Nurture your emotional self, too

We talk a lot about physical health here at Delicious Living, but May is national Mental Health Awareness Month. In honor of that fact, check out this great online emotional health assessment tool. You probably know a lot of the signs of depression—problems sleeping, over- or undereating, difficulty getting motivated—but taking this super quick test can be revealing. Personally, after answering these quiz questions, I realized that being sleep deprived and under lots of stress at work has made me a good candidate for mild depression. I shouldn't be surprised, but it was a timely reminder to nurture myself, not just my kids and job!

It's also a nice opportunity to revisit some of the articles Delicious Living has done on how to support your emotional health—from eating mood-boosting foods to taking an at-home spa day. One of the mistakes I often make is reaching for a sugar-laden treat to "get me through" the afternoon. In "A Day For You," author Kate Hanley reminds that "Although it gives a short-term lift, refined sugar only fuels the body's stress response. When you're experiencing stress, the body releases the hormone cortisol, which lowers levels of serotonin. Your body will then crave carbohydrates, which boost serotonin. Because the lift is short-lived when you eat refined carbs, you'll have a blood sugar crash and wind up feeling even worse." This month, I vow to eat more protein-packed snacks and do stress-busting yoga or dance each week. Care to join me?

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