Depression can be debilitating. It can drain your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to live life normally. This is especially true if you're not doing anything about it. Because of this, taking the first step can be the hardest. The road to recovery can be very long, but it gets easier as long as you take the first step.
But how do you take the first step, anyway? You can do several things to start recovering from depression, and one of these things is to learn how to cope with it with small positive steps. Here are some of them.
Sometimes, patients don't have the energy to get out of bed. Even though they are capable of getting up from their beds, their minds tell them otherwise. One thing you can do, however, is to try to stimulate yourself through exercise or physical activity. Try to do some stretching while laying down and full blown exercising once you're out of bed.
Physical activity, in general, can positively affect your mind as it reduces symptoms of depression and improves your mood. Experts suggest that exercise is as effective as some medications since by exercising, your brain is releasing dopamine, a substance you can usually get from medication. It may even help to prevent future depressive episodes.
We're not telling you to go to the gym whenever you feel down, although you can do that if you want to. But if you can't afford to have that time, you can set simple goals for yourself, like aiming to walk around the block. Smallest physical activities like this can significantly impact your mood and reduce your symptoms of depression.
Easier said than done, but getting in touch with your loved ones, either family or friends, is important to stave off depression symptoms. We know it can be exhausting talking to others if you suffer from depression. Still, it has a lot of benefits, like improving your mood, preventing feelings of isolation, etc. Even small talk can comfort you as long as you receive it. Talking to someone other than yourself is a good way to reduce your symptoms.
Do you often feel powerless or weak? That bad things often happen in your life, and there's nothing you can do about it? If so, then you should know that it's just your depression talking. Depression usually puts a negative spin on everything, but when you actually challenge this way of thinking, this pessimism doesn't hold up.
When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, it's important to remember that it's just a result of your symptoms. They are known as cognitive distortions. They are the culprits on why you have these pessimistic thoughts and feelings of hopelessness.
Of course, you can't eliminate them by simply telling yourself to think more positively. This is because these cognitive distortions can often result from a lifelong pattern, making them an automatic conclusion for you. Instead, you can try to have a more balanced way of thinking. Try to think that not everything that's going to happen will be bad. You should remember that there's always a silver lining to things.
What you eat directly impacts how you feel. For example, people seem to have their spirits lifted after eating sweets, and some get angry when eating spicy foods. That said, as a person suffering from depression, you must eat a balanced diet to regulate your emotions and feelings better. You also have to reduce foods that can adversely affect your mood like coffee, alcohol, and processed foods.
Not only that, but you should also avoid skipping meals. Going too long between meals can make you irritable and tired, significantly enhancing your depressive symptoms. Also, try to minimize intake of sugary snacks like candy and chocolates. Overly indulging in them will have you crash later on in the day, which can negatively affect your mental stability.
Also, try to eat foods that directly benefit depression, like milk, salmon, and saffron. One of the benefits of saffron, milk, and salmon is being an antidepressant food because they contain serotonin and dopamine, which regulate your mood.
And it's not just your food. You should also always sleep on time to have more quality sleep. By having less sleep, you're prone to low energy and irritability, worsening your symptoms.
Distraction is a beneficial thing that you can do to avoid having depressing thoughts. It's your way of pushing back against depression. If you have hobbies like painting, video games, and gardening, you should do them more often to stave off pessimistic thoughts.
If you think you're not interested in your hobbies anymore, you should try to find something else you want to spend your time on. There are many things out there that can help you distract yourself from depression.
Depression can be especially debilitating if you don't do anything about it. There are a lot of coping strategies that you can do to stave off its symptoms, especially the ones discussed above. Remember, depression is only as powerful as you make it to be. You have control over your life, so try to take it back. Medication can only do so much if you don't do anything about your depression in the first place.