Suffering from depression can be one of the most difficult things you can overcome. Not only does it trick your mind into thinking everything is bad, but it also saps you of your motivation and your confidence. For the millions of sufferers around the world, the typical treatment is traditional medicines such as anti-depressants. However, there can be side effects of this medication that can leave you feeling spaced out and sedated. Luckily, there are a variety of natural ways that you can try to beat your depression, but you need to work with your doctor and medical team as well.
Get a Professional Diagnosis
Before you can think about finding the best way to relieve your depression, it is important that you get your symptoms officially diagnosed by a medical professional. There are other illnesses which can present similar symptoms to that of depression, and also depression can be a symptom of a much deeper problem. That is why it is a good idea to seek a diagnosis because once your medical team has confirmed that it is depression, you can start to look at ways to treat it. You will need to inform your mental health worker and your doctor that you are trying to relieve your symptoms using natural techniques because they might need to assess you regularly, especially in the beginning.
Finding a Routine
One of the things that many therapists will tell you if you suffer from depression is that you need to establish a routine. Depression can cause you to lose your focus and your determination to do anything. If the lack of drive and motivation continues, it can become a vicious circle that leads to even deeper depression. For that reason, try to find a regular pattern to your day, even if it is simple things. For example, try to get up at the same time each day, and then have breakfast and get dressed. You should also try to fill your days with activities that you can do easily. By having this type of structure to your day, you will start to see that things can improve. If you find yourself slipping back into your old ways, then try to regain that focus you had in the beginning.
Set Yourself Daily Goals
When you are deeply depressed, it can be difficult to know when the days are starting and ending. You can also get into a bad routine of leaving things that need to be done like paying bills and getting food. To try and overcome this, you need to start finding goals that you can easily attain. It will give you the incentive to get things done, and when you do, it should start to make you feel better about yourself. Start slowly with goals that you have no problem meeting. For example, getting out of bed, even if it’s only to sit in a chair can be a good one to start with. Then you can move on to others like making some toast or cereal. If you do fail to meet any of your goals, don’t be upset with yourself, simply try the next day again.
Start Doing Some Exercise
There is a lot of medical evidence that suggests there are huge benefits to be gained from exercise, not just with your physical health, but also for your mental health. It has been found that those who have a mental health illness are more likely to see an improvement if they take part in regular exercise. If you think that this is something you want to try, then you should start slowly at first. If you are not able to get out of the house at the moment, then you can always try to do a little exercise at home. You could do some exercise classes online or some yoga techniques. When you start to feel better, you can increase the amount and frequency of the exercise until you are working out two or three times per week. For some, the exercise can become a big attraction that they need to keep themselves in a good frame of mind.
Deal with Bad Habits
One of the reasons that you could be depressed is if there are other problems causing it. For example, if you are battling an addiction, then this can affect your mood and lead to the symptoms of depression. You should seek help from a medical center like Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare who can help you deal with the issues you are facing. If you are smoking regularly, then this can also be a bad habit that you can try to quit. Many doctors are now able to offer help with quitting smoking, and they can support you along the way as well.
Part of your visit to the doctor should have led to the recommendation that you seek therapy for your depression. Although many people don’t like to talk about their feelings or what they are going through, there is a lot to be gained from talking to a qualified therapist. The type of talking therapy you have depends on your needs, and what the therapist thinks will be the most responsive. Whatever the therapy will be, it will undoubtedly take a long time and many sessions before you start to see any improvement in your mood or the feeling you have. Some people find it difficult to cope with the images and the feelings they are experiencing while having therapy, which can be expected. It is important that you talk through all these things with your therapist so that they can help you.
There is no diet which can help you with your depression, but there are foods that can influence your mood. Some mental illnesses, such as bulimia and anorexia, are centered around food, so this can be a good way of trying to regain control of food and how it makes you feel. For those that have developed serious problems because of their eating disorder, they also need to seek the help of medical professionals and therapist to help them to recover. For those with depression but without an eating disorder, there can be a lot of benefits to beginning a healthy eating way of life. For many, when they get upset, they turn to comfort foods such as those with a high fat and sugar content, which is not only bad for them but also leads to feelings of guilt to add to their low mood. Trying to change these habits will take time and determination, but it can help you to break the cycle of bad eating and guilt.
Getting Enough Sleep
Although people think that those with depression sleep all the time, in many cases, it can lead to insomnia that can make the situation worse. You need to listen to your body and allow yourself the option to go to sleep if you need to. It can be difficult, especially if you have a family, but it can be the best option. If you are having problems getting to sleep, then you need to think about your daily routine and how you can make sleep easier. Try to get up and go to bed at the same times each day, as doing so will give your body a routine to follow. You should also avoid watching TV or being on the laptop right before bed as this can overstimulate the mind. Some people also omit all caffeine after 6 p.m., because the stimulant can affect their ability to fall asleep. It is worth trying all of these things to see if you can find a solution that will work for you.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
With depression can often come negative thoughts and feelings. These can become serious if you don’t try to deal with these thoughts in the right way. One way is to try and use logic to overcome what you’re thinking. Although this is a lot harder than it sounds, there is evidence that challenging negative thoughts with logic can improve the way you feel about yourself.
Distance Yourself from Negative People
Another way to minimize the negativity in your life is to try and distance yourself from negative people. Although they might be your friends, their opinions and personality can often rub off on you, especially if you are already feeling in a low mood. Try to avoid long periods with them and see if that helps you to feel better. If it does, then you might need to consider not having them around anymore. The same applies to any situation that you know will have a negative effect on you. It is best, at least in the short term, to avoid these situations. You can always return to them later if you are feeling strong enough to do so.
Suffering from depression is a personal thing that can affect everyone differently. However, it is important that you seek the help you need and try to use these and other techniques to try and manage it.