Depression is one of the most common mental health problems today. Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in each year per the Archives of General Psychiatry, (2005 Jun; 62(6): 617-27). While medication can be effective in helping, there are other things you can do to ease depression. Here’s a brief list of how you can start alleviating your depression today:
1. Do not sleep too much. Staying in bed or taking naps throughout the day may only worsen depression and make it much harder to cope with the symptoms. The best approach to sleep is to wake up at the same time each morning and go to sleep at the same time every night. This may be difficult but easier once you get into a routine.
2. Eat well. A healthy and balanced diet will not only help the way you feel, but will also improve your thought patterns. Eat regularly and aim to eat three balanced meals each day. Quality food is vital for your mind and body to function properly.
3. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself to things that are calming and improve your mood. Scented candles, bubble baths and a tranquil environment can help you feel better. Find relaxing activities that help you unwind. Listening to music, reading or adult coloring books are just a few examples. Allowing yourself even 15 minutes of downtime can make all the difference.
4. Practice self-acceptance. Do not let others define you. Accept yourself for who you are; not who others would like you to be. There is not a single person in this world that is perfect; everyone possesses good qualities as well as bad qualities. Many different characteristics, including personality, background, character and sexuality make us who we are. Everyone in this world has something to offer, and everyone is entitled to respect.
All those tips being said, depression is tough. It’s like a dark fog that seems to follow you. It can also feel like it will never end. There is hope and there is help. If you find yourself with the dark fog and need some help, contact me at (440) 836-3186 for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’d love to hear about what is going on and direct you to the right help. If you are looking for help with codependency issues or relationship difficulties, you can read more about how I can help here.