That little voice inside your head is nothing more than a self motivator, if you let it be. John Dare
Depression affects just about everyone on some level. For some, depression is purely situational. For others, it becomes a chemical problem in need of greater attention. Regardless of the kind of depression you face right now, though, there are a few things you can do to beat an instance of depression once it comes upon you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
1. Get out of bed. No matter how light or heavy your depressive episode is, the first thing you need to do is get out of bed in the morning. Without taking that first step, nothing more can be accomplished and your depression will only linger.
- If your depression is severe or chronic, getting out of bed and preparing for the day can also be viewed as a small but necessary victory on the road to recovery.
2. Soak in a little sunlight. Natural light has a positive effect on mood. Even 30 minutes outdoors is better than nothing.
- One major cause of seasonal depression is the lack of sunlight and the lack of outdoor activity
- Vitamin D helps stabilize the mood, but it is absorbed better through food and sunlight than through supplements
3. Exercise. There appears to be some link between stationary lifestyles and depression. Break up the monotony of your daily routine by squeezing in at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day.
- The exercise does not have to be intense. Even a 30 minute walk outside can help improve your mood.
4. Avoid skipping meals. Your body and mind both need nutrients to keep working properly. If your mind is not nourished, the hormones and chemicals pumping through it may be thrown out of balance and, as a result, you depression may last longer or get more severe.
Eat healthy meals packed with plenty of balanced nutrients in order to give your body and mind what they need.
- That said, it does not hurt to treat yourself a bit during a bout of depression as long as you do not overindulge. The cacao in dark chocolate can even be helpful since it causes your brain to release endorphins. Overindulging can lead to physical health problems and a drop in self-esteem.
Resist the urge to drown your sorrows. Do not indulge in alcohol or drug use during your depression. Consider packing your diet with foods linked to fighting depression. These foods include fish oils, brown rice, brewer’s yeast, whole-grain oats, and cabbage.
5. Rest. Even though you need to get out of bed in the morning, you also need to get back in at night.
- A lack of rest can stress your body and mind, making depression worse.
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, especially during periods of depression.