At some point of our life depression affects all of us. It is accompanied by anger, frustration or sadness. Unfortunately, such emotions remain for weeks or even months, interfere with daily life and bother people we love. Finding out easy ways to deal with depression is a must for those, who want to forget about trouble concentrating and sleeping. If you are one of them, this is what we suggest.
It’s Time to Move More
When depression shows its first signs, get out of your bed and work out! Exercising is widely recognized as an important tool in the depression fighting process. The latest researches show that exercises are as effective as most medications, yet they are able to relieve all symptoms without making a person experience side effects.
Learn more about depression here: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
Thirty minutes of exercising everyday is the right way to start with. If you feel that it is tough to move from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one at once, start with 10 minutes daily. Find exercises that are rhythmic and continuous. They give the most benefits for health.
Their list includes:
- Weight training;
- Martial arts;
They make both legs and arms move. Some specialists also suggest adding a mindfulness element, if depression is fed by obsessive and negative thoughts or is rooted in traumas that aren’t resolved. It is better to focus on how the body feels when you move: feeling of the wind on skin, sensation of feet hitting the ground or the rhythm of your heart.
Remember that any fatigue is improved, if one sticks with it. It is suggested to exercise, when you’re exhausted or depressed. Physical activity allows being less fatigued.
Use Light Therapy
This method works during short and dark winter days. In this time of the year most people are prone to a depression type, which is called seasonal affective disorder. Easing symptoms with light therapy is simple. Just sit near a bright lit box that can mimic the outdoor light. You can start with short-term daily sessions (15 minutes) and then increase them to 6 hours maximum. The severity of symptoms will dictate the timing and light intensity.
Depression won’t be cured with this simple method, but some symptoms will leave within several days.
Do What Makes You Feel Good
Doing things that you enjoy is a must not only in case of depression. But if you really want to overcome this unpleasant condition, your hobbies can help you a lot. Combine pleasure with leaning and doing other important things like following a healthy lifestyle and learning stress managing techniques, scheduling fun activities and setting certain limits.
It is true that depression will not disappear immediately, yet it will leave gradually. These are the things that you can start with:
- Picking up a former hobby;
- Going in for sports that you used to like;
- Going out with friends;
- Having a trip;
- Visiting the mountains or museums and galleries.
Even when you don’t feel like doing something, you are to start forcing yourself. You will surely fee much better once you are out in the world.
Start Supporting Your Health
How can it be done? There are several recommendations given by professionals in the depression-managing process. Firstly, you are to sleep well. Aim for eight hours of sleep. When you sleep less or more than eight hours, your mood suffers greatly: depression always involves certain sleep problems.
Secondly, learn and practice some easy relaxation techniques as they are effective in relieving symptoms of depression. By the way, they can also reduce stress and boost the feelings of well-being and joy. Try deep breathing, meditation, yoga and progressive muscle relaxation first.
And thirdly, don’t forget to expose yourself to sunlight every day. Do you know that lack of sunlight can make your depression even worse? It doesn’t mean you have to lie in the sun for hours. It’s just that you can have short walks, outdoor meals, chatting in the garden instead of your house.
Try out Acupuncture
This is an alternative therapy that helps some patients, yet not all of them. There are known cases when acupuncture relieved even the most severe cases of depression. The University of Arizona conducted a study with 33 female participants, who suffered from depression. In 64% of cases severe depression forms went into remission after acupuncture.
The Journal of Affective Disorders conducted another study with 70 participants. They all suffered from a major depressive disorder and took antidepressants to get some improvements. Over 60% of them had improvements after acupuncture.
Forget about Negative Thinking
There is no need to see the world in a negative way. Blaming yourself won’t do anything good either. Self-doubt, self-pity and feelings of worthlessness are always reinforced by depression. All inner negative talks must be monitored: all negative ideas are influenced by depression only and they are not the signs of a healthy functioning person.
There’s a technique offered by some specialists. It is believed to be helpful in cases of depression-related negative thinking. Write down all the thoughts that are on your mind right now and hide the list in a drawer. After depression is gone, reread it: all the written ideas will look crazy, funny and foolish, yet not serious. Don’t throw the list away, but write refutations for each of the points. If depression ever comes back, reread the negative thoughts and refutations once again to see how foolish your depressive ideas are.
Choosing Professional Help
Many specialists call this option the last resort. You should decide which of three ways to go. Today there are many different therapists to pick from. Each of them offers different skills. You may have an appointment at psychiatrists, counseling or clinical psychologists.
Psychiatrists use psychotherapy along with tests and scales in their practice. They are consulted only when medications are the only options to be explored. Only psychiatrists are usually allowed to prescribe medications. Lately, in some states psychologists were allowed to write out prescriptions as well.
Counseling psychologists focus on helping people overcome various difficulties that occur in their lives from time to time. They perform therapies that are either long-term or short-term ones. Such therapies are called goal-directed and problem-specific. When you address a counselor, you are asked careful questions and expected to give honest answers. A counselor becomes an objective observer, who helps find out the real problems and ways to get rid of them. He discusses new ideas and thoughts and works with environmental and emotional issues that can be the factors contributing to your depression.
Clinical psychologists are trained professionals, who administer different test for diagnosis confirmation. They mainly focus on psychopathology, mental disorders and behavioral studies.
Turn to Mood-Enhancing Supplements
It is true that most of such supplements are available over the counter, yet still we suggest discussing their use with a specialist. Why? Side effects and health risks are always possible.
There are five popular options that most patients benefit from:
- John’s Wort: 300 mg/three days. First results appear within a week. If they don’t emerge, you can slowly increase the dose to 600 mg/three days. The side effect is the decrease of the birth control pills’ effectiveness;
- 5-HTP: 50-300 mg/three days. It is suggested to start with 50 mg in the morning. The supplement converts into serotonin. When too much of it is administered, a person feels sleepy or has runny stools. The solution is effective in cases of anxiety. If it’s taken as antidepressant, great caution must be used;
- L-Theanine: 100-600 mg/every day. If you feel sleepy after administration, reduce the dose. This element is found in green tea;
- SAMe: 200 mg/twice a day on an empty stomach. The dose must be increased once in every 2 weeks. The maximum dosage is 600 mg. This is one of the most effective antidepressants, yet it’s very expensive. High doses cause insomnia, nausea and agitation;
- Fish oil: 1-3 g/once a day. It’s taken with food.
10-Minute Massages Three Times a Week
A natural mood boost is the first and always-guaranteed result of a 10-minute massage done by a professional. Recent studies showed that a 10-minute massage performed three times a week makes people feel less depressed. Depressed pregnant women should receive 20-minute massages to reduce depression by 70%. Massage is also helpful in reduction of levels of stress hormone called cortisol.
Drink Cold Drinks and Eat Chocolate
It’s not the cold drinks from the market that we talk about. We suggest preparing homemade cold drinks that cool the mind and body. Milkshakes are a perfect choice. They are tasty, cool and help reduce depression. There are so many types of them. Prepare different ones for different parts of the long and stressful day.
What about eating chocolate? It is a proven fact that chocolate helps in dealing with any stress. Dark chocolate is the best option due to exceptional benefits it ensures. These two options can be mixed: make a chocolate shake to ensure better results.
And finally, these are the don’ts of the depression-dealing process:
- Eat not more than usually;
- Ignore junk foods, alcohol, cigarettes and unhealthy foods;
- Don’t get indulged into negative activities;
- Don’t fight/argue when you are stressed.
Dealing with depression is the process that is neither fast nor pleasant, yet it will help learn something new, change your lifestyle and attitude to life.
Article by My Canadian Pharmacy Experts: http://www.mycanadianpharmacyrx.com