Making Positive Changes in My Life

There are several lifestyle changes I have started to make in an attempt to improve my mental health. The first is the goal of spending at least 30 minutes each day doing something that I find enjoyable. Reading, vegging out in front of Law and Order, listening to podcasts and doing needle point, really, anything relaxing and fun for me.
Another change I have started is in regards to my nutrition. I had started eating in a really unhealthy way. Small breakfast, small or no lunch, and then dinner. I had started to deprive myself of lunch if my mood was particularly down. My therapist recommended that I see a nutritionist, and I was able to get an appointment surprisingly fast. She has me eating every 3-4 hours, protein at each meal, and steady carbs throughout the day. I’m a vegetarian, so for me my protein consists of things like eggs, nuts, cottage cheese, tofu, tempeh, saitan, quinoa, etc. She also has me drinking more water. The water is almost the hardest part of this change for me. I prefer diet coke, coffee, energy drinks (in moderation) to water. I bought myself a pretty and functional water bottle which I need to drink three full bottles of it a day. There does seem to be a connection between diet and mood, this article from Harvard about Nutritional psychiatry gives some details.
I am also going to try to start back at the gym. I have gotten out of the habit of going but I know that there are a lot of benefits to exercise in general and for my in particular.
The last change is to add probiotics. There is so much going around about the relationship between the gut biome and the mind. One study recently found a positive relationship between probiotics and bipolar disorder. Those who were giving probiotics after a hospitalization for mania were less likely to be rehospitalized in the future. You can read more about this study on this Psychiatric Times article; the second page lists which strains of probiotics were used in the study and lists a few products that contain those strains.
By making these changes I am hoping to see a positive difference in my mood and general health. I do realize that these are a lot of changes I am trying to make at once, which will bring about even more difficulties than if I was to try one change at a time. Since many of the changes are related in some way, eating well, probiotics, water, and exercise, I am hopeful that I will be successful.

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