Reclaim Your Life: Tips On Managing Depression
People all over the world suffer from depression in varying levels of severity. But is it possible to manage your low mental health and recover from depression? Academic studies and anecdotal evidence both show that people can indeed learn how to manage their depression, leading happy lives and thriving in their personal lives and careers.
If you have suffered with depression at any point in your life, you already know that it is a hard state to ‘bounce’ back from. Depression can manifest in many different ways, including an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and a lack of motivation. It is this precise hopelessness that often makes it difficult to reach out for the support and help that you need to get your mental health back on track.
Despite how you might feel while in the throes of a depressive episode, it is important to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is possible to have a happy and healthy life even if you suffer from depressive periods. Part of the solution is seeking new ways to practice self-care.
How to manage depression
Different people experience depression in different ways, and to different levels of severity. For some people, it saps them of their very will to live, while for others it manifests as physical symptoms, including sleeplessness and fluctuations in weight.
See your doctor
The most important thing to do when you are trying to manage depression is to book an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to assess you on their own or refer you to a specialist, ensuring that you get the medical attention that you need. They might also prescribe specific medications, usually SSRIs, in order to help you get your mood under control.
If you are ever experiencing any thoughts of suicide or self-harm, call 911.
See a counselor
Your doctor might recommend that you see a counselor so that you can speak with them about your thoughts and moods. Talk therapy has shown to be beneficial for many people suffering with depression, as has Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a method of talk therapy that changes unhelpful and disordered cognitive patterns by challenging them, and works to regulate emotions.
Improve your diet
While it can be hard to improve your diet while you are in a depressive state, science shows that healthier foods can improve your mood. Focus on eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and plenty of lean protein. On the other hand, avoid eating too many fried foods, limit your sugar intake, and give alcohol a miss.
Lean on your friends and family
Studies have shown that social support can make a big difference when it comes to improving mental health. While depression can make you feel like you are all alone in the world, confiding in a close friend or family member can really improve your odds of recovering fully.
Associate Professor Mercedes Bern-Klug at the University of Iowa states, “formerly depressed adults who had emotionally supportive and close relationships were four times more likely to report complete mental health than those without such relationships. Having at least one trusted friend was critical to cultivating complete mental health.”
The last thing you want to do when you are experiencing depression is get active and engage in physical activity. That said, physical exercise is proven to improve your mood and give you a much-needed boost of endorphins. Start small – even just a short walk will really help.
Last but not least, practice self care
While you’re in the midst of a depressive episode you can start to neglect your mind and body. Don’t underestimate the importance of meditation, relaxation, and physical comfort when you are trying to recover from poor mental health and low mood. Book a soothing and relaxing massage at a local spa, take a long bath, and treat yourself to a few body care cosmetics.
Depression isn’t a life sentence
While a depressive episode can feel like it’s the end of the world and everything is hopeless, you can make a full recovery and lead a happy and healthy life. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and things will get better.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.