What is Holistic Mental Health?
With all of the stress, chaos, and trauma of this crazy year, I think it would be helpful to put together some resources on how to really take care of our mental health. I admit that with everything going on, I have had my own struggles. We are living in a time that is much harder than most of us have ever had to go through. I see that nearly everyone I know is dealing with anxiety, panic, or even depression because of the overall situation going on. So let’s go over some helpful ways to really help with supporting our mental health in general, as well as some specifics for this current time period.
Diet and Holistic Mental Health
Your gut is your second brain, which means that what you consume plays a direct role in your mental health. If you are eating a diet filled with sugar, processed foods, and food with artificial ingredients than your entire body can suffer. Unfortunately, the majority of food in the Western world is full of this garbage, so it can take some time and effort to figure out what is good or bad.
Do your best to eat clean. To me this means sticking with REAL foods. Look for organic foods when you can. Go for grass-fed meats, free-range eggs, organic and grass fed dairy, fresh fruits and veggies, and just moderate your sweet intake (you can still enjoy dessert! Just make sure it’s made with REAL ingredients and be smart about portions).
Leaky Gut and Holistic Mental Health
In addition to diet change, healing the gut is crucial for your mental health. We often have to undo the damage that our guts dealt with over the years before we can get the most benefit from our new, clean diet. Healing and sealing the gut lining is crucial too- when food or toxins gets through the gut lining, this is when our health begins to suffer. The main steps to focus on for gut healing include increasing nutrient absorption, healing/sealing the gut lining, and healing the microbiome.
Increase nutrient absorption with things like bitter herbs, apple cider vinegar, unrefined sea salt, and lemon juice.
Heal/seal the gut lining with things like aloe vera, collagen etc.
Heal your microbiome with things like fermented foods as well…
Minerals and Mental Health
When we grow up eating the Standard Western diet, we are basically eating food with very little nutritional value. In addition to being low in nutrients, the stress of trying to digest these foods makes us burn through nutrients even more! This is why minerals tend to be incredibly low in people with chronic illness. Minerals are at the base of our health- if they are imbalanced or depleted, then our entire bodies can suffer!
When it comes to mental health directly, there are a few big mineral imbalances that can occur. With high calcium levels, we tend to be very sluggish and depressed, even apathetic. When we have issues with copper balancing, we can experience a wide range of symptoms like anxiety, racing mind, panic attacks, OCD, paranoia, bipolar, and more. If sodium and potassium levels are tanked, then our bodies lack overall energy in the body- both physical and mental energy!
Toxins/Infections and Mental Health
This step is HUGE for overall health and wellness in general. If our bodies are not eliminating toxins properly, this allows them to recirculate and many toxins can go through the Blood Brain Barrier, which will really affect mental health.
Some toxins and infections to look into if you suspect problems:
- Mold is one of the WORST offenders right now for creating physical and mental health issues. Anxiety, depression, mood issues, and so many more symptoms are associated with mold illness. If you KNOW you have had mold exposure, please take it seriously!
- Lyme and co-infections are also huge causes for mental health issues. Bartonella especially seems to be a big infection associated with mental health problems.
- Parasites are a lot more common than you think! They are quite hard to detect for the most part, but most people have an infestation of them, especially if you are dealing with a chronic illness. When we have leaky gut, we are even more at risk of developing a parasitic infection.
- Heavy Metals are a HUGE cause for mental health issues. When we work on balancing minerals, this helps the most with heavy metal removal as the minerals help to antagonize the metals. But many people need very strong adrenal and liver function to fully eliminate metals- they can sit in the body for YEARS if we’re not working on actively eliminating them. Some of the worst offenders are mercury, aluminum, and uranium.
Emotional Trauma and Mental Health
Healing from our past traumas is an essential part of healing. More and more people are becoming aware of this importance luckily, and for many people it will be the MOST important aspect that they focus on. As someone that went through many traumas growing up, I never really understand the importance of healing from them until a few years ago. I’m still working on this healing, and I can honestly say it is just as (if not MORE) important than the physical healing.
As we work on healing physically with everything I mentioned above, it can become easier to heal on a true holistic level. But to help with healing from emotional trauma specifically, I always recommend reading about a few modalities and go with what speaks to you more.
Tips for Reducing Stress in Chaotic Times
- Breathe. Take a step back from the situation. Don’t force yourself to talk about the issues at hand so much, and don’t be afraid to ask others to stop talking about it if it triggers you.
- Turn off the TV/Social Media if needed. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE. The news has one main purpose: to incite fear. It is really doing a great job at that right now. Social media is even worse. People are constantly sharing doomsday posts and basically running around like Chicken Little right now. Just turn it off and again- breathe. Take breaks as needed. There is nothing wrong with being informed on the situation, but refreshing the page every 5 minutes is not healthy (and trust me, I know how easy it is to get sucked into that).
- Ground yourself. Mediation, breathing exercises, a nice relaxing bath, or even make sure you’ve got your crystals on hand (black tourmaline, shungite, bloodstone, and carnelian are great for grounding). Pray more, talk to God or your angels, ask for light shields- whatever your cup of tea is. If you’re an empath, I highly recommend The Empowered Empath for more tips. Melanie of Ask Angels has an amazing YouTube channel with many meditations to help with emotional health as well.
- Hobbies! It’s a good time to start a new one or pick an old one back up. Take your mind off of the stress.
- Spend time with your loved ones. Play a game, watch a movie.
- Reach out to friends and family to speak with if you need
- Use herbs and homeopathy as needed if you are dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, or anything else that feels out of hand. It is OK to feel your emotions, but if you start to feel like it’s getting to be too much then take steps to help yourself calm down.
- Remember to eat! Please nourish yourself, and do not neglect yourself.
- Sleep as best as you can.
- Just remember that this will pass. Have faith! Stay safe and healthy!
More Resources on Holistic Mental Health- Please do as much research as you can on this. I feel like this all deserves a book and not just a blog post.
Disclaimer- I am not a doctor so if you are suffering from an illness, I would advise you to seek out a licensed health professional before embarking on any suggestions I make. The suggestions on this website are just for informational purposes only and by choosing any of the natural remedies discussed here, you will be taking responsibility for your own health and wellness.
Find a doctor willing to work with you to actually HEAL instead of just mask symptoms. So many doctors are starting to get on board with true healing now and they are willing to help more people now.