If you suffer from depression, know that you are not alone. Depression affects more than 15 million American adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. While living with this mental health condition can make you feel hopeless at times, it does not have to take over your life.
If you make an effort to change some of your lifestyle habits, you can get control of your depression and live a normal life. Here are several ways you can cope with your depression:
Create a Routine and Stick to It
One of the best things you can do for your depression is stick to a regular routine. If you have a routine, you will be less likely to lie in bed all day and feel sorry for yourself. Make a list of a few things you want to accomplish the next day, and do them. For example, you might want to start out your morning with a brisk walk and then eat breakfast while answering emails. It may be best to focus on easier tasks first to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Stay Involved With Your Family and Friends
When you are dealing with depression, you may lose interest in spending time with your family and friends. You might decline invitations to social gatherings and stay home by yourself instead.
However, isolating yourself from everyone else can make your depression worse. You will be alone with your thoughts and may start to feel more hopeless and sad. It might be tough at first, but make an effort to socialize with your family and friends. Whether it is going to a concert or meeting for a cup of coffee, spending time with people you care about can lift your spirits.
Exercise can do more than just keep you in good physical shape; it can also make your body release endorphins. These chemicals can help you have a more positive outlook on life and ease your depression. Aim to exercise at least three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes.
To help you stick with your exercise program, choose physical activities that you actually enjoy, such as dancing or swimming. Also, try to vary your exercises so that you don’t get bored. For example, if you jogged today, think about doing yoga or biking tomorrow.
If you are having trouble beginning your exercise program, ask a close friend or family member to join you. Exercising can be a lot more enjoyable if you do it with someone you care about.
Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet
What you eat can make a big difference on your emotional state. Omega-3 fatty acids in particular are known for increasing serotonin levels in your body, ultimately reducing depression symptoms. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.
Write in a Journal
Another way to fight depression is to write in a journal every day. If you write down your thoughts and feelings, it can take a lot of stress off your back and make you feel happier. No one else has to read your journal, so do not be afraid to let it all out.
Go See a Therapist for Treatment to Cope with Depression
Talk therapy is an effective depression treatment method. During your one-on-one sessions with a therapist, he or she can help you understand your depression better and teach you new strategies for coping with depression. Do not hesitate to be completely open and honest in your counseling sessions. Your therapist is there to help you, not judge you.
If you want to learn more information about treating depression, contact Life Adjustment Team.