Depression is one of the most common things that people face today as life gets more and more fast paced. Little children get depressed due to pressure from their peers and their schoolwork. At times, conditions within their family may cause them to feel miserably depressed. Adolescents get depressed much easier as they are neither children nor are they adults. They often have a tough time trying to identify who they are. As far as adults are concerned, the pace of modern life and the demands of work, family and relationships can take their toll on one’s emotional health. Therefore, if you go through spells of depression, this is nothing to feel ashamed about. There are many effective ways of handling depression, and most of these can be done on your own. However, if you find that your depression is getting worse, it is best to seek professional help. This will not imply that you are weak. Rather, modestly acknowledging when you need help is a sign of inner strength. The following ideas to cope with depression will help you take charge of your feelings, and possibly rule out the necessity for professional help.
How To Cope With Your Depression
- Depression is aggravated if you get too little or too much sleep. Therefore, try to get 8 hours of sleep every day.
- Take a short walk in the sunlight every day. Sunlight is a known mood stimulant and anti-depressant.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, muscle stretching and relaxation. This can help reduce stress and boost feelings of well being.
- Identify things that increase stress and try to avoid them. If these stressors cannot be avoided, plan ahead as to how you will handle them if you come in contact with a stressor.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. Expecting too much out of yourself can often lead to disappointment and depression. Be balanced and modest about your limitations.
- Exercise can go a long way to improve your mood. Take a 10 minute walk each day and see how much your mood improves.
- If you feel that exercises are too boring or strenuous, be creative. Get some good dance tapes and dance to the beat in the privacy of your own room. You will then be able to unleash your pent up energy without having the fear of embarrassing yourself in front of others.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Moods are controlled to a large extent by the foods you eat. Have a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, fruits, protein and vegetables.
- Never skip breakfast and avoid skipping meals.
- Minimize the intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars. These may make you feel better when you have satisfied the craving for them, but will drain you of energy once your body burns them down. Focus, instead, on complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, baked potatoes, bananas and whole grain breads.
- Ensure that you get enough vitamins in your food. Primarily, ensure that you get enough Vitamin B and Vitamin E included in your food as these vitamins balance chemical reactions in the brain that control moods.
- Foods rich in omega-3 fats will boost your feeling of well-being and make you feel much better. You can get omega-3 fats from fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines. Other foods include walnuts, flax, soybeans and tofu.
- Spend time in volunteer work. Helping the underprivileged is a great way to get your feelings in perspective. As you get to know the problems of others, you will be able to handle your own feelings better.
- Write down your feelings if you are unable to talk them out with others. Sharing feelings is the first step in the healing process, and writing them down is said to ease the pain up to 50%.