Depression is one of the nastiest chronic illnesses that people have to tackle. Even if you’ve been to your doctor and been prescribed medication and you’re attending regular therapy sessions, there are still plenty of things that you need to keep up on the side to ensure that you stay happy and healthy. In addition to prescribed medication, there is three way that you can try alongside to help you feel happy and healthy: getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and visiting you family and friends for support.
Get Plenty Of Sleep to Fight Depression
First and foremost, it’s important to try and be as well rested as possible. Insomnia and difficulty sleeping patterns can be a symptom of depression, but it’s important to try to get as much sleep as you can. Seven and a half to eight hours of sleep are what the average adult needs each night, so make sure that you aren’t staying up too late. If you feel as though you haven’t got as much done as you’d like to, remember to consider the following day: it’s a fresh start which will be made much more difficult if you haven’t slept as much as you should have, so try to get to bed on time to refresh yourself and rejuvenate your mind. If your bed isn’t as comfortable as you’d like it to be, why not invest in new pillows and bedding? Cotton will stay cool and fresh all night long during the summer. A white noise machine can also help to soothe you to sleep, and if you’re still having problems, a sprinkle of lavender oil on your pillow and your wrists may also help.
Focus On Nutrition to Fight Depression
When you’re suffering from depression, it can be hard to make yourself do anything at all, let alone spend hours preparing healthy meals every evening. Not everyone is capable of making a meal from scratch using fresh foods every night, so a lot of healthy food advice feels redundant for people who are suffering from depression, but if not, check out these 8 foods that fight depression. If that’s the case for you, try to change your diet just a little every day – if you’re having problems making yourself eat breakfast, remember that you don’t have to serve yourself up a feast every morning. A store-bought smoothie is totally acceptable, and a piece of toast with peanut butter and a banana is easy to make and will make you feel a lot more energetic. Likewise, oatmeal with fresh berries doesn’t take long to cook, tastes good, and will give you a full stomach to get you through the morning. Dinner doesn’t have to be a huge chore – cut yourself some slack and remember that it’s okay to get take out sometimes, it’s fine to get pre-prepared or frozen vegetables, and jarred sauces won’t be too bad for you. Pasta with jarred tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and frozen peas is totally fine for dinner and easy to make. Cut yourself some slack – if you’re not feeling great, remember that all you need to do is ensure that your meals cover the food groups and that you are actually eating enough.
Consider Your Fitness to Fight Depression
If you’ve been suffering from depression, your fitness may also have suffered. It can be hard to make yourself get off the couch when you don’t want to move and you’re feeling extremely tired, but remember that it will make you feel happier in the short term and the long run. In the short term, exercising will flood your body with endorphin’s, or happy hormones. In the long run, you’ll be pleased with yourself as your body feels stronger and fitter. Remember that you don’t have to go to the gym every day to stay in shape. Walking around your block and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air is enough for one day, and doing a 20-minute yoga YouTube video on your living room floor is also a great way to stay healthy. It doesn’t have to take long or be a lot of work to improve your fitness and your outlook on your body.
Get Out Of The House to Fight Depression
If you’re suffering from depression, you might want to wrap yourself up in a blanket, park yourself on your couch, and keep the rest of the world out. However, this isn’t the best way to tackle your illness. If possible, go out when you’re feeling up to it – see your friends, go to your local farmer’s market, make sure you walk your dog as often as he or she needs it, and take in local galleries and exhibitions. Most of the time, the hardest part is convincing yourself to leave your house, and you will absolutely feel better for having gone out. Socializing isn’t always easy, but it might just help to take your mind off your depression for a while, and it’s important to make an effort to maintain your friendships and to show your friends that you care about them. Having a good support network will help you fight your depression.
Cut Yourself Some Slack Sometimes…
Finally, it’s important to remember that depression is like any other illness – sometimes you will simply not be up to things, whether that’s going to the gym or going to a big party. It’s okay to cut yourself some slack sometimes and do what is healthiest for you – if you’re dreading going to a busy restaurant with some friends, why not invite them for a quiet movie night at your place instead? Amend activities to make them easier on yourself – go for brunch instead of a long and expensive night out, and remember that it’s okay to take a sick day off work every once in a while when your mental health isn’t in a good place. Treat yourself kindly, and take care of yourself.
Above all, remember that none of these are substitutions for medical treatment. Try them alongside your prescribed medication and therapy and they’ll be sure to help you feel better.