There are times in life when something just doesn’t feel right. You chalk it up to “something going around,” but after a week or two of feeling this way, you begin to question what’s wrong with you. Of course, I am not a doctor and you must see one if you’re not feeling well, but here are a few common things you should have a think about.
Depression or anxiety
Mental health issues can influence everyone in unexpected ways. Being depressed does not necessarily mean that you are always crying on the sofa. There are various symptoms associated with depression, and they often resemble those associated with anxiety too. Everyone has low points in their lives, but clinical depression occurs when you’ve been feeling hopeless and exhausted for a long period, or without a justifiable cause, and nothing that would usually lift your mood is doing so. Depression can present itself in so many different ways – from feeling too exhausted to even shower, to feeling that there’s nothing positive in your life. You might have some or all of the symptoms. You might also have anxiety too – do you want to do something that should be enjoyable, but feel too scared to? Do you have intense, repetitive thoughts that just won’t leave you alone? As someone with a serious mental health disorder, I can promise you that things will feel better. Please speak to your doctor, or call these mental health hotlines for advice. It might be that you need some kind of therapy, medication, or both.
Is it possible you’re pregnant? Pregnancy has a variety of effects on women, and no two are the same. If you’re on contraception that alters your period’s regularity, a missed period might not be a big deal. However, have you recently experienced any stomach issues? Some contraceptives can be harmed by a bug that causes nausea or diarrhoea, so their affectiveness may have been weakened for a short period. It’s not just ‘morning sickness’ and cravings that are symptoms of pregnancy – you can actually feel nauseous at any time of the day, plus a whole host of other physical and mental symptoms. Have you gained weight over several weeks with no change in eating habits or exercise? Does something you recently loved now make you feel queezy? Do you feel that you are crying more regularly, or having more extreme reactions to things? If you think you could be pregnant, please do a couple of at-home pregnancy tests just to make sure you know what you are/aren’t having to deal with. It’s always best to know, then you can make a plan. If it’s negative, your doctor can run some blood tests on you to try to find out what’s wrong. Similarly, if your test is positive, you should see your doctor before rushing off to buy a pregnancy pillow or maternity clothes. You might even decide this isn’t the right time for you to have a baby, and that’s fine too.
Lack of sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things we need as humans. It’s what allows our bodies and our minds to re-charge so that they function correctly and to their best the next day. A short term lack of sleep can leave you tired, irritable, irrational. It can cause you to physically have no energy or suffer with a headache. A prolonged, long-term lack of good quality sleep can cause a whole host of physical and mental health problems – you’ll be amazed at just what symptoms there are from sleep deprivation. Try to improve your bedtime routine and your sleep surroundings, but if this doesn’t work, you should see a doctor as you might require medication to improve your sleep.
Poor diet and weight problems
It’s possible that you’re overweight or underweight if you’re feeling a little off. Check your BMI to find out what your ideal weight is, although if you aren’t at the extremes, I wouldn’t pay much attention to this – it can be affected by muscle mass etc. However, if you’re a long way from your ideal weight, it’s time to take a closer look at your diet and see what you can do to improve it. This could make a big difference to how you feel, physically and mentally. If you’re underweight, eat more substantial meals and eat more frequently. Make sure you are including all food groups in your daily diet and have a look a plate proportions. If you’re overweight, reduce your portion sizes and avoid greasy or sugary foods except for the odd treat. Do this, along with more exercise, and should notice an improvement in how you feel within a few weeks. It can be difficult to break bad habits and eat healthy, but once you do, you will be glad you did it.
Remember, if you’re not feeling well, there’s nothing wrong with seeking medical advice from your doctor. That’s what they are there for.
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