Everyone has those days when you feel down, but when the days into weeks, and you feel helpless, that is when you may have depression. It is a common illness and nothing to be ashamed of. Many people have dealt with it in their lives, and most of those have overcome it (or at least been able to cope) and prospered.
Just as there are many potential causes of depression, both psychiatric and physical, there are many ways to deal with it. The base problem is that your body or brain has somehow got out of tune with a ‘normal’ rhythm and needs to be reset. Knowing the root cause of your depression makes it easier to treat (such as iron supplements for anemia), but often the causes are multiple or hard to trace. This is where Who can take general steps that work for almost all cases. It may take time, but these methods can produce noticeable results. Drugs are a solution (or part of the treatment) for some people, but getting yourself back on track without relying on a prescription is possible.
Face it, most people rely too much on fast food, pre-packaged dinners, or even skip meals. This means your body needs nutrients, and vitamin pills are not the best solution. Eating a balanced, healthy diet will not only improve your mood, but it has other health benefits that you would be crazy to pass up.
Stress and depression can be linked, and modern society is full of stress. Learn to not worry about things you cannot change, and cut as many stressful activities as possible – easier said than done, I know, but it is possible. If you have problems with an early morning commute and end up frazzled when you get to work just in time, maybe you should leave home half an hour early, avoid the traffic, and have a relaxing trip to work. You are on track to beat depression when you manage your stress better.
Depression leads you not to want to do things, and if you had a structure in your life before, you tend to lose it all afterwards, with all your days melting into the next in a never-ending blurry slump. Putting structure back into your life has multiple benefits, and while it may not work for everyone, a sense of order can be soothing for many. Set a schedule for waking, getting dressed, eating, traveling, relaxing and sleeping. Try to stick to it at the weekends, and avoid the tendency to slob around on Saturday and Sunday.
Depression can mess up your sleep cycle, but getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your mood. Keeping to a good sleep routine can be difficult, but worth the effort if you want to help beat the depression, you are suffering from. Avoid things that distract you in the bedroom (no TV, for example), and concentrate on relaxing. Sleep is when your body recuperates, and best heals itself, so give your body the time it needs.
I can hear the groans already. I don’t mean to prepare to run a marathon or become the world’s strongest man, but get a little more activity in your life. Exercise causes the body to make endorphins, a feel-good chemical, leading to other benefits. Walk upstairs instead of using the elevator, park your car further from your destination (you may find it easier to get a space, too) and walk the rest of the way. On your work breaks, take a stroll round the building. There are many ways to get a little more active, and exercise will make you happier.
Get Some Sun
Sunlight is excellent at boosting people’s moods, which is why those who work cooped up inside all day or have long, dull winters are more prone to depression. Some have said getting just fifteen minutes of sunshine in your day can help your mood. So combine this with the exercise routine, and get out and enjoy the benefits of our nearest star. You do not need to exercise to get the benefits either – sit down outside for part of your lunch break and catch a few rays.
When you are feeling low, getting motivated to do things can be challenging. To combat this, set daily goals or create To-Do lists. It doesn’t have to be huge steps to start with, just simple tasks like doing dishes or personal grooming that you can achieve and feel good about completing. As you start to feel more yourself, add to the list until you are happy setting stretch goals and achieving them regularly.
Depressed people get a lot of negative thoughts that drag them down, but focusing on positives and achievements is a counter to that. Be logical, too – if you are down because you feel no one likes you, sit there and list your friends. If the answer is more than zero, logically, your feeling was wrong.
Do Something New
If you are down and feel things are going nowhere, find somewhere to take them. Do something new; set yourself a challenge. It does not have to be huge, like completing your college degree; it could be as simple as going to a friend’s house to play cards or going to look around a nearby historic site. Do whatever interests you that you have not done before (or for a while), and help yourself to a new, fun experience.
Fun, Fun, Fun
There are always things that you enjoy doing, even if you cannot think of them right now. But finding something you like to do, fun and even relaxing, is a great way to remove stress and fight depression. Read a good book, watch a movie, go for a walk, play a game of tennis, go window shopping – the list is endless. Make time to do what you love, even in short spells, and find ways to enjoy yourself and beat depression.