Depression is a very hard thing to deal with. It’s very painful. It can make you feel helpless. But you’re not. Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. When a sad mood lasts for a long time and interferes with normal, everyday functioning, you may be depressed.
With therapy and some medications, there’s a lot you can do on your own to fight back. Changing your behavior: your physical activities, lifestyle and even your way of thinking— all are natural depression treatments.
These tips can help you feel better— starting right now.
1.) Get in a routine. Being depressed can strip away the structure of your life. Each day dissolves away. Setting a daily routine can really help. If you’re depressed a routine can help.
2.) Set some goals. When you’re depressed you feel like you can’t and won’t accomplish anything. It actually makes you feel worse about yourself. Start small. Make a goal you can succeed at, as simple as just doing the dishes. To push back, set everyday goals for yourself.
As you start to feel better, you can add more daily, challenging goals.
3.) Exercise. Exercising can have long-term benefits for people with depression. It temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Regular exercise seems to inspire the brain to rewire itself in many positive ways. How much exercise do you need? You don’t need to run marathons or nothing to get benefits. Just walking 3 or 4 times a week a do the trick. It really works, it really help.
4.) Get enough sleep. Depression can make it very hard to get some shut-eye, and less sleep can make depression worse. What can you do? Try switching up your lifestyle. Try going to bed every night at the same time and get up everyday at the same time. Try not taking naps. By taking all distractions out your bedroom— no tv and no laptop. Than in time, you’ll find your sleep patterns start to improve.
5.) Take responsibilities. When you’re depressed, you may pull back, or want to pull back from life and give up your responsibilities at work and at home. Don’t. Staying involved and having daily responsibilities can actually help you maintain a lifestyle that can help challenge depression. They ground you and give you a sensation of accomplishment. If you’re not feeling up to full time work or school, that’s fine. Think about maybe part time. If that seems as to much consider volunteer work.
6.) Challenge negative thoughts. Fighting against depression a lot of the work is mental— change how you think. When you’re depressed you leap to the worst possible conclusions. Believe me, I know. Next time you’re feeling horrible about yourself, use logic as a natural depression treatment. You might feel like no one likes you, or no one loves you, but is real actual evidence for that? You might feel like you’re the worst person on earth, but is that really likely? Is that really true? Practice makes perfect. It takes practice, but in due time you can beat those negative thoughts before they get a bit out of control.
7.) Do something new. When depressed, you’re in a pothole. Do something different, do something new. Something you never do. Push yourself, maybe to a museum, or to the park. Get a book to read on the parks bench. Take a different language class. No matter what it is… do something different, do something new, even if it’s going to the zoo.
When we challenge ourselves to do something new, something different, there’s chemical changes in the brain. Trying something new alters the levels of the brain dopamine which is associated with pleasure, enjoyment, as well as learning.
8.) Mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness has many applications from increasing self-awareness and strengthening listening skills to improving concentration. Mindfulness meditation may rival antidepressants in easing the symptoms of depression. It decreases emotional reactivity, helping people disengage from emotionally upsetting pictures and better focus on cognitive tasks. It helps to reduce stress. Mindfulness is also a key component in building resiliency when facing life’s stressors.
9.) Eat healthy. Now there is no magic healthy diet that’ll fix depression and anxiety, but it is good to eat healthy though. Sometimes depression tends to make you overeat, getting in control of how and what you eat can make you feel a lot better. Although there’s nothing definitive there’s actually evidence that foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as, salmon and tuna, and folic acid such as, spinach as avocado, could help ease depression.
10.) Ease up on caffeine and alcohol. Both caffeine, which is a “upper,” and alcohol is a “downer,” which can make anxiety kick in overdrive. Cut back on them or avoid them if you can. Remember sodas and coffee aren’t the only things with caffeine. It can pop up in chocolate, tea, diet pills, and some headache medications.
Depression and anxiety can be a handful. That’s why getting the treatment that you need is very very important. These are 10 great activities to start with, but getting the treatment/medications you need is the first.
There’s so many different things you can do to help reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as any other mental illness. But you first need to get the treatment and the help that you need. That’s a priority. Getting therapy and taking your medications daily, eating a healthy diet, while also researching different ways to help you cope, you’ll be on a positive road to healing.
There’s nothing wrong with needing help or needing treatment, there’s actually nothing wrong with needing neither.
Always remember… it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to not have it all together, it’s okay that you have a mental illness… it’s all okay. We’re all still human. We all are fighting demons, nobody’s perfect. But we’re all worth so much to the world. We’re all worth so much more than those negative thoughts, those dark emotions.
You are not alone…. never forget that.
If you or someone you know struggling with depression and anxiety, or any other mental illness, or maybe you’re not even sure, but there is help. Talk to someone. Talk to your doctor, that’s what he/she is there for. Your well-being.
You’ll be surprised at how many people are struggling everyday with a mental illness. I’m a living witness to getting the treatment that you need is a start to a great healthy life. Also… getting the treatment and the help that you need… it’ll set your mind free from those negative thoughts. Therapy helps with healing and coping, and the medications help your mind to be able to focus, and take control of those negative dark moments.
It’s very much worth getting help. It’s worth the treatment. It’s worth talking to someone or your doctor about your situation. Don’t try letting it go away on its own. It won’t. Get the help that you need so you can start living.