Most of us have felt depressed from one time or another in our lives, whether it’s situational or biochemical.
For those who’ve experienced long and serious bouts of depression, medication can be an effective treatment.
In this post we offer a few tips to help deal with depression whether you are medicated or not. This post is in no way intended to replace any advice from your physician or therapist.
1). Take daily walks – expose yourself to as much sunlight as you can for at least a half hour a day.
2). Take a good multi-vitamin and Omega-3 supplement.
3). Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
4). Avoid too much caffeine (especially close to bed time). This is a tough one for many who are depressed because the “high” you feel from caffeine often gives that much-needed energy and endorphin rush that depressed individuals miss so dearly. When the caffeine wears off, the crash can make depression symptoms worse. The right caffeine balance is a personal option. Many feel they can’t begin the day without it, especially when depression is at its worse.
5). A new term we’ve been hearing lately is “Facebook Depression,” where individuals surf others’ Facebook pages, see others’ lives as perfect in comparison to their own, and feel worse off. Avoiding this behavior and even mainstream “gossip” shows like TMZ or magazines filled with celebrity news can be beneficial in dealing with one’s own life situation. Yes, it’s nice to have an escape. But remember, when things look too perfect we wind up comparing our own lives to it and feel like failures.
6). Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant. Remember, what goes up, must come down.
7). Avoid Malls. Retail therapy is nice in theory. Material possession rarely fix problems. Although it can be a pick-me-up to feel great about what you’re wearing. It’s not fun to be in debt. If money is no object, than it’s a personal choice.
8). Find a philosophy on life’s ups and downs that you believe in. Whether it’s your religion, a radio therapist, a spiritual teacher or a book on overcome hardship, finding that author/speakers/teachers voice that you resonate with is crucial. Books on tape with the teaching of your preference can be tremendously helpful when insomnia strikes (often associated with depression). It’s amazing the relief found while listening during those nights of the dark soul, only to find yourself falling back asleep.
9). If you feel you must confide in someone, make sure it’s a person worthy of your trust. Co-workers, neighbors or others near to us may be well-intentioned, but sometimes tell our secrets out of worry or any other agenda on their plate. Often times these are our closest allies and mean no harm. Chose your inner circle with care.
10). Have you read The Artist’s Way? Author Julia Cameron recommends what she calls Morning Pages every day. Morning Pages consist of hand-written, stream of conscious writing where our mental chatter is taken out of our head and put on paper. Cameron says this is a great way to access creativity that may have been previously blocked by our troubles. She also says many addictions and mental health issues are due to blocked creativity. It’s an excellent read!
11). Try a small amount of Chocolate. As long as it’s within your health/dietary regime, Chocolate has been shown to boost moods.
12). Get a good night’s sleep. For those with depression, insomnia can prevent this from happening. It’s easier said than done. Watching an uplifting piece on television or the Internet can help (no news stories). Also, reading a good book is helpful. Since worry and a racing mind usually factors into insomnia, giving yourself permission to write down what the problem is and promising yourself that you’ll come back to it in the morning can help. Sometimes there is no way to beat a sleepless night and you just have to get up and do something. Possibly this will make you tired…
Great video (with poor audio) from a man who’s made many laugh: