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To ask for help in getting myself better

(13 Posts)
WouldLikeToBeInABetterPlace Mon 20-Mar-17 18:04:12

NC for this. I've been off sick for a couple of months with depression. The ADs are starting to take effect now and I'm thinking more positively. However in the intervening weeks my self-care has been minimal blush. I've spent most days in bed, only managed one shower a week and my eating habits are vile. I lost my appetite and when I have eaten it has been rubbishy snack foods that have taken no prep. So things like crisps, chocolate etc. I've lost over 1.5 stones while I've been off. TBF I was a bit overweight anyway but I can't pretend this is a healthy loss.

Mentally I'm starting to feel a little bit better but physically I'm so weak, at the moment there's no way I could cope with even the journey to work never mind the job itself. I had a shower earlier and just the effort of doing that and washing my hair left me feeling dizzy, faint, with black spots before my eyes. I've got a few weeks left on this sick note and I want to use them to start to build myself up physically but I'm not sure where to start. I need to be realistic about what I can do and don't want to set myself unachievable goals so preparing a week's meals at one go is unlikely just now. My diet wasn't great beforehand with over-reliance on ready meals so I could do with getting some better eating habits in place but at the moment they need to be fairly easy and low-effort or I simply won't do it.

AIBU to ask for your ideas for relatively easy but nutritious ideas for small meals and snacks, that won't overwhelm someone recovering from a mental illness?

Outnotdown Mon 20-Mar-17 22:09:38

Easiest thing is to boil up some pasta, and put butter and piles of cheese on top. If you want to make it tastier and healthier, put in some spinach and garlic as well, and mushrooms. Or microwave a potato and add coleslaw, or beans. Tinned tuna mixed with mayonnaise and sweetcorn with crackers, or a tin of soup with French bread. Scrambled eggs on toast is good as well. Maybe some nuts and dried fruit for a snack? Or natural yogurt with honey. Best of luck with your recoverysmile

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Mon 20-Mar-17 22:14:18

Outnotdown has some good ideas for food.

Start some very gentle exercise. Just maybe a bit in the house, and then some walks in the fresh air. Spring is here so it's a lovely time to get outside and just look at the daffodils etc. Build up the distance walked and breathe deeply.

flowers to you. Sounds as though you've been having a tough time.

Isthisusernamefree Mon 20-Mar-17 22:47:02

I can relate to this OP and it's fantastic to hear that mentally, you're feeling more positive!

I have been in the same position a number of times and the advice I'd give is eat little and often. I find if you haven't been eating much, little amounts will be easier to deal with.

I started with crackers and cheese with a few tomatoes, soup and toast (literally soup is the easiest thing to get inside you if you're not feeling up to a meal and you can just stick it in the microwave) and egg and soldiers. Or scrambled egg on toast with a bit of cheese? If you're up to it, an omelette is quick and easy to make and lots of things can be added. I also liked to make a small amount of pasta, avocado, spinach, mozzarella, mushrooms and tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic dressing - easy, tasty, quite healthy etc

If you like avocados, they're really good for you and I find them quite easy to eat. If you're still finding yourself drawn to crisps, mash an avocado up and use it as a dip, that way it still feels like a rubbish food (I don't know if it's the same for you, but I found rubbish, snacky items to be 'safe' food in my head, I guess because it was easy and instant) but you're getting vitamins and good fats in the mashed avocado.

Hope this helps x

Welshmaenad Mon 20-Mar-17 23:13:30

Pasta with pesto or a fresh tomatoey sauce
Filled pasta like tortellini with stir in sauce
Fish finger sandwich
Omelette or scrambled egg on toast
Ready made soup and a roll
Fish-in-sauce and one of those frozen flavoured rice sachets
Salad bowl with ready-cooked chicken pieces and a nice dressing
Smoothie with a frozen fruit mix and yoghurt for protein
Porridge pot for breakfast

I've been there - it's so hard to pull yourself out of depression induced self neglect - you are doing brilliantly to even be thinking about taking these steps. Can I share some of my other tips?

Swap fizzy drinks etc for sparkling water. Make it nice by freezing lemon/lime slices to add. Losing the sugar/sweeteners helped clear my brain fog.

Likewise swap coffee/tea for fruit or herbal teas, even one at a time if you don't want to give up caffeine cold turkey. Brewing them is a peaceful little ritual and it just FEELS cleansing and it was good for my mood. Treat yourself to some nice ones to try.

If you can afford it, book a massage or facial or even just have a half day using the spa facilities somewhere. It's a treat, it's relaxing and you have to have a shower and sort yourself out beforehand but it's for a nice reason.

Buy some new sheets for your bed. If you've spent a lot of time in bed, changing the scenery from when you used to do that can be really helpful.

Falafelings Mon 20-Mar-17 23:20:54

I'd go healthy but simple

Jacket potato and cheese
Greek yogourt and fruit
Avocardo dip with pita soldiers
Banana sandwiches
Porridge with honey

Pinksink Mon 20-Mar-17 23:25:00

Try and uonyiur water intake. A small but simple way to make your body healthier if you don't drink much. Add a slice of lemon to make it even better. Agree with the avocado fans. Mash it on toast - seriously, don't knock it til you've tried it. Good luck with your recovery x

wobblywonderwoman Mon 20-Mar-17 23:33:46

Great you are feeling better

Some vitamins would be great. Blueberries and other fresh fruits. Brilliant idea to buy new bedlinen. Maybe some fresh flowers. Be good to yourself.

SabineUndine Mon 20-Mar-17 23:56:17

Scrambled egg on toast is my favourite easy meal and you can add in ham or mushrooms. Where exercise is concerned, is there a park near you that you can sit in or walk round? My local one has a café and it's one of my cheap treats to sit there with a coffee on dry days, all year round. All the best !

Blondie1984 Tue 21-Mar-17 00:18:50

If you are and have been spending a lot of time indoors then definitely try and get yourself a vitamin D supplement - our bodies can't make it and the two main sources are sunlight (lacking in this country for the last few months) and diet -and having low levels can impact your mood

Things that would be great - other than everything mentioned above - are
tinned sardines (in spring water) on toast,
stir fry with chicken, beef or prawns
Greek yoghurt with mixed berries
Wholegrain toast with peanut butter and banana
Houmous with veg crudites - like cucumber, pepper, carrots
An apple with nut butter is another good easy one

MrsTwix Tue 21-Mar-17 04:53:55

It's ok to have ready meals if that's easier for you, be kind to yourself and realise you don't have to do everything.

If possible try to leave the house each day and walk round the block or go for a coffee, just to get out.

MrsTwix Tue 21-Mar-17 04:55:25

Chopped apple and cheese is my favourite.

WouldLikeToBeInABetterPlace Tue 21-Mar-17 10:23:48

Thanks everyone, some great ideas here.

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