Ever had a season of depression that just wiped you out? You want to feel all happy, but for some reason you just can’t. You lie in bed at night thinking how yucky your life is and you wake up in the morning dreading yet another day.
Yes, depression is a real downer.
It really is such an energy zapper, sometimes even making everyday tasks difficult to accomplish. The severely depressed have a difficult time getting the gumption to shower or even cook a meal and eat.
The good news is that you don’t have to allow depression to completely rule your life. You may have a day or two of the blues (everyone is entitled to those), but depression and darkness do not have to be your reality for weeks, months, or years.
By all means head to your GP if you’ve tried to beat your depression and can’t. He or she will be able to assess whether you’re dealing with long term depression or some temporary general unhappiness. Should your state of depression be situational, there are things you can do to take control of some symptoms by making lifestyle changes that have been found to alleviate many symptoms of depression.
Here are some great changes you can make:
- Exercise regularly
If you want to take control over your depression, exercise is a great way to start. By committing to an exercise regime throughout the week, your mood may be elevated. When we exercise, our bodies produce a chemical that makes us feel more pleasant and we also tend to feel better about ourselves, as we are being constructive with our time. You can take a brisk walk, join a gym, engage a friend in golf or tennis, or go for a swim. The exercise does not even need to be strenuous. Simply planting flowers or a small garden is an example of calm, light exercise that will give you a boost emotionally.
- Change your eating habits
Another great lifestyle change involves your eating habits. It is so easy to get caught up eating unhealthy foods, which have the effect of making one feel sluggish and possibly gain weight. Our bodies need healthy foods to be at their optimal performance. Begin to eliminate unhealthy foods one at a time and introduce healthy foods into your diet. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, drink plenty of water, take vitamins, and stay away from sugar as much as possible. You will find that as you progress in eating healthier, you will feel better about yourself mentally and your body will begin to feel better as well.
- Acquire a supportive network
Having friends or family is important, as it is oftentimes a relief to be able to share concerns, stressors, fears, etc. with a supportive person. If you communicate your problems to a person that you trust, you might feel better after sharing your experiences with them. You can also consider going for counseling for help. You might be able to honestly communicate your problems and receive support, becoming more aware of your emotions and thoughts with someone who has been trained in listening attentively without judging you.
- Consider getting a pet
Pets can be very therapeutic for those who struggle with loneliness or depression. Consider getting a cat or a dog to offer company and unconditional love. Plenty of men and women have gained a sense of approval and feel needed as their `pets’ lavish love on them. If you are not able to have animals in your home, you could purchase a bird or even a hamster or guinea pig.
Some people have found relief from depressive symptoms by regular meditation. Even just five or ten minutes of solitude deliberately paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way, may be all that is needed to get you feeling better.
- Get out with a friend
Isolation will not do you any good or alleviate depressive symptoms. Make the effort to get out with a friend and do something that you enjoy. Being with another person, smiling, laughing, and talking will do wonders for your mood.
There are things that you can do to help alleviate symptoms of depression. Give these tips a try for a few weeks and see if your mood improves. Sometimes you just have to dig deep and make yourself do the things you don’t really want to do to pull yourself up out of the pit of depression. In the end, you’ll be glad you did. Today, make the decision to take action and do what you can to beat depression