Depression can lead to constant sadness and despair and loss of interest in life and things you loved.
The American Psychiatric Association reports say that one in six people will experience depression at some time in their life.
Depression can be tough to fight, but don’t worry!
We are here to help you on your road to recovery! Call us @ 718-DORAL-55.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But, trust us, these small steps will slowly and surely help you lift the heavy fog of depression.
Read on to learn how to manage depression in a way that makes sense for you.
1.Work-out & Exercise
The symptoms of depression often include sadness, loss of interest in activities, weight gain or loss, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, and feelings of worthlessness. Exercise can help improve all these symptoms.
- Exercise is good for your physical and mental health.
- It improves your overall mood and gives you a sense of well-being.
- It can also help with other problems that may be contributing to your depression, such as poor sleep or low self-esteem.
However, it is important to start small…
Go for a walk in the park!
Go explore that trail outside the city!
Pick up that old dusty bicycle and go for a ride around the block!
Join that Yoga class you always wanted to!
- Make a routine & stick to it
Having a schedule helps you to achieve small goals that can build up your self-esteem. Furthermore, a routine allows your mind to relax because it knows what to expect next, reducing stress and anxiety.
Small daily activities that are done habitually, such as morning stretches or a shower, give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence that is much needed when you’re feeling depressed.
An example of an achievable daily routine would be:
- waking up at 8 AM every morning
- stretching and meditating for ten minutes (a good way of clearing your head)
- getting dressed
- making breakfast
- taking the dog for a walk
Go grab that diary and plan your day!
A word of caution: Set achievable goals and be gentle on yourself!
- 3. Eat a healthy, nutritious diet
Consuming a light, nutritious and healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to fight depression.
- A balanced diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and proteins in the right amounts.
- Avoid processed foods, which are often high in sugar and salt. Instead, try to eat fresh food whenever possible.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Try to buy organic food when possible; organic food is less likely to contain chemicals that may impact your brain chemistry.
- Focus on the good things in life
- Stay positive.
- Focus on the good things in your life that make you happy, like your friends and family.
- Do something that you really enjoy, like spending time with your pet, taking a walk-in nature, going to the mall or hanging out with friends and family.
Go on! Pick up that football from your closet and go out and play!
Take that trip to the Museum!
Join that guitar class you always liked!
If you’re really struggling with unhappiness, talk to us about how to deal with it.
5. Monitor your thoughts & challenge negative thinking
Thought monitoring is a strategy that helps you recognize and challenge negative thoughts when they arise. It includes:
- Recognizing negative thoughts and challenging them. To do this effectively, you need to have a list of the negative thoughts you have, and some strategies for challenging them.
- Put your thoughts on a witness stand and cross-examine and analyze them before arriving at any conclusions.
- Challenging thoughts about the future. Ask yourself (considering your current anxiety levels) how likely these events are going to happen? How might you deal with it if they do happen?
- Challenging thoughts about the past. What evidence is there that supports your belief that this event or situation has harmed you in some way? What evidence is there against it being harmful or upsetting?
Most Importantly: Take a breather when you feel overwhelmed!
- Have a strong support network and don’t be shy to reach out
- The point of having a support system is that it’s not all on you to combat your depression.
- A support system can take many forms, from a pet to a therapist or even just an understanding friend who lets you vent about your day.
- This can be as simple as calling up an old friend and saying “Hey, I’m feeling really down today. Can I buy you coffee so we can talk?”
If you don’t have any close friends or family members in your immediate vicinity, there are other options available:
- call a crisis hotline and ask them what services they offer.
- look up local resources (e.g., churches); or
- consider doing volunteer work with people who understand what it feels like when depression strikes at random intervals throughout life (such as veterans with PTSD).
- Prioritize Stress Relief
Reducing stress is one of the most effective ways to combat depression.
Here are some effective ways to relieve the stress that might be contributing to your depression:
- Take time for yourself. For example, designate a time each day for a relaxing activity such as taking a warm bath or reading a book
- Try doing something that gives you pleasure or feels calming (e.g., going for a walk or listening to music)
- Exercise regularly — use exercise as an outlet for stress
- Seek out help from family or friends when stressed; don’t isolate yourself
- Let go of things you can’t control — accept those situations which you cannot change and turn over your worries about them to a higher power if that’s appropriate for you.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises on a regular basis so they become more natural during times of increased stress.
- Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for everyone. Getting more than 7-9 hours of sleep each night will help you stay healthy, happy and fit. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t get enough sleep or have a hard time sleeping at night.
What can you do? Start by making some changes to your lifestyle.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Try not to nap.
- Take all the distractions out of your bedroom — no computer and no TV.
In time, you may find your sleep improves.
Hopefully these tips can help you or your loved ones fight depression.
Depression is a serious condition and if you’re suffering from it, please seek professional help. Even if you are not suffering from depression, these tips can help you stay healthy and happy.