Self-care strategies for dealing with depression

Depression is considered a mood disorder, an experience of sad feelings which change the way you live your life.

If you are depressed, you may have five or more of these symptoms, lasting over two weeks:

  • Feel in a low mood during most of the day, especially in the morning
  • Are tired, fatigued or have zero energy
  • Think often about death or suicide
  • Feel guilty
  • Have lost or put on weight
  • Can’t focus, make decisions or remember details
  • Can’t sleep or nap too much
  • Take no pleasure in any activities

Here are some great self-care tips to help you deal with depression at home.

Diet

One of the key things to consider is eating a healthy diet and cutting down on alcohol.

While even the healthiest of food doesn’t fight depression, specific nutrients can treat and prevent depression. 

Twelve of the nutrients we regularly find within foods can actually make a huge difference in your wellbeing. A great article explaining all about the foods that fight depression has been compiled by online counselling company, BetterHelp.

Exercise

If you’re depressed you can feel lethargic and lack the motivation to do anything at all, especially exercise.

But did you know that regular activity can boost your mood and therefore, your mindset? Keeping fit is great for mild to moderate depression.

But you should look to find something that you enjoy or it will be hard to maintain. Consider a team sport with the added bonus of meeting new friends.

If you don’t fancy meeting up with others just yet, you could try walking at a slightly increased pace or going for a jog by yourself.

Sufferers should be looking to complete around 150 minutes of exercise a week, where the heart rate is increased.

Meet people

If you are depressed, you can feel incredibly lonely. So it’s a good idea to get out into the world to meet new people and connect old friendships.

Try chatting with a friend whose company you enjoy. See a movie, go for coffee or attend a concert.

If you struggle to make friends, what about volunteering in the community? Does the local church need helpers at their summer fair? Could you pour cups of coffee for old people at the local community centre?

Doing these types of things is not only rewarding but will help you become known in the community, enabling you to make more friends and feel more comfortable in social surroundings.

A support group for people managing depression is a good option to make friends as everyone knows what you are experiencing.

Have a routine

Routines can be incorporated seamlessly into your daily life on a personal level, a relationship level, and/or a professional level.

When people feel down, they often suffer with poor sleep and end up staying up late and sleeping in the day to catch up with themselves.

If you try to get up at a normal time and stick to a simple routine, where you can, you will benefit.

It could be simple things like going to bed at the same time each day, eating meals at set time and having an activity to do each afternoon or evening.

Not having a routine can also affect your eating and cause mayhem with your body clock. Try to carry on cooking and eating regular meals.

Simple ideas like cutting down on caffeine after midday, and not eating after 7pm can also really help with the quality of sleep that you have each night.

Remember that there is no instant cure for depression. You’ll have low days and good days along the way. 

Try to follow the tips and with time, you’ll get back to feeling your usual best.

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