Dealing With Depression: The Basics

Dealing with depression is simply no fun. But there are some basic things that you can do to help you feel a little better. They won’t solve your problems or make you magically feel motivated. But they’ll help you take care of your body and get those natural happy chemicals (endorphins) to fill your body.

Dealing With Depression: Symptoms

But first, how do you know if you’re dealing with depression? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, you may have depression if you experience these symptoms:

  • Feeling sad or “empty”
  • Hopelessness, helplessness, and negativity
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Feeling tired and having sleep problems
  • Difficulty making decisions and concentrating
  • Low appetite or overeating
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

If you’re feeling those symptoms, a therapist will be able to help you find more help and resources, but if you’re nervous about going to see a therapist, you still have options. You could set up a Skype or phone appointment with a therapist as well. So if dealing with depression is making it hard for you to get out of bed, you can talk to your therapist in the comfort of your own home. The National Network of Depression Centers also keeps a list of online resources that could be helpful.

Dealing With Depression: Tips

When you go to a therapist, they will help you work through the things that contribute to your depression. They might try to help you figure out what’s at the root of your depression. They may help you realize it’s genetic and that you should try taking medication. Or they may give you coping skills, such as things you can do when the depression arises.

But no matter what approach the therapist takes, they’ll probably suggest you take care of your health, which will help you feel just a bit better and more able to function.

Eat Better

When we are eating poorly, we won’t feel great. And when you’re dealing with depression, you’re already not feeling so great. So one thing you can do to help your mood is to eat good foods. Try to cut down on super sugary foods, things high in carbs, and do your best to eat balanced meals. Instead of snacking on chips, try some fruits and veggies. Eating healthy is just a small way you can improve how you feel.

Make Sure You’re Sleeping Enough

When you’re dealing with depression, you’re probably also dealing with sleep problems. Maybe you’re sleeping too much or too little. Maybe your sleep is restless. But sleeping the right amount will actually help you feel more emotionally stable and help manage your irritability. Start by creating a schedule for your sleep. Try to shoot for 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Make sure you don’t eat or drink caffeine a few hours before bed, and then try to go to sleep and wake up each morning around the same time. Doing this will take a while to get used to, but your body will adjust to the schedule.

Exercise

If you’re looking for a quicker fix, exercise might be the key to dealing with depression. Though it might be a chore to get out of bed, into exercise clothes, and leave the house, you’ll eventually be glad you did. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which is a chemical that makes us “feel good.” That will give you a boost of energy and help you feel better.

To get more understanding about dealing with depression, watch this video called, “I had a blag dog, his name was depression” from the World Health Organization.

If you’re looking for more ways to help you deal with depression, the National Institute of Mental Health also gives great explanations about medication and other therapies that can be helpful for someone dealing with depression.

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