“Snap out of it”, “Stop thinking you’re depressed”, “It’s all in your head”.
A few of the tips we receive from those around us when we’re depressed. Unfortunately, if working through things were so easy we wouldn’t feel the way we are feeling today. Depression is real; it is not just a state of mind or a feeling that can be willed away.
Working through depression takes time, consistency, and the willingness to make a choice every day.
Start small – Today, even better right now, pull out a pen and paper to make a list. Your list shall read
- Walk for 20 minutes every day
- List 3 good qualities of myself
- List 3 good of my day every day
- Be a part of a group
- Make healthier food choices every day
Most of the things on the list seem unappealing, things you rather put off, and things you just don’t want to do. But these things will help you! Recovery in depression is Catch 22, the same things you resist are the ones that will help you work through depression the most. Here’s why…
Walk for 20 minutes every day – Physical Activity
The endorphins (happy hormones) released during exercise are natural antidepressants. In addition, they aid in relieving stress, fatigue, and muscle tension.
Strangely enough, the act of moving, exercising, help us start moving.
Let’s make it easier by…
– Break this down into smaller goals. Start by doing 10 minutes of physical exercise every day, gradually work your way up to 20.
– You can play some upbeat music that will make you jump to your feet and move
– Try exercising outdoors, fresh air and a change of scenery always helps! (If you have a pet, try taking him/her for a walk).
– Choose an exercise that is rhythmic such as swimming, cycling or walking
– Try exercising in a group, your group members are more likely to motivate you to be regular with exercise. After all, they say, more the merrier!
3 good things about myself and my day – Positive Thoughts
When we are working through depression our perception to life and about ourselves is largely negative. Our automatic thoughts are filled with self-doubt, pessimism, and a negative outlook to situations. It is time to change it consciously.
Start by making it a daily practice to list 3 good things about yourself every morning.
End your day by ensuring you list 3 good things about your day every day!
The first few times you do this, it will be very difficult, but it’s about trying! And every day you try you are one step closer to your goal, a happy you!
This exercise ensures encourages focusing on what is good in our life and us.
Remember to use definite terms and statements when listing things.
Be a part of the group – Socialize
Meeting people, catching up over coffee, or grabbing dinner with a friend is beneficial. The people you meet should be positive and energetic people you can trust. Remember, they only have to be people who allow you to feel good about yourself, have fun with and encourage you to enjoy life.
Healthier food choices – Balanced Diet
Countless research study suggests there is a direct relation between food and mood. Use this to your advantage! Eat healthy foods that are rich in fiber! Avoid food that is filled with saturated fat and leaves us feeling guilty.
Warning: Even though these tips help, you must speak to a psychiatrist and/or a psychologist. Do NOT ignore yourself, you are important, and you must take care of yourself!