Depression is a common and serious health disorder that needs medical attention. It’s a debilitating illness that affects the way you think, feel, and act. Coping with depression is not easy as everyone around you will be affected by your condition as well.
Having said that, caring for yourself is one of the essential ways to help you cope with the challenges of depression. Below are the lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce the effects of this crippling disease.
1. Eat healthily
If there’s one effective way that can help improve your overall mood, that’s eating healthily. The more you watch your eating habits, the better for your mental health. Thus, feed your body with the right kind and amount of nutrients it needs. You may start by cutting out junk foods and sugary drinks. Instead, consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, and even dairy products. Stay away from unhealthy fats and sugar to avoid worsening your mental health symptoms.
2. Have a good sleep
Lack of proper sleep can trigger depression, may be a sign of depression, and/or can worsen your depression. To enhance the quality of sleep you get, be sure you follow a regular sleep schedule; this means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. You may also come up with a bedtime routine to calm your mind down before you sleep, such as taking a relaxing warm bath, using calming essential oils, listening to soothing music, and stretching. If you’re still having a hard time sleeping, it’s recommended that you see a doctor for help.
Exercise offers significant benefits to those with mental health issues. Aside from keeping your body in tip-top shape, it also uplifts your mood. That’s why it’s vital that you include exercise in your daily routine, but don’t force it. Give yourself time until you’re ready to do physical activities. For starters, you can have an afternoon walk around your neighborhood or do gardening; these activities are easy, low impact, and enjoyable. Yoga and hiking are good options, too. Once you feel stronger, you can then move on to heavier workouts if you feel like it, such as running, boxing, and strength training.
4. Do some meditation
Meditation helps calm your mind. The regular practice of meditation helps your mind in managing stress and anxiety, which are two of the triggers of depression. There are a lot of books and online resources that can guide you on how to meditate. You can also seek the help of a meditation coach.
5. Socialize with positive, loving people
The people around you can also influence your mood. It’s therefore vital to be around with people who support and love you even in your darkest times, and people who help lift your spirits up and ease the pain you’re going through. Don’t hang out with someone who’s insensitive to your pain. Also, avoid the company of those who are always complaining, thinks negatively, and talks about problems. They can dampen your mood and trigger your depression.
6. Learn to love music
One way of expressing your emotions and releasing your stress is through music. If you’re going through tough times or if you are anxious, listen to music that you like. Music can help you express what you cannot articulate in words. Soft music helps your body relax, and positive and upbeat songs lighten up your mood and make you feel energetic. Learning how to play a musical instrument can be therapeutic, too.
7. Create a warm, happy living space
Feeling disconnected from the world can be a worse life experience. That’s why it’s best to create a pleasant home space so you’ll feel comfortable and happy to be there. Invest in making your space homey and warm to take your mind off your sadness. Also, try to involve yourself in decorating your home such as hanging photos of your family or posters you like on the walls. If you keep yourself busy, you’ll divert yourself from feeling sad and hopeless.
Depression is a serious mental health issue that can affect anyone at any age. However, there are several things you can do by yourself to prevent it or to reduce its symptoms. Making simple life changes such as those listed above can be a good start to combat depression. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if need be. Mental health professionals such as those from Open Sky Psychology can work alongside you to achieve your full recovery. (See also: Natural Ways to Fight Depression)
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.