Depression. It’s not a word that is much of a secret anymore. You hear it thrown around social media or magazines, and you hear all about it when it comes to Mental Health Week. The media make it look beautiful and sad, delicate – like glass. The thing is, it’s those who suffer from depression that know it for what it is – crushing. Difficult. Challenging. Scary. All of the words that make you feel out of control and worried surround depression, and it’s something that can be so debilitating. It can stop you from feeling any form of happiness, and even when you can’t figure out the source of your depression, it’s still there. It still hangs over your head like a fog that won’t go.
Depression stops you from living. It can stop you from leaving your house, and it can fuel anxiety. It can make you feel physical symptoms, to the point that when you decide to go ahead and get some help, you use an online doctor service because the idea of leaving the house and having to face people is just too hard to bear. It’s not just like feeling sad when you miss the bus. It’s a horrible, crushing sadness that you can’t identify or understand. Hope is nowhere to be found, and everything feels like a chore.
Fixing depression is not easy, it is not straightforward, and there is an excellent chance that your depression cannot be fixed at all. However, there are things that you can to alleviate the pressure of depression symptoms. It won’t be easy, of course, but it is worth trying anything to move away from the fog and embrace living a little – at least once. Let’s take a look.
- Give Yourself Time
The first thing that you have to do if you want to help your symptoms of depression is, I’m sorry to say, have a little patience. Your mental state is not as it should be. People say it’s okay not to be okay, well it’s not. You deserve to be okay. You SHOULD be okay. But your brain isn’t balanced that way. Would you be angry with yourself if you broke a leg? Would you be frustrated that your broken leg wouldn’t bear your weight? Of course, you wouldn’t. You would watch your broken leg, and you would wait patiently before carrying weight on it again. Your brain is no different; it needs time to heal, is all. And you need to give yourself time.
- Add-In Some Distractions
Distraction is such a good idea. Overthinking is your worst enemy when you are feeling depressed, and your thoughts can be your downfall. You can’t control the thoughts all the time; it’s exhausting. So, you want to control other things. Get a dog to force yourself out of the house and on walks – the fresh air can change your life. Read a book and dive into the thoughts of someone else. Do whatever it takes to get your mind off your fear and your sadness.
- Light It Up
SAD – seasonal affective disorder – is a condition whereby you feel a low mood when the winter months draw in, and the sunlight is weak and goes away for most of the time. Investing in a sunlamp can help you to alleviate a dark mood, and it can stem irritability, fatigue and even loss of libido.
- CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the most useful tools that you could use when it comes to counteracting your depression. Appointments with a therapist who can teach you tools to redirect your thoughts and avoid your triggers can help. It’s worth looking into if you have the courage to go.
- Keep A Diary
It can help to let your thoughts come out, and when you don’t want to tell a friend or family member what you’re thinking, a diary can be an excellent therapy tool. It’s an outlet for your emotions, the things you don’t want to say out loud but the things you need to get out. Not only can you use it for the thoughts that make you sad, but you can use it as a way to write down the things that make you happy, too.
- Practice Being Mindful
Depression can numb the mind. It can make you put your sad thoughts and unhappy feelings in a cycle in your head with no room for happiness. Practice engaging your emotions and your worries. Focus on your senses and how things look, smell, taste and touch. Think about how your mind can work without the pain and focus on that.
7. Dance It Out
Movement is wonderful. Getting the body moving can release happy hormones that make you feel like smiling. Playfully alter brain chemistry by ramping up the music and dancing like crazy.
8. See People
Connecting with friends and family that you pushed away when your depression was diagnosed is hard, even scary. It’s probably the toughest thing to do. However, you need to go and see people. We all need human connection, and it’s perhaps the most critical part of the process of healing while dealing with depression.
Depression is exhausting, but insomnia is a common issue. Speaking to a doctor about your lack of sleep is essential, as healthy sleep can improve your wellbeing. There are plenty of studies to show that a lack of sleep affects your moods and your happiness, so don’t let it. Get some sleep.
Lightening your emotional load can help you to combat the feelings of depression. When you choose to forgive someone, you do not forgive them for them. It’s not about their happiness or growth, but it’s about you and how it makes you feel. Forgiving those who have hurt you is about you – not them. It allows you to let go of a grudge and drops the grief so that it no longer affects your heart.
11. Touch Therapy
They say when we hug people, oxytocin is released to make us feel happy and light. When you are massaged, sitting through reiki or even acupuncture, you are being touched, and this human touch can mean so much when the depression has made you shrink within yourself. Use contact to help you to feel something bigger than yourself. It can take time, but it will eventually help you to want to be around people.
12. Balance Your Diet
Eating a balanced diet can make a big difference to your health in general, but depression is no different here! You can feel great and balance out the suicidal thoughts, sadness, cardiovascular health and your general wellbeing, too. Balancing your diet also means that you are doing something to proactively help your health, which can make you feel positive about your depression outlook. Take the time to learn how you can eat better foods for brain health, and you’ll be doing more activity with your health.
13. Let Go Of Negative Talk
How many times have you told yourself that you’re not good enough? How many ways have you said that you aren’t doing enough for other people? That negative self-talk is going to be one of the best ways to continue to feel low about yourself. Sometimes, it can’t be helped, and you don’t intend to think bad things about yourself. Don’t take these thoughts seriously and try any number of the twelve techniques above to help.