Ahuva | 7:58

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"I am not a very rigorous person, in the sense of doing the same thing at the same time every day."

Depression Food Diet Meditation Lifestyle Exercise Mentors Yoga Spinning Dogs

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I'm a 60 year old woman and I live in Los Angeles. And I have, I guess you could say a condition called Depression, which I have experienced since when I was in my teens. I didn't really know what to call it for a very, very, very long time. And did many things to avoid feeling it, in my youth like drugs and food. Over the years, I've self-medicated and also tried lots of different treatment plans. And the one I have right now is the most successful, and I've been practising it off and on... well no. It's an accumulation of my 40 plus years of research, and what I've found is for me personally, the depression is still there. It's not overwhelming as it once was. I can actually talk about it and not cry right this moment. It's not debilitating. I sometimes still do wake up in the morning crying, for no apparent reason. But I have tools now that I have created to work through that. And the tools that I have is No 1: Meditation. I meditate every single morning before I get out of bed and meditation's funny, is what I can say. You don't feel any different after. I even cry sometimes during my meditation, or sometimes there's a great meditation where I'm clear, and other times my head is so boggled that I don't even feel I got anything out of it. But for the last three years, I've been doing it consistently, and I have noticed that shift. And it's subtle, And it's remarkable. And it's something that has made me feel, more alive and more connected and not wanting to be invisible, or noticing how invisible I have been. And really, this desire to want to participate and even just noticing on a day to day, my emotional connection with people has gotten better. My professional life has improved. My micro-managing boss, who has made me extremely defensive for the last 10 years and everyone else around him. I've started to take my own coaching, which I give to others. I guess the bottomline is, maybe it's just I am more in the present now then I have been before.

The other thing is exercise. Exercise clears my mind. It doesn't have to be big. Sometimes, I need a 45 minute Soul Cycle class, and that can change my whole life. Sometimes it's just a walk with the dog, getting out into nature every single day. Whether it's just around the block, something to just clear my mind, clear my head. For me personally, I just don't need to do a pretty intense workout, but we all have our differences. But the exercise, the meditation and then the third thing is food. We are what we eat. I know that seems kind of cliche, but there are certain foods that are super beneficial to people that have depression. Salmon was one of the big ones, but I no longer eat fish now. I am just being mindful of what I'm eating, and it's this combination that works. I started seeing a therapist again, for the first time in maybe five or six years, going through a life adjustment now at the grand old age of 60. I stopped because I didn't think it was actually improving or I didn't find a benefit to it. I think I may go back to therapy.

Oh, and I forgot the fourth thing, which is yoga. Yoga is another way of tuning into the mind and body relationship. And again, it's about moving, so it's that combination. Managing all four of these facets of my life, in addition to my professional work, it's different every week. I think that for me is what is working. I am not a very rigorous person, in the sense of doing the same thing at the same time every day. I'm not routine-based, but my routine is typical I guess, you could say, where meditation in the morning has to happen. Ten minutes, sometimes its only five minutes. It's just the course for the day. It's just my intention for the day. And I keep that in the back of my head. Then, evenings is where I do my exercise. I know that if I paid for a class, all I have to do is go out and sign up for a class, and you show up and the teacher will take you through the rest. And the key to that is getting an inspiring coach as a teacher. And I have one in my Soul Cycle class, that I look forward to seeing her every week. Sometimes I get to see her twice a week. Sometimes I listen to a lot of YouTube meditation videos. And I have my favorites. I've created my mentors in that way. Julian is my mentor in Soul Cycle. I've got my trail running mentors. So it's that group for me, that you make a commitment to somebody else in addition to yourself. And that's what gives purpose to what you're doing as well as, I guess, if you let somebody else down then you let yourself down. And so yeah, evenings and then on the weekends... I have two dogs. The two dogs get priority - hikes, like trail run, they are both getting older, so we're not doing as much as we used to. Once the exercise is done, you get your whole day going, if you do it in the morning and then the evening and then I have to be at work. I have a spin class at 7:30 and sure, I have lots more things to do at the office, I can stay out in the evening... but this gets me out of the door.