Depression is a common psychological diagnosis that affects millions of people around the world. Symptoms of depression include persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, loss of motivation, and negative thoughts towards oneself. Please be aware that there is always help available. If you feel you may be suffering from depression, reach out to someone. Be it a loved one, a medical professional, or a help line. You are not alone.
Managing depression means seeking help from and building a support team around you. While it is a common diagnosis, the human mind is still a very complicated thing, and so there is no one-step cure-all for depression. Instead, treatment for depression requires a multi-faceted approach.
It is always recommended when treating symptoms of depression, you do it in conjunction with a psychologist who will give you a correct diagnosis. They may prescribe you medications depending upon your diagnosis, and you may also consider starting talk therapy, and engaging in the individual management activities listed in this article.
Keep in mind, doing these things will not make your depression go away, but will help you better manage the day-to-day challenges that depression brings.
Exercise does not have to include anything difficult, and simply going for a walk absolutely counts. Exercise has been proven to boost mood and working it into your daily routine has been proven to help your symptoms of depression from worsening.
Something that people who suffer from depression commonly do is self-isolation. Talking to a family member or a friend, even for just a little while will boost your mood. Humans are social creatures; it is important not to lose our connection to others.
- Follow a Routine
A routine can help gently force you to do the tasks or chores that you may neglect due to depression. Make yourself a daily checklist and try to follow it as best as you can. The longer you follow a routine, the easier you will find the daily tasks that you need to complete. In your checklist for your routine, be sure to include wash times, cleaning, mealtimes, and a bedtime.
- Regulate Your Sleep
The first step to building a routine is regulating your sleep. Give yourself a bed time and set an alarm for eight hours later. This is the amount of sleep you need. This will help regulate your body’s functions so you can start on your routine for the rest of the day.
- Keep a Journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a great way to help you make sense of everything that’s going on in your head. It can help you reduce stress as well as find ways to better approach certain situations that may be bothering you in the future.
- Go Outside
Interacting with nature has been proven to help relax the mind. It can reduce symptoms of depression and will overall improve your mood.
- Get Back into Some of Your Hobbies
Doing things you love at your own pace is crucial for your mental health. You are not a robot who is designed to work, do chores and nothing else. Engage in the things you love and make a habit of doing them. There are many benefits to engaging in activities simply because you like them.
- Eat Well
Try limiting your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Increase the amount of water you drink. Maybe even try regulating your diet with healthier food options. All of these things will go towards improving your mood.
- Set Goals
Many people with depression can often feel aimless, which contributes to the lack of motivation. Set yourself some goals and do your best to complete them. Your goals can be small and must be attainable, but having something to work towards can improve your mood and motivation a lot.
- Meet Yourself Where You Are
Remember that depression is a complex mental illness. Some days will be better than others. You need to be gentle with yourself and understand that you can only do so much. Progress is progress, no matter how small.
Lauren Schwartz | Staff Writer