If you’re feeling depressed, then we’re here to tell you that it’s ok to feel this way. Everyone experiences this phase every now and then in their lives. It could be something related to a lack of money to pay for mortgage/rent, job opportunities, a loss of a family member or something else as such.
There is no substitute to seek out professional help if you want to treat your depression, especially if you have bipolar disorder. But even if you’re seeking a therapist and taking antidepressants, there are other ways to fight off your woes and they won’t charge you for it.
1. Get In A Routine
The first order of business is to maintain a routine for your depression, as recommended by Ian Cook, MD, psychiatrist, and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.
If you don’t deal with depression immediately, it could eat away at your entire life one day after another. That’s why it’s important to keep a daily schedule of all the things you need to get your life back on track.
2. Set Goals For Yourself
When a person is depressed, they feel as if they can never accomplish anything. It puts them in a state where they feel worse about themselves. In order to keep those inhibitions at bay, it is imperative to set daily goals for yourself.
Cook advises starting very small. Make your goals something pretty easy for you to succeed at, like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, cleaning the dishes, washing your clothes and eating healthy every other day. And when you start to feel better, you can add more daily challenges.
3. Good Hygiene
When depression kickstarts, those affected by it might stop showering for days, maybe even weeks if the period lasts that long. It may sound gross, but it’s what depression does to you – make you too sick to wash up.
Good hygiene is one of the better ways to deal with depression. You can shower every day or close to that. Do your hair, brush your teeth (a favorite among dental dorks, as well as take care of the rest of your body.
It might like feel like much of a priority for you, but once you give it a chance, you’ll eventually find that maintaining good hygiene is great for you.
4. Eat A Healthy Diet
It’s only fair to warn you that there’s no magic diet plan that can fix your depression. Though it would be wise for you to watch what you eat as it could affect your entire body as well as your brain. Hence, it is crucial for you to eat a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in fruits, whole grains, protein, and vegetables.
Foods that consist of carbohydrates and vitamin D can boost levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is linked with our mood. Also, some research indicates that omega-3 fatty acid, which is found in fish oil supplements can fight depression.
5. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise temporarily boosts endorphins, which are otherwise known as feel-good chemicals. It may even have long-term benefits for those suffering from depression. Cook says that regular exercise helps rewire the brain in positive ways.
In one study, it concluded that patients who regularly worked out on a treadmill or stationary bike for 12 weeks saw a 50% decline in the severity of their symptoms.
You don’t need to run a marathon though to fight back depression though. Just walking a couple of times a week is enough to make you feel better.
6. Get Sufficient Sleep
You may find how depression and a lack of sleep go hand-in-hand. The former can make it harder for you to get any shut-eye and the less sleep you get, the worse your depression gets. However, this isn’t true for everyone as sleep deprivation can boost their mood, though for a short while only. It can even trigger mania in those with bipolar disorder.
There is plenty that remains to be known about the link between sleep and depression, and sleep needs vary with each individual. However, experts recommend that depressives get enough sleep and also maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule.
Avoid taking naps, and get rid of any distractions in your bedrooms, such as TV and computer. Over time, you will sleep better than before.