NUTRITION- emotional health and well being is affected by nutritional status, nutritional suggestions made as part of the treatment plan can play a vital role in your treatment and it is expected that the patient and family will take this component of treatment seriously in order to speed recovery when applicable. If your child is seriously underweight it can be affecting their mood and their thinking please take seriously this issue and supervise meals with appropriate caloric intake for your child. If needed Dr. George can suggest a nutritionist or nutrition clinic that can help with this issue.
SLEEP HYGIENE: sleep plays a vital role in the body's daily rejuvenation process. Good sleep hygiene is a vital component in treating mental health issues and most of the time is far more effective over the long term than sleep medications. Good sleep hygiene consists of the following components:
1. A regular sleep schedule: getting to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up whether one has slept well or not so that one has a consistent schedule from day to day.
2. No caffeine ingestion after noon. Caffeine is a stimulant and will interfere with sleep if consumed in the later half of the day.
3. Daily exercise - 20-30 minutes of enjoyable physical exertion that raises the heart rate and causes the participant to break a sweat (see the exercise section for more information)
4. Calming activities in the evening leading up to bedtime - listening to relaxing music during preparation for bed, taking a warm bath or shower, visual imagery for relaxation.
5. The bed should only be used for sleeping so that it associated with sleep and not wakeful activities.
EXERCISE: the benefits of exercise are numerous and far outweigh the inconvenience people assign to it. A 30 minute period of aerobic exercise that raises the heart rate causing the participant to break a sweat is valuable for reducing body weight, decreasing anxiety, elevating mood, improving circulation to all parts of the body including the brain, decreasing inflammation and improving overall physical health. Medications cannot replace the benefits of exercise and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate exercise plan tailored to the individuals capacity for exercise. If you have physical limitations or chronic illness that limits physical exertion you should consult with your primary care physician before starting or increasing an exercise regimen.
CAFFEINE: Caffeine is a stimulant and thus can cause an increase in anxiety symptoms. If you have issues with excess anxiety a careful look at your caffeine consumption may be helpful. Gradually cutting back will cause fewer withdrawal symptoms.