Depression by definition is a mood disorder in which intense feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer. It can drain your energy, be incredibly self-defeating, suck up your motivation and leave you wondering how on earth you’re going to make it through the day. If you’re feeling this way, you’re far from alone. An estimated 19 million adults are living with depression in the United States today. While it may not be possible to beat your depression into submission through grit and willpower alone, there are plenty of things we can do to make our symptoms less severe.
Often the most difficult thing for people with depression to do initially is to get actively involved in their own recovery. This is understandable because the condition in and of itself makes taking action quite difficult, especially when you’re in a depressive state. First things first, start small. Give yourself small, achievable goals each day and reward yourself when you accomplish them. This could be going for a walk, reaching out to a loved one, anything that will help you to feel better, even if it’s only for a short while. The more of these simple goals you accomplish, the better you’ll feel and the more inclined you’ll be to go after some larger ones like what we’re about to outline below.
Tip # 1- Cultivate Supportive Relationships
No matter how tempting, it’s imperative that individuals with depression resist the urge to isolate themselves. It’s just not reasonable to think that we can maintain the proper perspective that’s necessary to overcome the illness on our own. Keep up with your social activities even when you don’t want to. While retreating into ourselves may seem more comfortable, it’s counterproductive. Being around other people makes you feel less depressed, simple as that.
Tip # 2- Take Care of Yourself
As often in life, it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference! Sleep troubles, whether it’s too much or too little are commonplace with depression. Try and aim for around eight hours a night and get on a healthier sleep schedule. Learn to better manage your stress levels by practicing relaxation techniques. Whether it’s yoga, deep breathing exercises or meditation, relaxation techniques can serve as a great boost to battling depression.
Tip # 3- Get Regular Exercise
While it may be difficult to build up the muster to want to exercise when feeling depressed, push yourself to do it as studies consistently show that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in terms of increasing energy and decreasing fatigue.
While these tips are not intended to replace seeking professional treatment for your depression, they can do a formidable job at lessening the severity of your symptoms and reinvigorating your life.
Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a Joint Commission accredited addiction treatment facility in Florida for women. Everyday we see women walk through our doors whose untreated depression prompted them to start abusing drugs and alcohol in an attempt to cope with their symptoms. Substance abuse is never the answer. In fact, it has an uncanny way of making everything worse. If you or a loved one has begun abusing drugs and alcohol as a result of your depression, please contact us immediately. It would be our honor to help you remember the brighter side of life.