5 Self-Help Tips to Overcome Depression

5 Self-Help Tips to Overcome Depression

Depression can make you feel so lethargic and hopeless that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to motivate yourself to get up and do anything at all. Because depression can leave you feeling convinced that nothing will make you feel better, you might not realize how much taking steps like exercising, eating well, and talking to friends or loved ones can help — until after you’ve already done them.

None of this is to say that you shouldn’t seek treatment for your depression. Depression is a psychiatric illness that can often be successfully treated with a combination of therapy and medication, and it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to bootstrap your way out of depression. Our Online Pharmacy can help you get access to prescription antidepressants that you can afford. Nevertheless, it may be several weeks before you feel the full effects of your antidepressants. Even with drugs and therapy, you may still need to make lifestyle changes like the ones discussed below to enjoy a full recovery from depression.

Get Support from Loved Ones

When you’re depressed, you may be reluctant to burden others with your problems. But that’s just the depression talking. Reaching out to friends and relatives to share what you’re going through is the only way to get the support you need to recover. Staying isolated and lonely will only worsen your depression symptoms.

The people who love you want to help, and sharing your thoughts and feelings with them doesn’t mean you’re weak or a burden. Being around other people will help mitigate feelings of depression and help you maintain a sense of perspective. Just don’t expect your friends and loved ones to give you psychotherapy. If you feel like your friends and loved ones don’t understand what you’re going through, join a support group for people with depression.

Combat Negative Thinking

Combat Negative Thinking
Negative thinking habits contribute greatly to depression; they’re a big part of why you may feel depressed and they’re definitely a big part of why you are remaining depressed. Therapy can do a lot to help you fight negative thinking, but you can begin to challenge a pessimistic outlook on your own, by following some of these tips:

  • Speak to yourself as if you were someone else. Would you say the things you say to yourself to your best friend? If not, you’re probably being too nasty to yourself.
  • Spend time with optimistic people. Pay attention to how they react to challenges and try to imitate them when facing your own challenges.
  • Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. You’re allowed to make mistakes and have flaws.
  • Write down negative thoughts. Keep a notebook in which you write down your negative thoughts as they occur to you. When you’re in a better mood, look through the list and try to find ways to re-frame the situation in a more positive light.

Exercise Regularly

It’s a proven fact that regular exercise can boost mood, and it doesn’t even have to be particularly strenuous exercise. Taking the dog for a walk or taking the stairs over the elevator can make a difference. Enjoy the most mood-boosting benefits by:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Choosing rhythmic, continuous activities like walking, yoga or swimming
  • Adding a meditative component to exercise
  • Building fitness slowly over time

Eat a “Happiness” Diet

Eating a healthy diet can have a direct effect on your mood. Avoid sweets and comfort foods, since these can lead to a sugar crash that also leaves you reeling emotionally. Instead:

  • Eat lean meats, fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates
  • Eat regular meals and snacks to prevent blood sugar crashes
  • Take a B-vitamin supplement or eat more leafy greens, citrus fruit, chicken, beans and eggs
  • Add mood-boosting foods like bananas, spinach and brown rice to your daily diet
  • Take a chromium supplement
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including fatty fish like sardines, salmon, lake trout, anchovies, mackerel, albacore tuna and herring — or take fish oil supplements

Keep Pursuing Your Hobbies — Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Most people find that they no longer enjoy the things that once brought them pleasure when they’re feeling depressed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying to do the things you once enjoyed. As you recover from your depression, your ability to enjoy your favorite activities will begin to return.

If there are certain activities that have helped you cope with feelings of depression in the past, you should make time for them. Whether it’s a good book, a funny movie, a hot bath, talking to a friend, baking cookies, playing with a pet or painting a picture, any activity that can improve your mood is one worth making time for.

Depression isn’t easy to beat, but with the right combination of medication, therapy and lifestyle changes, it can be done. Make self-care a priority as you’re recovering from depression, and don’t be afraid to lean on others. You’ll begin feeling more like yourself again before you know it.