I am usually a very social person, but I didn’t want to leave the house…
I felt so tired all the time, it was so hard for me to get out of bed in the morning…
I lost interest in the hobbies that I loved, gardening and painting…
I just could not stop ruminating on all the things that I did wrong at my job, at home and with my friends, everything looked so bleak…
This is what depressions may sound like. Many of us feel sad, overwhelmed or depressed when life becomes challenging, we lose someone we love or our self-esteem is injured. But when these feelings last for long periods of time and affect our daily living, then it is important to reach out and get help.
We also need to know that we often can prevent depression. Here are 8 ways to do that:
1. Eat Smart:
There is no specific food that can help ward off depression but Vitamin B-12 and Omega 3 fatty acids may help stabilize your mood. Vitamin B-12 is found in flaxseed, nuts, and leafy green vegetables. Supplements are also helpful. Omega 3’s are found in fish, salmon and tuna. It has also been shown that low-fat complex carbohydrates, like popcorn, potatoes and whole grain pasta raise the level of the hormone serotonin. Serotonin when released, contributes to feelings of well-being, calm and happiness. A diet low in caffeine can also help.
Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help you stay healthy overall. When we eat healthy we also feel good about our choices and ultimately feel good about ourselves.
Exercise is has many benefits and can actually work almost as well as antidepressants for some people. Exercise helps release that happy hormone, Serotonin.
It is best if you do something you enjoy. Learn to develop an active hobby like, dancing, biking, hiking, golfing, tennis or swimming. Gardening is also great exercise.
Try to exercise with a friend. Exercising with a buddy can help you stay motivated, and ward off those lonely feelings that often come along with depression.
3. Get outside:
Research has shown that being in nature is a natural mood lifter and has been shown to combat feelings of anxiety and depression. Not only that, exposure to sunlight can increase serotonin levels, giving you that calm, focused and happy feeling.
4. Get a hobby:
Exercising as a hobby is great, but don’t overlook all the other activities you love to do. Cultivating your creative side is a great mood buster. Can’t figure out your passion? Sometimes it helps to think back to your childhood. How did you spend your leisure time? Pottery, drawing, painting, photography, music, knitting, or writing in a journal are great hobbies to explore. Nothing feels better than losing yourself in something you love.
5. Make time for family and friends:
A strong support system is key. There is nothing like laughing and spending time with family and friends. Going out for a cup of coffee with your best friend or calling your old buddy from high school are all great ways to give yourself a quick lift.
You might also want to spend time with your pet. Stroking and cuddling with a furry animal is therapeutic. Taking care of your pet also helps you take your mind off yourself and your problems.
6. Snooze or lose:
Sleeping 7–9 hours a night, having a consistent bed time, avoiding TV, screen time or exercise right before bed can you get the zzz’s you need. This alone can be a great stress reducer.
7. Practice Mindfulness:
The verdict is in, practicing mindfulness is one of the best ways to improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety. Practicing mindfulness can be simple, taking a walk and taking note of your surroundings, keeping a gratefulness journal, listening to music or just slowing down your breathing. Yoga and meditation class are also great ways to practice mindfulness.
8. Get help:
If your symptoms of depression persist, don’t hesitate to get help. Your doctor can help recommend a mental health professional in your area.
Want to learn more?
Talk to our highly trained mental health professionals:
Call A+ Solutions @216-896-0111