Depression can be exhausting, it leaves you feeling draining, destroys your hope and its different from feeling just unhappy. Which is why overcoming depression isn’t easy. But while overcoming depression isn’t easy, it’s definitely not impossible. Depression isn’t the same as feeling unhappy, you’re not able to just “snap out of it” however you do have some control over it even if you are severely depressed. The key to overcoming depression is to start small and build up from there. It may take a while to do, overcoming depression isn’t something that can be done overnight but if you make the right choices for yourself day by day you will get there.
Overcoming Depression: The road to recovery
Overcoming depression requires you to take action, but as you may already know taking action when you’re depressed isn’t easy. Even just thinking about the things you need to do to make yourself feel better, can be draining. It’s the main problem with overcoming depression, The things that help you the most, are the things that you can find the most difficult. However, the difference is, something that may be difficult isn’t necessarily impossible.
Stay focused and start off small
The key to overcoming depression is to start off with small achievable targets and as you become more comfortable slowly start to build from there. Use whatever resources you have at your disposal, You may not have enough energy to do big tasks right away, but you probably have enough to take a short walk to get some alone time or even pick up the phone to call someone.
Take things slowly, day by day and don’t forget to reward yourself for each achievement. These steps might seem small, but they add up quickly, and for all the energy you put into overcoming depression, you’ll get a lot more in return.
Overcoming Depression: Self-Help Tips
A depressed mind tends to think about all that is wrong and what worries us over and over, and unnecessarily goes over all the negative possibilities that life has to offer us. Depression tends to put a negative spin on everything. This negative cycle reinforces it and is not at all helpful with overcoming depression. Mindfulness is more than just thinking positive, it involves focusing on the present moment and changing your relationship towards negative thoughts and feelings you may have. Practice using things to engage your senses in the moment, like meditation and breathing exercises. Focus on things like touch, sight, sound and smell to engage your senses and leave yourself less time to worry.
It takes practice but using mindfulness techniques will allow you to avoid being swept up by the negative thoughts and feelings that feed towards your depression. It can have a positive effect to help you achieve more balanced thoughts to prevent a relapse during recovery or reduce your chance of having depressive episodes.
Finding the support you need is a big part of overcoming depression. When you’re on your own, it can be hard to keep up with the effort you need to beat depression. but one of the hard parts about depression is how it makes it even harder to reach out for help. This is a catch-22 of depression, being alone and isolated can cause depression to get worse, However building close relationships and developing strong support systems can help break that and really help with overcoming depression.
When suffering from depression the idea of reaching out can feel overwhelming. sometimes you might just feel too tired to talk, or embarrassed or even guilty for not speaking to people for a while. Try to remember that it isn’t necessarily you, but the depression making you feel that way. Reaching out for support doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you a burden and it definitely doesn’t make you any less of a person. The people who love you will be happy to lend you their support and remember, you can always afford to improve your support network and build new relationships.
Support Systems that help with overcoming depression:
- Join a support group. We can’t stress this enough but, being with others who are overcoming depression can be a massive help in getting rid of the feeling that you’re alone. You can share you experiences with each other, share advice on how to cope and encourage each other on your journey to beat your depression.
- Understand you’re not alone. Support groups are one thing but there are many sufferers out there willing to share their stories with you. These can be a great motivation for overcoming depression, there are countless books written by depression sufferers out there who’s story can spur you to beat your depression. You can find some great books here.
- Be with those who make you feel loved and cared for. Spend some time being face-to-face with people you trust and let them know how you’ve been feeling. try to talk to someone who is a good listener, they don’t have to able to fix you, just like being in a support group having someone who will listen to you can really help when you’re overcoming depression.
- Try social activities. when you’re depressed the idea of keeping up with social activities can feel daunting and you may feel more comfortable alone. It may be hard to do but being around other people can actually help you feel less depressed. try and keep up with social activities especially with positive people, this will really help you challenge your negative thinking and help give you a positive insight to situations.
Tips how to reach out and create supportive relationships
- – Try and help others by doing volunteering work.
- – Have lunch with someone.
- – Schedule a weekly arrangement like a dinner date.
- – Talk to someone about your feelings.
- – Go on a walk with a friend.
- – Go to the movies with someone, or if you feel like it try a small gathering.
- – Check in with someone you care about regularly.
- – Meet people by joining a club/society or taking classes.
- – Try contacting an old friend.
When you are overcoming depression, even little tasks like getting out of bed can seem difficult, never mind the thought of exercising. But although it may seem daunting, exercise is a great way to help with overcoming depression. A quick mention, studies have shown that regular exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants when it comes to decreasing your feelings of fatigue and increasing your energy levels.
It has been suggested that physical activity/exercise can trigger new cell growth in the brain, to help reduce stress, relieve muscle tension, increase endorphin’s and help build mood-enhancing neurotransmitters to help build a natural immunity towards those negative feelings. All things that can have a positive impact when you are overcoming depression.
Although most of the benefits come from exercising 30 minutes or more a day, that doesn’t mean you can’t start off small and still receive some of the benefits.Even with short, 10-minute bursts of activity you can help build towards a better more positive effect on your mood. This doesn’t mean you have to sweat like crazy running mile after mile or have intense workouts in the gym, Even small activities to get you moving can build this up throughout the day. Try little things like walking, running, swimming or dancing things that require you to move your arms and legs. The point of this to pick something you enjoy, so it will be easier to include it into your daily routine and you’re a lot more likely to keep at it.
Tips to help get you moving
- Walk your dog. – A great way to get you moving and help with overcoming depression. Going for a walk is a great start and if you have a pet companion to keep you company it will be a lot more enjoyable and you will be more likely to keep to it
- Pair up with an exercise partner. – exercise partners are a great way to help you keep focused and motivated when it comes to exercise. If you manage to find a partner who understands your current situation this can work even better.
- Use the stairs. – Using the stairs is a great way to implement exercise into your daily routine, try skipping the lift and take the stairs to sneak in a bit of exercise
- Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot. – try parking your car in the farthest spot in the lot, that extra distance is an extra walk that you can gain in your routine.
- Listen to music. – upbeat music can really change your atmosphere and help you create a more positive vibe. Use the upbeat music to improve your mood and get yourself dancing
Use your exercise as an antidepressant
These exercise tips are a great help with overcoming depression:
- Start slow. First things first understand that more isn’t necessarily better. Try not to over do it even athletes can overtrain and this can worsen your mood instead of improving it.
- Exercise regularly. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood. Exercise regularly to help sustain the mood benefits this is great when overcoming depression.
- Find rhythmic and continuous exercises. Find exercises that are continuous such as dancing, yoga, cycling, swimming and walking. These exercises tend to work a lot better than say intermittent exercise when overcoming depression.
- Try moderate exercises. Try exercises that aren’t too intense, Things like aerobic exercise are great, it has great effects towards mental health and you don’t need to sweat buckets to get results.
- Add a mind and body element. We can’t stress enough using a mind and body element when overcoming depression. Activities such as meditation and yoga help rest your mind and are great for increasing energy. sneak in an element of it whilst walking or swimming by repeating a mantra whilst you exercise.
As I’m sure your well aware, what you eat has an impact on the way you feel both physically and mentally.
A good diet for overcoming depression would be a balanced diet containing complex carbohydrates, low-fat proteins and your obvious fruits and vegetables. Try avoiding foods that can cause effects on your brain or mood like saturated fats, foods with high levels of preservatives and hormones, caffeine and alcohol.
- Complex carbohydrates. Focusing on complex carbohydrates are good ways to increase your serotonin levels and energy without the crash you get from foods rich in sugar. These are foods like whole-wheat pasta, whole grains, oats, beans, peas and potatoes.
- Avoid skipping meals. Skipping meals can make you feel tired or irritable, try to avoid going long periods of time between meals. Try to eat something every few hours it doesn’t have to be much but as long as its something it will help.
- Super-foods. Superfoods are foods that are rich in nutrients. They can help really help with overcoming depression and your mind. Super foods are foods like spinach which is rich in magnesium and iron which can help improve your sleep and decrease agitation, bananas which are rich in potassium and magnesium which help reduce anxiety and increase cognitive function(brain function), as well as tryptophan which boost your serotonin levels. And brown rice which can help boost your thiamine to improve your serotonin levels again.
- B vitamins. Try and increase your count of B vitamins. A lack of B vitamins such as B-12 and folic acid are related to depression. B-12 deficiency has been a growing issue among people which could be one of the indicating factors of how mental health issues are still a growing problem. The best way to to do this would be to take a B vitamin supplement but try also to eat more beans, chicken, leafy greens and citrus fruits.
- reduce your refined carbs and sugar. A lot of people tend to crave sugar or comfort foods when suffering from depression and in general. Although they taste good they tend to cause you to have sudden boost in energy and cause you to crash, such quick changes in mood are never good when suffering from depression. So try and cut out or, at least, the amount of sugary snacks and baked goods that you eat.
Omega-3 fatty acids, the natural mood enhancers
There are some foods which are rich in an omega-3 fatty acid called EPA, This is a big help when overcoming depression because it has a great effect on your mood. Fatty fish are a great source of the omega 3 acid, the best sources for this acid are fish like herring, sardines, anchovies, mackerel and salmon. You can also get it from some fish oil supplements. The best way to get this from the fish is by baking or grilling it, try to avoid frying the fish.
Feel good activities
When overcoming depression,
a great way to help yourself is by doing things that which help you not only relax
but also energize you. This means things like managing your stress levels, developing a healthy lifestyle and eating habits, and implementing something fun into your day to day routine while keeping in mind your on limits on what you’re capable of.
- Catch some sun. Try getting at least 15 minutes of sun each day, It can help boost your mood. This helps a lot as not getting any sun can really make your depression and your mood worse. You can go for a walk, sit outside if you go for a coffee or for lunch, even if you don’t feel like going anywhere you can just sit outside in the garden for 15 minutes it will do a lot of good.
- Care for a pet. For most people feeling alone can make their depression worse. Although a lot of the time they can’t quite replace human contact, pets can really help stop you from feeling alone and they are a great way to bring you joy and improve your mood. As well as providing you with some companionship taking care of a pet is a great way for you to get outside, you can take them for a walk or play with them in the garden, mot only that but they provide you with the sense of being needed which is a great way to improve your mood when suffering from depression.
- relaxation techniques. practicing relaxation techniques can not only help relieve stress, but they can also relieve the symptoms of depression and actually improve your mood. Try things like meditation or yoga, they help you improve your mental state which is always great for depression. If you struggle with those at the beginning you can always start with something simple like deep breathing exercises.
- Get enough sleep. A lot of the problems with depression revolves around sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep or even if you’re getting too much sleep it can really have a negative effect on your mood. by setting yourself a better sleep schedule and having healthy sleep habits, you can improve your mood and help yourself with overcoming depression.
Do things you enjoy
try doing things that you enjoy or at least, things that you used to enjoy before. I’m sure your well aware that you can’t force yourself to enjoy something or be happy, but you still have enough choice in doing things that you used to enjoy. Even if you don’t feel like it, try doing the things you used to enjoy. Your depression might not diminish instantly but you may start to notice that you start to slowly feel better and it can be surprising how much just being in the outside world can help with overcoming depression.
Try taking up an old a hobby you used to like or try expressing yourself creatively with art or writing or even music. as well as taking up an old hobby try going out with friends it doesn’t have to be constantly but a day trip out to see sights or to a museum can work wonders.
Keep a wellness Journal
Make yourself a list of things that can give you a quick boost in your mood. Not just activities but strategies that you go through and things that have helped you in the past. The more things you use for overcoming depression you write down in this journal the better. you can also use this journal to write things down when you’re feeling upset or worried, by having an outlet for your feelings it stops you keeping them bottled up and can ease your mind.
Ideas to try and implement each day even on a good day
- ► Spend time in the outdoors.
- ► Play with a pet.
- ► Talk to someone you care about face to face.
- ► Try something spontaneous.
- ► Take a relaxing bath.
- ► Read a book.
- ► Watch something funny, like a movie or tv show.
- ► Do a few small task to ease your mind.
- ► Make a list of what you like about yourself.
- ► Listen to upbeat music.
A few things to remember
When overcoming depression remember to be patient with your depression. you may feel like your a lost cause or it’s hopeless, remember that depression makes you see negatives in everything try to remind yourself of that and use the tips here to help you not listen to your negative thinking.
These guidelines are not set in stone, Don’t be afraid to explore alternative treatments. Things like cognitive therapy have been massively helpful to a lot of depression sufferers out there, and there are many programs out there created by other depression sufferers which they are willing to share with you, Take a look at our destroy depression review for an example. Lastly, remember that although sometimes it may get worse remind yourself it will pass and never forget depression can be treated and you feeling better isn’t a matter of if, but when.