Depression: Taking it One Day at a Time
Depression. It drains you. Oftentimes, you know the things that will make you feel better, but you just can’t seem to find it in you to make yourself do it. Your drive, hope, energy- it’s all just nonexistent. The thought of even making the effort to get better is exhausting.
No one wants to open up about something sad and heavy like depression, but you should not give in to the thought that you are all alone in how you feel. After all, it is estimated that 15% of the adult population experiences depression at some point in their lifetime.
Although recovery is difficult, you must know, even when it is hard to believe, that recovery IS possible! You are more capable than you give yourself credit for, even in cases where depression is severe and stubbornly persistent.
Here are four ways you can combat depression each day.
So, what’s the secret to success? Every day, you must build on doing normal, mental health-boosting activities. You may not have much energy, so start small. Draw on all your reserves, and choose one activity, and commit to completing it daily for a week. The next week, try doing one activity in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. Continue to increase from there.
The first step is always the hardest one. What boosts your mood may not boost someone else’s as much. You may have other ideas for your personal mood-boosting list, but here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Spend time outdoors walking, hiking, or just enjoying nature (even 15 minutes of daily sunlight is a great mood booster!)
- Dance to your favorite music
- Prepare a healthy meal
- Call a family member
- Meet a friend for dinner or coffee
- Attend a class at the gym
- Pick up a new or old hobby
- Express yourself creatively through writing, music or art
Keep stress in check
Depression worsens with stress or stress can trigger a new cycle of depression. So, in return, get a grip on stress by determining what triggers stress. Is your current job too overwhelming? Are you in a relationship that is not going well? Are you struggling with financial difficulties?
What ways can you improve these problems? If it’s money, consider meeting with a finance coach or listening to some podcasts on finances to make a plan to budget or manage debt. Have a relationship problem? Is it time to move on or consider counseling? If it’s work, is it time to consider cutting back some hours or finding a new position?
Another way to combat stress is to practice relaxation techniques. Yoga, deep breathing, and meditation are all ways to relax. There are dozens of apps and music playlists available that may help.
Seek support and care for others
When we aren’t doing well, we focus on our cloud of depression. When we feel needed, however, we are able to refocus and have a more positive outlook. Some activities that may help include volunteering, visiting a nursing home, or adopting a pet.
Consider joining a support group for depression too. Not only will it help you step out of isolation, but there is great comfort in discovering you are not alone in your struggles. A support group helps you find and give encouragement, learn how to cope, and release the heavy feelings you carry through sharing your experience.
Support your health
Those with depression tend to sleep too little or too much. Try to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Try to establish a good sleep schedule as well which includes a routine bedtime and waketime.
Exercise is also a powerful tool in fighting depression. Research shows that regular exercise may be as effective as medication in relieving depression symptoms. It also helps to prevent relapses once you’re well.
Shoot for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Even ten minute increments can be very beneficial. Pair up with someone if you struggle with consistency when exercising. Having a partner to encourage and hold you accountable is powerful.
Last, but certainly not least, consider your diet. What you eat directly impacts the way you feel. Certain foods can negatively impact your mood such as sugar, alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, and foods with high levels of hormones or chemical preservatives.
Do you think you may have depression, but you’ve never been diagnosed? Is your current depression treatment not helping? We would love to visit with you. Learn more about the symptoms of depression and the treatment we provide at rrkwc.com/depression-treatment-in-lawton-ok/.
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