by Marine Mom
Here are some additional ways to lessen the effects of Depression.
|I've noticed that there are a lot of you searching ways to fight depression. Also, there are family members who want to learn more about depression and what they can do to help. I’ve come across a few more things I’d like to share with you about fighting depression.
1. Keep some regularity in your life.
Organize your activities so they can come at expected and regular times. If your weekly, daily or monthly routine is set then your body has time to get used to the activities. This will lead to a reduced chance for depression to set in.
Do not push yourself beyond your limits. Keep stress in check and try to avoid stressors if you can. If this can't be done, then try to deal with the stressors in a manner that minimizes the damage it causes.
2. Move! Move! Move!
Exercise produces endorphins in your body which help you to “feel good” and work out the stress that may be a contributing factor. The problem I sometimes have is I’m too depressed to exercise. One excuse is as good as another when you just don’t want to exercise. Forcing yourself is one answer. You will thank yourself once you do so. Exercising with a friend is another answer.
Even if only for 30 min at a time, three days a week, a good workout will increase happiness inducing endorphins while burning the stress hormone cortisol which is associated with depression. If you do not feel motivated, or dislike exercising at first, keep doing it for long enough and you will definitely begin to see benefits within 3 – 6 weeks.
3. Make some new friends.
Somehow, reach out to someone. Join a support group. Join a community website that supports that hobby of yours. Visit a friend. They may need the visit as badly as you do.
4. Keep a Journal.
If you are worried that someone will read your writing, keep it in a safe place. If you want someone to read your writing, join a writing website (www.writing.com) which allows you to house all of your of writing, plus get tips on how to improve your writing.
5. Stop trying to be perfect!
I was watching “Stephan Hawking’s Universe.” On PBS and discovered that the Universe is NOT perfect. It is the imperfections that created the Universe, without them there would be no Universe.
“Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”
By: Stephen Hawking during his PBS program “Stephan Hawking’s Universe.”
6. Learn to say no.
A good way to avoid unnecessary stress is by doing what needs to be done first and looking after your own needs. Be careful not to allow others to overload you with their responsibilities. No is important to learn. So is helping others at the EXPENSE of yourself.
7. Take Baby Steps
You can do this by setting realistic goals and responsibilities. It is important to have a plan of action and to start taking responsibility for your own future, but know your limits and set your goals within reason. Small steps taken consistently are better than big steps which cause you to burn out.
8. Change your Self-Talk
I have a saying: “What you say is what you get!” Try and change those negative thoughts into neutral or positive thoughts. Remember that this will take time, and may be difficult at first, but it can also be life-changing. By repeating a thought, or something you keep saying, you give energy to it. The more energy you give to it, the bigger it grows. Which would you prefer to send energy to: “I am so fat” or “I’m learning to live a healthy lifestyle?”
9. Change your Routines
While your symptoms of depression may make you feel like crawling into bed or existing in your pajamas and slippers all day, make a decision everyday to get up, get dressed and do something. Simply cleaning your room, going for a scenic drive or doing something creative can be uplifting and help break a bad cycle. I made myself a daily to do list which includes things like eat, get dressed, open the blinds, brush teeth, etc. Believe me when you are depressed, you need a list like that. It can help force you to do the things you should be doing normally.
10. Return to nature.
One of the best ways to re-energize and uplift your spirit is to get in touch with nature. Go for a walk in the forest, a picnic in the park or a simply sit on the beach and watch a sunset. Another suggestion is to start a rose or vegetable garden. Start, even if you start with one item.
11. Learn to let others help you.
Don’t turn down a helping hand or a comforting hug. When depression hits, you may feel like pushing people away, but this is the time you need love and affection the most. Pets are also a great source of love and comfort! Plus, they get you up in the morning to be fed. Fix something for you while you’re at it.
12. Make a change.
Change is often very invigorating and refreshing. Aim to change your life-style to a healthier one, change your negative attitude towards life, and change your job if you know that your current work makes you miserable. It need not even be a drastic change. Simply re-arranging furniture or giving a touch of paint to a dull room can go a long way to uplifting your mood – better yet, it will keep you busy.
13. Read all about it.
There are many books which are very helpful in learning how to manage depression. These include books written by experts in the field – as well as books published by ordinary people with a useful or uplifting contribution to share.
Reading other books is another good idea. It takes you away from your troubles and entertains you as well.
14. Have fun every day.
Nothing takes the load off of depression like some good old fun time. Social activities such as chatting, joining a support group sports, and other hobbies can do wonders towards healing a stressed out and busy mind.
15. Get enough sleep
Studies show that up to 40 per cent of adults do not get the proper amount of sleep per day and among students, up to 71 per cent complain of sleep disorders and lack of sleep.
Sleep is essential to a person's health. During sleep, the body repairs itself and reorganizes thought. Lack of sleep contributes to a lack of coherence in brain waves. This scenario often leads to depression. Sleeping during the day and staying up late also interferes with the body's natural rhythms. This can lead to a sense of depression.
16. Learn to eat what you like in MODERATION.
Learn which foods are your triggers for overeating or binging. DON’T BUY THESE ITEMS! Work with yourself, not against you. Your doctor can prescribe medication that will control your cravings and binges or purges. These are serious behaviors which can ultimately lead to an early death.
Start by keeping track of your calorie intake for a week. At the end of the week go over the log and see where your calorie intake was extremely high. See what you could have done without, or have in a smaller portion. Reduce your calorie intake, and you WILL lose weight. Your body only needs a certain amount of calories; the rest goes straight to your hips, stomach, buttocks and other unlikely places.
A poor diet depletes energy levels and a deficiency in certain nutrients (e.g. iron) can result in fatigue and increase feelings of depression. Ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, and explore serotonin uplifting foods such as oats, turkey, milk, pasta and other carbohydrate-rich foods.
If you are one of those people who just can’t eat, FORCE Yourself. Just a slice of toast in the morning can constitute breakfast. (This also applies to you guys who skip breakfast) I love raisin bread, hence a perfect breakfast for me and a great start for the day. Your body needs fuel and it’s your job to provide it.
NOTE: Please talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss or weight gain program.