If you’ve got that depression fog hanging over your head, it can feel almost impossible to break away.
And while therapy and medication are great methods to treat this illness, there are many other things that you can do on your own to fight back.
Changing behaviors and making lifestyle adjustments are great natural ways to help boost the effectiveness of your treatment. In fact, these changes could have long-term benefits that last a lifetime!
Check out these simple — yet effective — ways to help break the cycle of depression.
Keep a Routine
When you suffer from depression, it can start to feel like one day just melts into the next. You can often start to lose track of time as depression strips away the organization from your life.
The structure of a routine can help get you back on track. It doesn’t need to be jam-packed with activities; just a gentle daily schedule that you can adhere to on a daily basis is a good start. Include even the smallest basics that depression can make difficult, like eating regular meals, brushing your teeth, and washing your face.
Get Up and Move
Have you ever noticed that you feel better after you get up and move? It’s not just your imagination — it’s been scientifically proven!
Research shows that exercise actually boosts endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain. And in fact, some studies suggest that it might even encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways, providing long-term benefits.
Even if you’re not a marathon runner or a big fan of the gym, you’ll be happy to know that it doesn’t need to be a high-impact workout. Just a walk around the neighborhood a few times a week will do the trick, too.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Don’t you wish there was a magical diet that fixed depression? Unfortunately, that’s not a possibility. However, it’s important to remember that our diets affect many other aspects of our well-being, and that’s no different when you’re dealing with depression.
Start eating a healthy diet, and stick with it. Eating foods that are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, protein, and fatty acids is a big part of keeping your brain in working order. Plus, taking care of your body will probably make you feel better about yourself, too.
Get Enough Sleep
Depression is notorious for affecting sleep cycles, so this one can be tough. Even still, it’s really important to make sure that you’re getting adequate sleep.
Start by making a few lifestyle changes. Try not to nap too late in the day, and stick to a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
Plus, you’ll need to get rid of any screens — TVs, computers, and even phones included. The blue light emitted by these devices can disrupt the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle.
Set Attainable Goals for Yourself
If your depression makes you feel like you can’t accomplish anything, try setting daily goals for yourself. And, if you’re a list person, writing them down means you get the pleasure of marking them off!
Just make sure that you’re setting goals that are attainable. If your goals are too lofty and unachievable, this could backfire and end up making you feel worse. Instead, start small with things you can definitely succeed at, like folding that laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer.