Life is Competitive; Increase Your Productivity By Keeping Depression At Bay

Depression affects a person’s productivity in all areas of life. The unfortunate thing is that most people with clinical depression don’t get the help they need.

What has depression got to do with financial independence?

All sorts of ailments affect productivity – back pain, cramping during monthly periods, migraine headaches, colds, and flu, malaria, etc. But clinical depression is among the most costly. This is because depressed people still show up for work, but their performance is substantially reduced even though they are physically present.
Most depressed people are labeled as ‘being lazy’ or demotivated. There are many cases of people who are depressed losing their jobs because of non performance. There is a lot of stigma surrounding mental disorders and unfortunately doctors too often don’t detect clinical depression. There is a glaring gap in the Kenyan health sector because psychologists and social workers are not part of primary health care.
People who seek help at health facilities are unlikely to have their conditions addressed holistically since only physical symptoms are likely to be the point of focus in diagnosis. People with depression therefore often end up overusing medical services as their symptoms are managed without the root cause – depression – being addressed.

They overuse pain killers for headaches, backache, pain in the shoulder and all manner of aches and pains. Some are repeatedly treated for typhoid and even malaria while others end up dependent on sleeping pills in an effort to manage insomnia.

Before I was diagnosed with depression and put on treatment, I was a frequent visitor at the hospital with one problem after another. I had severe backache, high blood pressure, headaches, hyper-acidity, sleeping problems, sinusitis and a host of other health challenges.

I was put on treatment too frequently till there was a drawer in our house that looked like the shelf in a pharmacy. Read my story here:

Depression can completely rob one of success and lead to a life of failure. And because many cases of depression go undiagnosed and untreated, it helps to know the self help tips that could help people whose lack of success is due to depression that has not been discovered.

I get many people contacting me to ask how I overcame depression. I might as well share the tips publicly such that they are available to all who need the information.

When I went down with depression from around the time my little boy was born with a defect that required major surgery in the first week of life, I just about lost everything that is dear to me.

I had low energy levels and could barely accomplish anything, I was upset and irritable most of the time, my outlook on life was hopelessly negative and I just about gave up in life.

My journey to recovery was long and winding. I did not get instant answers. The jigsaw puzzle fell into place one piece at a time. Today I am thankful that I enjoy a good quality life and I am a productive individual.

Let me share some of the tips to keep depression at bay. Many people who are depressed do not get the help they need so I hope that if your productivity is not at the level it should be at whether you are depressed or not, these tips will definitely be of help to you.

And because depression is so common yet it is rarely diagnosed – On average, 1 in 6 people, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men, will experience depression at some stage of their lives; it is very important for each and every one of us to learn to keep this debilitating illness at bay.

1. Physical Health

I cannot overemphasize the importance of taking care of the physical health as a way to ensure a healthy mind in a healthy body. Whether your routine is 3 full meals a day or 5-6 small meals spread out throughout the day, watch what you put on your plate.

Cut out junk foods. They are high in calories while empty on nutrients which worsens depression by depriving the brain cells of essential nutrients.
Eat wholesome foods; whole grains and nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are a great way to consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Blend in seeds such as flaxseed, chia seeds, watermelon seeds or sunflower seeds for increased nutrition.Avoid overcooking your veggies or reheating. You lose nutrients by doing that. Consume your vegetables raw as much as is possible either as fresh juices or vegetable salads.

If you can invest in a good juicer, you will save yourself too much work of extracting the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. You will also be sure to retain most of the nutrients since all you will need to do is to wash the fruits or vegetables, chop them up and juice them without discarding anything.

Fresh juices

Juicing fruits and vegetables whole means that you will be able to juice the rind and the seeds where necessary. The rind of oranges, lemons and other fruits is not nearly as sweet or juicy as the fruit itself but it is loaded with nutrients.

Besides being very rich in fiber, the rind is loaded with flavonoids which are believed to protect the body from various diseases. Without a good juicer, the antioxidant-rich rind would be unsuitable for consumption and would probably end up being discarded.

You might want to help other people to live healthy lives by starting a natural juice business. Find free tips about establishing a juice business here.


Supplement your diet daily. You have no idea how the foodstuffs you buy were actually grown and whether they contain the nutrients they should. You can have really healthy looking fruits and vegetables yet they were grown in depleted soils and using harmful farming methods.
Incorporate a good, wholesome and natural (not synthetic) dietary supplement to fill the gaps in your diet and also cover you when your busy lifestyle causes you to miss some meals or eat at irregular times. Click on this link to check out the dietary supplement I use.

Stay hydrated

Keep your body hydrated but be very conscious what sort of drinks you put into your body. Make it a habit of taking healthy drinks; fresh fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas and top of the list, clean water.

Cut down on caffeinated and carbonated drinks as well as alcohol. Too much caffeine leads to feelings of anxiety and low moods and also reduces the quality of sleep. Adequate rest and sleep is very important for good feelings and stable mood. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, sodas and energy drinks.Alcohol dampens the mood and should be avoided or taken in moderation. Avoid taking refrigerated water but take it at room temperature.


Detoxify your body regularly. Adequate water intake, fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well as a good, wholesome dietary supplement will help to keep your body free of toxins.


Ensure to get adequate sleep with short naps if needed. A routine of 7 to 8 hours a night is very good. Learn to go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day in order to get the brain and body into a routine.

Sleeping is when our body repairs itself. Our immune system repairs itself, our brains rest and grows, and we store energy for the next day. Most people are constantly overworking themselves and by doing that, they put themselves at risk of getting stressed.

Adequate rest and sleep is very important if we are to remain emotionally and mentally healthy.

Daily habits

Begin your day right, every day. Awaken your body every morning by saturating your cells with oxygen. Wake up early. Open the windows or go outside to the veranda and take the first 5 minutes to do deep breathing exercises.

Engage in some vigorous physical exercises even if it means skipping rope, jogging up and down the stairs a number of times or jogging on the spot. You can begin with 5 minutes and gradually increase as your body gets fitter till you can manage 30-45 minutes at a time. You may need to adjust your waking up time to cater for your changed routine.

Physical exercise boosts the feel good neurotransmitters in the body, improving mood. Other activities such as gardening or house work can be used in the same way.

Avoid over eating as that harms the body and predisposes you to conditions such such as obesity and diabetes. You can borrow a leaf from the proponents of intermittent fasting, a practice that has been proven to benefit the body greatly. Give your digestive system adequate time to rest every day by fitting your meals into a 6-hour window or at most an 8-hour window. Have at least 16 hours every day where you only take liquids; clean water, fresh juices and herbal teas. Incorporate a wholesome dietary supplement into your lifestyle.

2. Emotional Health

The atmosphere around us is critical for our mental well being. Choose really carefully the people you surround yourself with. Hang around people who inspire, motivate and encourage you; people who believe in you and your worth. Cut out toxic people from around you.

Make time to nurture your mind. Your mind is like a garden. If you don’t plant crops, weeds will spring up and fill the entire place. Make conscious effort to feed your mind right by being careful what you allow into it.

Thought patterns

A person who is depressed is normally stuck at some thoughts of pain and regret about some things that happened to them in the past. Maybe one was abused, neglected or unfairly compared with someone else as a child. A past lover betrayed them or probably the spouse has not been treating them well.

When one is depressed they rehearse in their minds things that went wrong in their lives, things they regret and negative feelings about injustices that were done to them. They are basically living in a familiar past which is negative.

To beat depression, take charge of your thoughts. Say no to negative, depressing thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts, thoughts of consciously counting your blessings no matter how tough the times are.

Overcoming the habit of focusing on negative thought patterns is not easy. Meditation is great for taking control of one’s mind. Regular meditation will enable you to train your mind to only focus on the thoughts that work for you.

There is a silver lining to every dark cloud, a rainbow in every storm.  Many bad things happen to us but good things eventually came out of them. My mother was depressed when I was born and my father had all manner of issues including dependence on alcohol. I grew up shy and with no self confidence.

I went down with depression and a host of other health complications in my adulthood. People around me gossiped about me, called me all manner of terrible names and persecuted me. I lost relationships even within the family.

My struggle to get my life bad transformed me into a different kind of woman, one who gives motivational talks to audiences and coaches people for success. The factors that pushed me to depression were regrettable but a lot of good came out of it. I have been able to help many people.

Make it a habit to look for the good that came out of situations and replace the negative thoughts about the things that happened to you with thoughts of gratitude about the good that came out of it and that is still on the way.

Stop seeing the people who failed or disappointed you in one way or another and see pieces of one jigsaw puzzle that took different characters and happenings to fall into place.

Everything that happens to us in this life is part of that jigsaw puzzle. An attitude of gratitude attracts more blessings.

Choose carefully what you read/watch/listen to. Listen to audio books as you sit in the car in traffic or as you do your chores.

Read something motivational on your phone or tablet as you wait in queues at the bank, supermarket or doctor’s surgery. Choose what conversations to get involved in, even on social media.

Yoga and meditation

Practice meditation during your quiet time. This is a practice that will enable you to get your conscious mind out of the way so that you can communicate with the subconscious mind.

Yoga is another practice that is worth incorporating into one’s routines. It is a great way to learn to calm the mind naturally. Much as these practices originated from religions from the East such as Buddhism, the practices of yoga and meditation have been scientifically researched. They are not a religion but are scientific.

Balanced living

Live a balanced life. Balance between work, recreation, and family. Work hard, play hard and enjoy quality time with family and loved ones. Feed your passion. What makes your face light up? Devote time to doing what you love, even if it means volunteering.
Life is not a rehearsal. You only live once so you might as well make it worthwhile. Disclaimer:
This article might contain affiliate links. By clicking on such links, you will be directed to secure sites where you can order the products and have them delivered to you if you live in the selected  countries covered in the offers. *Terms and conditions apply.
This article is written by Susan Catherine Keter, Personal development and business Coach, Mentor, Motivational Speaker, Freelancer and Blogger.
Financial Independence Africa

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