What does health promotion entail?
"Health promotion supports personal and social development through providing information, education for health and enhancing life skills. By so doing, it increases the options available to people to exercise more control over their own health and over their environments, and to make choices conducive to health. Enabling people to learn throughout life, to prepare themselves for all of its stages and to cope with chronic illness and injuries is essential…" - Ottawa Charter, WHO 1986
Everyone feels blue at one time or another. A death in the family, a disappointment in your career, a romance gone awry–all can cause most people to feel down for a period of time. Grief and sadness are normal reactions to life’s stressful events. After a time, however, most people will heal and return to a normal life.
Depression is more than the normal ups and downs of life that we all have. When sadness just won’t go away and it begins to interfere with daily life we recognize this as a mood disorder called depression.
Early symptoms of mild depression
Changes in sleeping and eating patterns; heightened irritability, demotivation and inability to control or contain levels of frustration; mysterious aches and pains; lethargy and negativity; lack of enthusiasm or inability to enjoy recreational activities and tearfulness are all early symptoms of mild depression.
Chronic stress increases your susceptibility to depression, the most common mental illness of our time. And women between 30 and 40 are particularly at risk.
Stress tips – How to manage stress
Identify your stressors
Are you feeling anxious, can you cope with the demands made of you? Do you have feelings of unease or dread? Ask yourself if you’re taking on too much. If you are, find practical solutions to scale down.
Exercise, exercise, exercise
Exercise increases the body’s production of endorphins, improves the brain’s oxygen supply and releases tension in muscles. Walk, join a running club, start yoga or t’ai chi. But get going now.
Learn to defend yourself
If you’re a woman living in South Africa today, you simply have to learn to defend yourself against a violent attack or rape. Find the best self-defense teacher in your area and sign up. And take your friends with you.
Meditation stills the mind and rejuvenates the soul. It lowers the heart rate, blood pressure and the flow of stress hormones.
Go for regular message
Message is an excellent – and proven – antidote to stress.
Whether you unburden to a friend, or seek professional counseling, it’s essential to talk to someone if you feel you’re on the verge o f a breakdown, or you are already having one. Think of it as a learning experience, and confront the situation. Try to minimize the possibility of it recurring.
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