How to Not Give Up When Living With Depression
Depression can suck the life out of you and alter your perception of the world around you in dark and negative ways. The bright and hopeful world that you used to know and be an active member of is now devoid of all light, color, and joy. Things that used to make you happy and give you a sense of purpose feels like a chore now and you no longer have the energy to do anything so you begin to isolate yourself and participate less in social and constructive activities. The drive and self-confidence that you once had before are replaced by feelings of helplessness and despair and you begin to believe that you are incapable of pulling yourself out of this. You can and you will. Depression can literally destroy your life if you let it. There are many different forms of depression and I do not claim to know the cure for any of them but I can give you some useful tips that have helped me work through my struggles with depression.
Get up and do something
You need to get back into a routine and set up a daily and manageable schedule that will help you get your life back on track. Start off with small things like taking your dog for a walk or washing the dishes. Once you begin to see yourself accomplish these small goals, your confidence will progressively come back. As your confidence continues to grow you can start to take on more difficult challenges. Depression can slowly dismantle the structure that you used to have in your life, the days just seem to disappear, and it can make it almost impossible for you to accomplish anything. You may want to give up and neglect responsibilities at home and work but do not do that. It IS A TRAP. Daily responsibilities and staying involved socially with family and friends will help give you the strength that you need to gain the upper hand in your battle with depression.
Move your body
You don't have to run a marathon or anything, just do something that will increase your heart rate and get your body moving like walking or yoga. Have you ever experienced a sudden boost of mood and energy after a workout? This boost happens because exercise releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins can temporarily activate euphoric feelings in the body and decrease your perception of pain. Endorphins achieve this by interacting with certain neuroreceptors in your brain. Regular exercise can also have long-term benefits by rewiring your brain in highly beneficial ways and this can greatly improve your self-esteem and help you adopt a more positive outlook on life.
Adopt better eating patterns
This no particular food or diet that can cure or fix depression but eating better can help. If depression makes you overeat or eat very little, gaining better control of your eating habits can make a huge difference. Foods high in certain nutrients can also help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Healthy fats that can be found in most nuts and seafood like omega 3's and monounsaturated fats have proven to have the ability to increase brain health and decrease risks of depression. Green Tea is filled with antioxidants and it contains an amino acid called theanine. Theanine has stress reduction and relaxation benefits. Leafy green foods like spinach and lettuce contains a B vitamin that has been proven to enhance Serotonin levels. Serotonin is usually low in individuals that have depression.
Which do you prefer?
Question your negative thoughts
Most of your battle with depression will be fought mentally and changing your perceptions and the way that you think is crucial to surviving it. When suffering from depression it can get extremely difficult to see things in a positive light and you will begin to become extremely and unfairly critical of yourself. Whenever negative thoughts about yourself begin to creep into your head use logic to counter them. You might feel like everyone in the world hates you and their lives would be so much better if you never existed, but is there really any evidence to prove that? You might feel like you are the most pathetic person in the world and no one could ever love you, but is that really likely? This is not something that you will be able to master in one day but with practice, you will be able to gain better control over your thoughts eventually. YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. You have survived every bad day that you have ever had and you are so much stronger than you think are right now. Stop being so hard on yourself and give yourself more credit. You deserve to be happy. You have earned it.
Try some new things and have fun.
For an individual suffering from depression, nothing is enjoyable and it leaves you feeling stuck. Don't give up on yourself and keep trying. Push yourself, go outside of your current comfort zone, and do different things. Learn a new language or do volunteer work. Go out to a cafe or a library and read a book. Travel or visit a museum. Go out and experience life. It doesn't matter if you do it alone or with a friend. Just don't forget that you deserve so much better than the life that depression is currently forcing you to live.
What makes you happy?
Turn off your phone and get some good sleep
Depression can make getting a good amount of rest difficult. Lack of sleep can make it even harder to function throughout the day and worsen symptoms of depression. Start by transforming your bedroom into a place free of distractions. Take out all things that may deter you from getting enough sleep like your television and phone or any other electrical devices. Trick your brain into thinking that your bed is designed for sleep and sleep only. If you want to scroll through your phone do not do it on your bed. Do it somewhere else. Take fewer naps during the day and at night try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
Talk to your doctor before you choose to take supplements.
Last but not least, if you are thinking about taking certain supplements for your depression and you are already taking medications to make sure that you speak to a doctor or a health professional about it. There are trillions of supplements,(folic acid, fish oil, vitamin B-12), out there and you need to make sure that you are choosing the right ones, so take the time to do a little research before you decide to commit to a particular supplement. At the end of the day, your health comes first and you should always be aware of what you are putting in your body.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Andreka Buie