Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental illnesses in modern society. They can be debilitating and make it difficult to get out of bed, or even go to work. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can deal with depression on your own with a little bit of effort. In this blog post, we will discuss some strategies that have helped people manage depression and anxiety so they could feel better again!
Strategy # 1: Get Enough Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body and mind will start to feel exhausted which can make it worse for anxiety and depression. It’s best to go to bed at the same time every night as well as wake up at the same time each morning so that your circadian rhythm is on track. If you don’t think you can get to bed at the same time every night, try not sleeping in on weekends so your mind and body are used to getting up early again!
Strategy #2: Exercise Daily
Studies have shown that people who work out or walk for an hour each day were less likely to feel depressed than those who did not exercise at all. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins which make you feel better and happier!
Exercise is so important for mental health! Not only does it release dopamine in the brain, but it is also shown to help with sleep and reduce stress. Even just walking can be helpful and try getting a good pair of shoes if you don’t already have them!
Strategy #3: Socialize with Friends or Family as Much as Possible
Getting together for lunch, going on a picnic in the park, or even just talking online can help ease your depression because it makes you feel less lonely.
Strategy #4: Think Positive Thoughts and Avoid Negative Ones as Much as Possible
If you focus on the negatives in your life, this will just make it worse for depression and anxiety to take hold of your mind! Try not to dwell on past mistakes or what went wrong each day and think about the good things that happened and how they made you feel.
Strategy #5: Reducing or Avoiding Caffeine Can Help With Depression and Anxiety
Caffeine is a diuretic which means it makes you urinate more than normal, thus taking away important nutrients from your body such as potassium! If you are having trouble sleeping at night, try not drinking caffeine after lunchtime.
Strategy #6: Eat a Healthy Diet That Consists of Lots of Whole Grains and Vegetables
If you eat junk food all the time, it can make your depression worse because those foods are high in sugar which causes mood swings! Try to eat a well-balanced meal that is high in fiber to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Load up on more fresh fruits and veggies to boost your immunity and health too!
Strategy #7: Avoid Drugs and Alcohol if You Are Depressed or Anxious
They only make things worse! Using substances such as weed, cocaine, beer/alcohol can actually cause depression later down the road due to changes in the brain! If you want to get better, it’s best to avoid drugs and alcohol completely.
Strategy #8: Avoid Negative People Who Bring You Down
So-called “friends” or family members that put you down or make fun of your depression won’t help things at all and they’ll only make your depression worse! Try to surround yourself with positive people who are supportive.
Strategy #9: Make a Gratitude List Each Night Before Bed
Take time at the end of each day to write down five things you are grateful for in life and they can be materialistic or non-materialistic, it doesn’t matter! Doing this can make you feel better because it reminds you of the good things in life.
Strategy #10: Keep a Journal
Writing out your thoughts and feelings can help release stress, which is one of the biggest factors behind depression. Try writing three pages each night before bed or even just whenever you have some downtime and writing down your thoughts can help you get through your depression.
Strategy #11: Talk to Someone
If you think nobody understands what it’s like for you, or even if they do understand but just don’t know how to comfort you then you’re wrong! There are so many people out there who want to listen and will hug you when you cry. Try reaching out to a friend or family member, your doctor/therapist/psychiatrist, or even an online support group if you feel comfortable remember that there are many people who want to help!
Strategy #12: Create a Positive Environment
Surrounding yourself with positivity can be hard if you just moved into a new place or are living with people who make it difficult, but making small changes can help! Try keeping your work desk clean and orderly, placing inspirational quotes where you’ll see them every day (eg. on the fridge), having fresh flowers in your room, or whatever makes you happy!
Strategy #13: Find a Support Group
Having people who understand what you’re going through and have been in your shoes before can be very comforting. Support groups are often free or low-cost, so try looking into them if you don’t already know of one.
Strategy #14: Try Meditation
Meditation is an amazing way to reduce stress, anxiety, depression. It’s even been shown to physically enlarge the part of your brain that determines memory and emotional responses! Try using an app like Headspace or Insight Timer which can help guide you through different types of meditation.
You are not alone in this battle. Don’t lose hope if one method doesn’t work for you because there is always something out there that can help, so keep trying different things until you figure out what works best for you! Hang in there and things will get better soon. Just take small steps to improve your circumstances every day, and over time this will build up and bring you out of your rut.