a mom is supposed to be one of the most magical parts of your life, but what they don’t tell you is that it can also be the hardest. Mom life is hard. There’s no point in sugar-coating it.

When that massive list of things that you’re expected to do becomes overwhelming, here are some simple depression meals that can help you eat healthily and keep everyone fed without putting in too much effort or relying on takeout. 

Nutrients That Impact Depression Symptoms

Depression is one of those things that we tend to only talk about in reference to other people, but it’s more common than you might think.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO). around 5% of the global population suffers from depression or around 280 million people. There are a lot of different ways to manage your depression symptoms, all of which should be overseen by a medical professional, but there are some small changes that you can make at home that might have a positive impact.  This includes changing the foods that you eat.

Research has shown that some specific nutrients might help manage depression symptoms include; 

  • Amino acids like tryptophan (found in turkey and chocolate)
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in oily fish)
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Iodine

Switching your diet around to ensure that you’re including these nutrients can help make the job of managing your depression symptoms a little easier. Here are some of my favourite depression meals for those nights when nothing else seems to be helping but you’ve still got a house of little humans to feed.

Charcuterie 

If you were a kid in the 90s, you probably grew up having Lunchables for lunch during the week. They were quick, easy and had most of the nutrients a growing kid might need to get through the day — if you were content to subsist on crackers, deli meat and sometimes cheese. Okay, so they weren’t the healthiest option, but if you make them fancy, put them on a plank of wood and call them charcuterie, they’re one of my favourite depression meals. 

The nice thing about charcuterie is that there is no wrong way to do it.  Pick your favourite meats, crackers, dips, fruits and veggies, and arrange them on a plate or tray.  Then pick and choose what you want to eat. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s a great way to make sure that everyone is getting fed when all you have the energy to do is assemble things on a plate.

Fish

Fish might seem like a lot of hassle, but it doesn’t have to be.  It’s also a great option for depression meals because it tends to be high in magnesium which is another nutrient that can help with managing depression symptoms. 

This simple sheet pan haddock bake is a great way to get your nutrients without making a  big mess in the kitchen.   It’s 5 ingredients — haddock, crackers, butter, garlic salt and lemon — and five steps — and one of those steps is preheating the oven and I’m not even sure that counts. If you’re not a fan of haddock, swap it out for your favourite fish. 

Stir Fry

Stir fry is easily one of my favorite meals.  It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s fast, and you can make it with whatever you have in the kitchen.  Start by picking your protein. Then, pick your stir fry veggies — these can be fresh, canned or frozen. Fry them up in the oil of your choice, top with your sauce, and serve over rice. 

The key to a good stir fry, regardless of your chosen ingredients, is the sauce.  My go-to stir fry sauce only requires a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen.: 

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar.

Mix and pour, and you’ve got the tastiest stir fry sauce this side of your favourite Chinese restaurant. 

Peanut Butter & Jelly (Jam)

It sounds basic, but that’s because it is.  Peanut butter — and other nut butters, if you have a peanut allergy in the house — are full of healthy proteins and other nutrients that will help you feel full longer.  Pair it with some natural fruit preserves and your favourite whole wheat or multigrain bread and you’ve got a halfway healthy meal that takes almost no time or effort to prepare. 

You can always spice up your PB&J if you have more spoons.  If you’ve got more of a sweet tooth you can add sliced bananas, honey, or even marshmallow fluff.  The possibilities are endless. 

Be Kind To Yourself

As long as you’re eating, it doesn’t really matter what you eat for dinner — but making healthier choices can help to make you feel better in the long run.  Try a couple of my favourite depression meals and see if they make it into your regular meal schedule.

Above all else, be kind to yourself. 


This article was written by Kara Reynolds, editor at Momish.

Reflecting on a New Year 2022: Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful by Eleanor

(image: Neon Filter)

When I was a child, growing up in Hertfordshire, my biggest dream (other than being a wife and mummy one day, because yes even then I dreamt of that) was to be an actress in the West End. I could think of nothing more exciting than standing on a stage, performing and I wanted to go to drama school from age 11. I went in the end at age 23 to do my masters degree at Royal Central in London, after doing a 3 year degree featuring Drama at Goldsmiths. I was so excited to have achieved a dream of mine, even though for many reasons I decided not to act professionally.

However, sometimes, long held dreams, things that are part of the core of our being, of our inner identity, can be a little harder to achieve. Sometimes, we find ourselves on the less travelled path, we feel different from our friends and family because our lives, for whatever reason, are different. We have to consider our health in a unique way. We have to try and surrender our fears to the universe and hope that everything will work out OK.

When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 16, I was still a child and I didn’t know what it would feel like to be an adult, needing a cocktail of medication daily in order to have stable brain chemistry. And how this medication might affect my body and mind- and considering children in the future as a woman with bipolar and all that brings- discussions with psychiatrists, difficult decisions to be made, do I carry my own baby, what will make things safer for me?

As I look ahead to 2022, I know that our dreams are there to be fulfilled. I know that I must trust and have faith that whatever happens, whatever 2022 brings to us, I will always have hope and I know my husband will too.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022 – may all our dreams manifest for the good.

Eleanor x

8 Ways I Deal with Anxiety as a Mom (Mum) by Kara Reynolds.

(image: Pexels: Gustavo Fring)

Anxiety is hard to manage. When you have children, your stress levels can skyrocket. You have to get it under control to stay sane. 

Fortunately, you have plenty of holistic methods that help — often as much as medication or therapy. Here are eight ways I deal with anxiety as a mom. I hope these tips help you, too. 

1. I Maintain a Healthy Social Circle 

Loneliness can kill. A national cross-sectional survey found an association between patients who reported feeling isolated and increased mortality from all causes. 

I don’t know what I would do without my other mom friends. While it’s challenging for us to all coordinate our schedules to meet up as a group, I make a point to get together at least once a week with someone outside of my family for tea or a nice partner workout. It helps us both feel more connected and lets us shuffle off our mortal mom-coats for a minute and celebrate ourselves, not our roles in life. 

2. I Practice Breath Control 

Regulating your breath (like in childbirth) can help calm physiological processes. 

Focusing on your inhalations and exhalations alone helps you slow down your pace of breathing. Techniques such as 2-to-1 breathing, where you exhale for twice as long as you inhale, can further help to relax you. Navy SEALS use a method where they inhale for four, pause for as many beats, then exhale for the same count to calm their panic in crises. 

3. I Choose My Mental Battles Carefully 

As a mom, you see danger everywhere. I used to drive myself mad every time my kids strayed from my sight, but I learned to pick my mental battles more carefully as they got older. 

For example, I could lie awake tossing and turning all night, wondering if the parents at my child’s sleepover drink or take drugs in front of the kids. Conversely, I could simply meet with them before the big night and assuage my fears. 

4. I Check-in With My Body 

You know that you get irritable when you have a cold. However, minor aches and pains can sometimes leave you snapping at loved ones without realising the underlying cause. My back might groan after a day at my desk, but taking it out on my family only creates more problems. 

Therefore, I’ve learned to check in with my body regularly. I made mindful body scans a part of my routine meditation practice. These days, I do them anytime and anywhere, taking a few moments to breathe into tight areas and ease mild pain. 

5. I Move When I Don’t Feel Like It

Who hasn’t had those days where going to the gym seems like a chore? Yet, I’ve also discovered that pushing through often makes me feel better than remaining stationary. I trick myself into moving even when I don’t feel like it. 

How? I tell myself that I will work out for only five minutes. I give myself full permission to stop if I still feel lousy and sluggish after that time. However, I usually find the energy to keep going once my blood starts flowing. 

6. I Eat Healthfully — Most of the Time 

I used to go to diet extremes. Sometimes, I’d throw caution to the wind, declaring, “life’s short. Eat a donut.” Other times, I’d go on strict diets, eschewing everything that didn’t fit the meal plan until I went slightly crazy and binged. 

Now, I practice the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating. I eat foods that fall into my approved “healthy” categories 80% of the time. For the remaining 20%, I indulge in whatever I like. 

7. I Stay Away From Alcohol

A funny thing happened to me during pregnancy. Despite the increased pressure with a new life on the way, I felt less anxious. It didn’t take more than one or two postpartum cocktails to discern the reason. 

Alcohol messes with all kinds of neurotransmitters. While it initially decreases feelings of tension, it comes roaring back with a vengeance when you sober up and your brain tries to return to homeostasis. You could find yourself feeling even more tense and irritable — and craving another drink to take the edge off. 

For me, it’s simply easier to pass on the anxious feelings altogether. I found healthier ways to relax. 

8. I Meditate 

Although it may look like I’m doing nothing, my meditation time is the most critical part of my day. Without it, I wouldn’t function nearly as well in daily life. 

You don’t need anything except three to five minutes of quiet time each day to start. If you sit silently in mindfulness, you’ll amaze yourself with how long even that short span seems the first few times. If you struggle, guided meditations can help you find zen, and they’re available free on YouTube. 

Moms, How Do You Deal With Anxiety as a Parent?

The eight tips above help me deal with anxiety as a mom. I hope that this advice will likewise help you decrease your stress levels. 

This article was written by Kara Reynolds, editor of Momish

How to Work and be a Mother during the Pandemic: Guest post by Miranda Davis

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If you are a working mom/mum during the pandemic, we will help you balance things. Working for others has become an activity from home, and sometimes we get clueless about what to do next. This article aims to help you out with being a working mother.

The pandemic was surely a surprise to anyone, especially any working mom/mum. It started slowly, and most people hoped it would not spread out of China. Unfortunately, it did spread, and we are living through it every day. We have to go out only wearing masks and only when we need to (if you are going out all the time, that is very risky for you and the others too). Washing hands frequently has become the standard. Shaking hands with anyone is out of contemplation if you are taking things seriously. Now, what about a working mother and COVID?

People with children are being forced to homeschool their kids while still managing to work (those who are not unemployed!). Things are not that easy. Now, look at mothers. It is common sense that a lot of them are single, living alone with their children while being a working mother during the day. A mom/mum who is also working at home is genuinely having the hardest of times. 

In the face of difficult facts, we have put a lot of thought into ways to help moms/mums (those living with a partner or alone with their children) through this difficult time. We know that moms/mums are very capable of enduring and overcoming tough times. Still, sometimes we get out of creativity, our energy gets completely wasted away. What should a working mother do in such situations? 

How working mothers balance life sometimes is a mystery. Even more, during the pandemic. If you are a mom/mum trying to figure that out, the tips below should help you.

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The first tip is to have a schedule that has the possibility of being flexible. This means that while it is suitable for a working mother to have a program that helps them stay organised, this same schedule should be adjusted to suit you. Sometimes your children might get hurt doing something, or other unexpected things happen. Give these things the time and attention they require. Then the question “are working mothers happier?” does not have to be answered negatively.

Now, this one does not apply to single mothers (sorry,single moms, ). If you are taking care of children with someone else (a father, stepfather, your current boyfriend, or other family members), try to come up with a schedule that lets you do the work as a team. You will benefit from not getting overloaded both with work and taking care of children. 

In case you are a single working mom/mum, things have surely got tougher for you, since the beginning of the pandemic. We genuinely hope you have assistance from some family members. Still, there are moments when you are a working mother, all alone with your children.

On these occasions, depending on the age of the child, you can get them to understand why working is essential. Keep them busy right beside you when you are working on your computer. When you are finally away from work, have a good time with your kid (or kids). Forget about work and being a working mom/mum, and just enjoy each other.

Then, at the end of the day, if you still have some energy left, get some time for yourself. You deserve it.

This works both in the case of you being a single working mom/mum or if you are a mom/mum who has duties shared with a partner. Take advantage of naps! Seriously. When your kid gets his/her nap in the afternoon, use this time to get rid of your workload. This strategy surely has been used since forever, but it is still important to remember it, to prevent overwhelm with juggling everything. 

One of the most important things during times when you are a working mother at home is to set boundaries. These boundaries have two sides. You should know that you need to focus when you are working, and when you are finally done with it, you need to disconnect. Shut down your computer, do not look at your phone, and enjoy time with your family. You will regain positive mental energy from doing this, and you will feel thankful for that.

We understand that being a working mother during quarantine is one of the hardest tasks. Thus, we sincerely wish that the few tips carefully written above have some use for you. If you have developed other ways of dealing with this and think they are beneficial, you are more than welcome to share them in the comments. After all, the question is, can working moms/mums have it all?

 

Author’s bio:  

This article was written by Miranda Davis, a freelance writer in relation and psychology area. Miranda is interested in such topics as building healthy relationships between people, love/sex compatibility, and how to find the right balance in life in general. She is currently doing specific research on the topic. Miranda loves cooking and long-distance walking.