If you’ve been feeling down a lot lately, always tired, not in the mood to do much of anything, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is different from just feeling sad, and it is a medical condition that should not go ignored. While medical interventions such as psychiatric medication may be helpful or even necessary to treat depression, there are a number of options you can try on your own to improve the situation. If nothing seems to help, or if at any point you find yourself thinking about harming yourself, please seek professional help immediately.
It is well-known and researched that physical exercise can help to combat depression. Exercise causes your brain to release neurochemicals called endorphins, which create positive mental and physical sensations, as well as reduce the perception of pain. Exercise is also a great stress reliever, which can be helpful in dealing with some of the challenges you may be facing.
Exercise also provides a number of indirect benefits. It can improve the quality of your sleep – when you’re more rested you are better able to handle your life situation. In addition, when you exercise you feel better and look better. This can boost your self-esteem and can help pull you out of a depressed mode. And if you choose to exercise at a gym or other public area, the social interaction can be another positive support.
Social interaction is actually a key component of your self-care regimen. Depression by its nature isolates. It makes you want to stay home all day in your pajamas, or maybe not even get out of bed. This can compound your feelings of loneliness and alientation. You might feel like nobody really cares about you because nobody interact with you, but this is sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy – when you isolate yourself from others, they tend to separate themselves from you as well. Even if you don’t feel like it, call some friends and meet up for lunch, get up and hit the gym, or just go for a walk outside. Being around other people is helpful in combating the feelings of isolation that depression can cause.
Eat Right, Sleep Right
Taking care of your physical health is important if you’re trying to take care of your mental health too. If your body feels lousy, your emotions are likely to be below as well. While it is tempting to comfort yourself with sugary or fatty foods, these are likely to leave you feeling worse off in the long run. Putting in a little extra effort to get some fruit and veggies on the table and to cut back on sweets can make a significant impact on your mood.
Likewise, pay attention to your sleep habits is important. If you are watching movies for playing video games until 3 in the morning then sleeping till noon, you might find yourself feeling lethargic for most of the day and unaccomplished in the evening. Setting a regular and reasonable bedtime for yourself and sticking to it can improve this. Furthermore, staying away from electronic screens for an hour before bedtime – including televisions, computers, and smartphones – is a good way to get your mind and body ready for a healthful sleep.
You don’t have to be “crazy” to have a therapist. And you don’t need to wait until things are really bad before reaching out for professional help. Talking to a counselor can help you sort out the things you are struggling with in your life and figure out where to go next. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Weak people feel they have to project a certain image of themselves; strong people can do what needs to be done without letting unnecessary fears get in the way.
These are just a few methods you can try to help pull yourself out of depression. Again, if you are feeling suicidal or are concerned about the severity of your depression, please seek professional help right away. We are here to help you whatever challenge you may be facing. Contact us today to learn how we can help.