#HerFirst 2.1 Your Food, Your Mood & How You Move

Breaking down the confusion and myths around Mental Health, Nutrition and Exercise

These three topics are the key to achieving a Healthy life. Each are deeply linked and for many of us, create a strong vortex that is hard to free yourself from. If you have dug deep into our Blog archives, then you know the first year of blogs were about my journey to lose weight and be healthier. What I found out was that the solution was not as simple as restricting my diet and increasing my work out routine. There was no such thing as a quick fix that I could maintain. Once I focused on my mental health and the barriers that were keeping me from achieving my goals, positive changes started happening.

So really our latest #HerFirst workshop series was inspired over 5 years ago. Luckily I have made some wonderful connections with experts on these topics who could help shed some light. Their answers weren’t simple and for some not straightforward, but here is a review of our evening.

Part 1 – Your Mood

Dr. Tara Walker, Family Physician

Mental health is finally being talked about more regularly in the media, with friends and in the schools. Anxiety and stress seem to be on the rise. Dr. Walker is seeing more and more young people (under 25) coming to her office showing signs of anxiety and stress. The challenge is educating patients on the difference between coping with stress and life’s obstacles and having an anxiety disorder.

Dr. Walker explained that when you have an anxiety disorder your life is consumed by worrying thoughts. You are unable to sleep or function throughout your day because your mind races either with one issue or multiple issues. The worst case scenario in situations keep you from making decisions or participating in activities. Your own thoughts are your worst enemy.   

Weather you are having a hard time dealing with a stress in your life or struggling with an anxiety disorder, there are solutions to help you coupe. Dr. Walker shared her personal story with us about her daughter. From a young age Dr. Walker noticed that her daughter needed a plan. When trying something new, an out line of what to expect was needed to help keep her daughter from worrying and becoming anxious.

As the years passed it was obvious that Dr. Walker’s daughter had anxiety disorder. The treatment Dr. Walker chose was counselling. Providing coping skills, outlining the patterns and how to refocus her thoughts to a more positive path. Much or the therapy revolved around art, since she was still young. One piece of art, Dr. Walker now has hanging in her office. It is a picture of 2 paths, a red path and a green path. This illustrates the though process beautifully. The red path symbolizes the negative thoughts, the worry. The green path symbolizes the positive thoughts, the good outcomes. Now, all Dr. Walker has to say is “red path” and her daughter knows that she needs to refocus her thoughts to avoid going down the red path.

This all sounds so simple, but it is not easy when you are dealing with it. Help from a professional is necessary to help you find the coping skills that work for you. There are also great medications that can help, but Dr. Walker stated that these medications should be temporary to help stabilize you while working through therapy.