Depression: 11 Ways to Help Yourself
As K struggles to get out of bed and keeps hitting the snooze button, the rest of the household is up and running. Unlike many other households, here K is not seen as lazy. They are aware that laziness and depression are two very different things. And that depression is a medical condition and not just a temporary response to immediate grief.
The world today is more aware of what depression means and that it’s not to be dealt with lightly, and it’s no more just a myth. According to the World health organization (WHO), depression is a common mental condition affecting more than 264 million people worldwide. It is a leading cause of disability around the world contributing greatly to the global burden of disease.
K has not just accepted fate in depression rather wants to deal with it, hence the snooze rather than just switching off the alarm. Also, it is better if K realizes sooner that there are only so many snooze buttons one can hit before losing oneself completely in that void. And there are many like “K” wanting to fight it, but it feels harder every day. what can be done to revitalize one’s confidence and motivation and the simple love towards a healthy and happy life apart from medicating oneself?
We have come up with the following discussion on 11 ways one can cope with depression by oneself ( one needs to take care of this situation by oneself sometimes):
SLEEP. Good sleep is one of the most important things for a stable and healthy mind. Try to get good ample sleep, not less sleep or oversleeping. Ample sleep means what sleep experts call -”good sleep hygiene”. Sleep and mood very much go hand in hand. So better get your sleep right.
Getting some VIT-D or simply GET OUT. Go out for a walk, get some of that good morning vitamin-D rich sunlight into your soul. Light plays an important role in sleep cycles and circadian rhythms; thus, lack of sunlight may lead to poor sleep patterns. Getting out during the day always helps greatly.
EXERCISE. Exercise temporarily boosts endorphins in your body, which are basically feel-good chemicals our brain releases. Exercise doesn’t mean going on a strict diet and training like a crazy gym rat. Few hours of gym time a week, morning jogs etc. are good enough to start with. It might only become a good habit to have.
SETTING GOALS. It’s very common to feel like you cannot achieve anything when depressed, making one feel even worse about oneself. Setting small attainable daily goals always help in building a sense of accomplishment and boosting one’s confidence. These daily goals can be finishing simple tasks like doing the dishes daily or running a particular distance every day. Accomplishing even small tasks sometimes goes a long way in one’s healing process.
POSITIVE THINKING. In the fight against depression, a lot of work is mental. Like changing how you think and how to deflect negative thoughts are few. In depression, one tends to jump to the worst possible conclusions which affect one’s whole approach to a situation. One way of dealing with negative thoughts is trying to apply logic to many of the questions arising in your head. For example, you might feel like no one likes you, but is there real evidence? Through practice it is very much possible to channelize your thoughts to a more positive outlook towards a situation.
DAILY ROUTINE. Research suggests that having a daily routine can be critical for mental health. It’s tough to stick to a schedule when depressed and unmotivated. A daily routine helps you in picking yourself up and getting things done. It keeps your sense of normalcy intact when dealing with stress or anxiety.
TRY NEW THINGS. Try going out and doing something out of your normal. It doesn’t have to take you out of your comfort zone completely at all. In depression one tends to have low levels of curiosity and zeal to know or try new things. Take your time and slowly push yourself to involve in new activities. It will help you deal with boredom and encourage your mind to think newer. It might be something to look forward to.
MUSIC. You don’t need anyone to tell you that music definitely impacts your mood. Research shows that music surely helps as it can have a beneficial effect on brain chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin, the so called “love-hormone”. Listening to helps and so does playing music. When depressed one tends to choose music that suits their mood, but it might lead to some more tear-jerking. Hence try avoiding those and try listening to some upbeat music. It might help you in taking a breather once in a while.
Cut back on ALCOHOL /DRUGS. In depression, a lot of people turn to substance abuse - this will deter your condition more. Substance abuse might lead to erratic decision-making and might cost one badly. A clear mind is an essential tool in combating depression. Keep off the substances and keep a clear head.
MEDITATION. An age-old method to control stress and anxiety, meditation very much helps you revitalize your soul. It enables you to channelize your thoughts and emotions. Try spending ten minutes every morning meditating. You will be able to prioritize your needs and wants much clearly.
TRY HAVING FUN. If nothing seems fun anymore, it’s just a symptom of depression. It’s important to take time to do things you enjoy doing. It might sound like work when you are depressed but try to keep doing them, and you will slowly start regaining your interests. You might even have to plan to have fun. Do it anyway.
Depression can be very much combated by being strong, resilient and patient. It is a serious medical condition and must be treated on time before it takes over. Depression can be overwhelming at times, don’t be afraid to ask for help as you don’t have to fight this alone. Talk to your doctor or therapist on the best approach for you to treat it. Help is always around the corner.
K has a better chance of getting out and seeing the colors for what they are once the need for the snooze button ends. The same goes for everyone else like K. It's a fight against self and very much winnable.
Image source: unsplash.com
Author: Somrita Ganchoudhuri