January is always a difficult time for me mentally and emotionally, and this year has been no exception.
I’ve been struggling with myself since returning back to England in December, and I’ve now accepted that what I initially thought was a standard post-travel comedown has evolved into a state of full-blown identity crisis.
There’s no way for me to deny it; I don’t feel so good.
Despite this, I’ve still been able to function semi-normally. I haven’t been spending every moment of my free time lying in bed staring at the ceiling, no matter how appropriate of an activity that seems to be. I have spent an inordinate amount of time eating pasta and watching The Good Place but I’m sure there are plenty of mentally sound people who do that as well.
I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple of years, ever since I cut out dairy products and became fully vegan; I seem to find it easier now to cope with feelings of depression and anxiety.
Now, I’m not implying that veganism alone caused this and that everyone can magically cure their depression by not eating cheese anymore. There are other things that I’ve done over the past few years that have given me resilience and taught me better coping mechanisms. And, despite all of them my mental health is still something that I struggle with.
However, there are definitely some changes that I can’t attribute to anything but veganism. My skin is better, which has massively improved my confidence. I still get spots but rarely the deep hormonal ones that I used to have on my chin about 50% of the time. There are many evidence based studies that conclude that dairy consumption can trigger or aggravate acne, due to the hormones found in cows milk.
Speaking of hormones, I feel far less like I am at the mercy of my mood swings since giving up dairy. I also get less bloated, and have lost a bit of weight.
Another aspect of veganism that has improved how I feel in general is the sense of internal cleanliness I get from not eating animal products. Even when I did consume meat, dairy, and eggs, they always made me feel unclean inside and strangely heavy, I think because of the suffering that those animals had to endure before their products reached my plate. I feel like my entire being is lighter now.
I also feel a sense of fulfillment knowing that my diet has less of an impact on the environment, as I don’t fund the animal agriculture industry.
Veganism forces you to pay attention to what you’re eating, so now I really think about what I put into my body. I make sure I take good supplements everyday to ensure my body is getting everything it needs. I have more energy now, thanks to all the vitamins and minerals I get from eating more vegetables.
Going vegan has made me evaluate the rest of my life habits, and I now spend more time working out and making sure I’m active. I’m two years into my journey and I feel as though I am the physically healthiest that I’ve ever been.
Of course, this is all anecdotal and deeply subjective. My personal experience may not mirror yours in any way. But, if you are having a difficult time with your mental health, I do recommend trying veganism or eating fewer animal products. At the end of the day, it can’t hurt to try it out.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you liked it, here’s a similar one.