Do you feel like the world is caving in, you are living in a fog, everything that used to excite you is now dull, and you lack the motivation to do the simplest things like getting out of bed, taking a shower, or going for a walk? You could be suffering from depression. According to the World Health Organization, there are over 264 million people battling depression globally.
Depression comes with many detrimental effects, such as contributing to other health complications like heart problems. A 2015 publication in the American Journal of Hypertension revealed that one out of five people suffering from coronary heart disease or heart failure also has depression.
This disorder can take more from you than you can imagine. It deprives you of your social life and your urge to achieve. And a human being without ambition can feel like moving around like an empty vessel. If you’ve set your mind to overcome depression, you can’t just snap out of it.
What is Depression?
Depression is an emotional disorder that adversely affects a person’s feelings, thoughts, coming in as grief, loss, anger, and sadness. Fortunately, it’s a treatable condition. If well managed, it can disappear, letting a person lead an everyday happy existence.
This disorder doesn’t discriminate; it can affect both adults and youngsters. At its worst, it can lead to someone hurting themselves. The WHO reports that suicide ranks second among the leading causes of 15 to 29 years old deaths.
If you’re suffering from depression, oftentimes you’ll encounter feelings of deep aloneness. It can also create various other emotional and physical reactions that affect your life in all of your relationships.
Making the first step in overcoming depression is always challenging. The disorder causes you to avoid everything, including those activities that can help you recover. For this reason, fighting it on your own might be more challenging than if you got assistance from a professional in helping you deal with your depression. The following are helpful tips that can help you cope with depression and overcome it even as you may continue to take recommended medication like antidepressants and professional therapy.
Find a strong support system
Seeking a support system is the first and most crucial step to fighting depression. Your support system could be socializing with family and friends, taking part in voluntary community service, or helping the less fortunate. Whatever works best for you, take it up wholeheartedly and commit yourself to it. A depression support group can also work. It can involve joint meetings in your neighborhood or find one online that best suits your preferences.
Reduce or eliminate stress activities
Stressful encounters push the body to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol which can help you cope with the situation in the short term. However, it can result in more problems in the long run, which can eventually cause depression.
Find ways of reducing stress and helping your mind calm down amidst stressful situations. If it’s relationship difficulties that stress you up, find a way to resolve your issues with your partner or consider moving on. Engage yourself more in activities that bring you joy, fun, and pleasure. It can be challenging to force yourself into fun activities, but pushing yourself into doing them can help relieve your depression. Move back to your past hobbies or sports. Enjoy listening to calming music, taking art lessons, go out with friends. In short, find an activity that pleases you and commit to it.
Mind your sleep routine
Your moods are greatly affected by your sleeping routines. A study conducted in 2014 revealed that up to 80 percent of those with sleeping disturbances also suffer from depression.
Practice a good sleeping routine to help improve the quantity and quality of sleep. Ensure all electronics are off at least an hour before your bedtime. Most importantly, only use your bedroom for sleeping or intimate relations. Remove your television. Avoid taking your work to your bed. Your bedroom should be your retreat.
Get More Physical Activity and Sunlight
The default activity that the body resorts to during depression are sitting back to do nothing. When depressed, you’ll find it much easier to stay in bed.
Exercise is critical in fighting depression; it’s one indispensable weapon in your recovery armory. Physical activity helps you avoid relapse after recovery. Spare at least 30 minutes for exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be intensive. You can start light, such as walking for 20 minutes. Also, get some time to bask in the sun and get fresh air. If you live in a place without a lot of sunshine you can make use of a light therapy lamp. Do more rhythmic exercises such as weight training, martial arts, dancing, and swimming. The results can be tremendous if you pair up with training partners.
Eat healthily, stay healthy
The foods we eat directly impact how we feel. Take foods that are known to fight depression. A research finding highlighted by a Harvard University publication shows that diets containing lots of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and reduced animal products reduce depression effectively. Avoid ones that can directly or indirectly affect brain activities and mood, such as alcohol, caffeine, and trans fats. Foods that contain high amounts of chemical preservatives are also part of the category of foods to avoid. Importantly, foods that create cravings, such as baked goods, and sugary snacks, can quickly crash your mood leading to depression. Eat responsibly and at appropriate times. Avoid skipping meals for too long as it can cause you to be tired and irritable.
Maintain a positive attitude towards life. Accept that there are ups and downs, and it is okay to be on the lower side of things. Avoid negative perspectives towards your daily life experiences. If you can’t change a situation, worrying too much about it won’t make it change. Instead, embrace positive thinking.
Depression is a burden to many people’s lives. Identifying it before it develops into a major depressive disorder and treating it can help mitigate other adverse effects that it can cause.
As much as you seek professional help to overcome it, it’s important to note that overcoming depression takes a lot of personal effort. Associate yourself with things that bring positivity and development, and you’ll overcome depression and enjoy life once again.