When you’re deeply depressed, nothing seems to bring you any joy, and it’s hard to force yourself to do even the most mundane tasks. Coping with depression is no way to live. Giving yourself some small pushes in the right direction can help you build momentum toward the happier life you really want. It can take time to shake those cobwebs out of your mind, but the important thing is to keep moving forward. In conjunction with professional help and advice, use some of these tips to stay healthy and motivated as you improve your mental health.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise has a variety of benefits for your body and mind. The endorphins your body releases when you exercise can improve your mood and boost your self-confidence. Depending on the type of exercise you choose, getting active can also help you connect with others, feel pride in the things your body can do, and get a bit of mood-improving sunshine. It’s fine to start small as well. Wake up 15 minutes early and take a walk around the block. As you get more into a particular activity, you’ll start to crave the feeling of satisfaction after a hard workout and want to make it happen more frequently. Remember to make it something you look forward to. If you find the gym dreary or intimidating start with a dance class, roller skating, or swimming. Something you think is fun all on its own will be better to motivate you.
As the saying goes, sometimes you have to just “fake it ‘til you make it”. According to an article in Psychology Today, we have as many as 60,000 thoughts each day. If the overwhelming majority of those thoughts are negative, it’s easy to see how you could stay depressed. Force yourself to change those thoughts. If you’re always looking in the mirror and thinking you don’t look good, make a habit of saying, “I look great,” instead. If you look at your co-workers and think “Everyone else is so much smarter than me,” start thinking, “I have something valuable to offer. I belong here.” The more you do this, the more it will start to feel true even if it feels forced at first.
Work Toward Your Goals
It’s hard to feel good about yourself when life feels stagnant. Think about something you want to do and make little goals to help you achieve it. It could be something as simple as finishing the dishes and tidying the kitchen every night. Waking up to a clean kitchen can get the day off to a great start. You could also set professional goals or work toward picking up a new hobby. Break things down into smaller steps and you’ll start improving in no time at all.
Choose Healthy Foods
While it’s easier to reach for junk food or pick up fast food on the way home from work, this can make your body feel sluggish. If you’re the type of person who eats more when depressed, doing this can even put you into a depression cycle where you start gaining weight. Break that cycle. Fill up your plate with fruits and vegetables. WebMD suggests that foods like salmon, tuna, spinach, and avocados can have a positive effect on depression.
Get Professional Help
You don’t have to go through depression alone. Professional help can make a big difference in your recovery. Psychiatrists can help you find a medication that makes you feel better and doesn’t come with side-effects. Psychologists and therapists will listen to your problems and give you strategies to help you get through them. If you’ve been self-treating your depression with alcohol or drugs, a Luxury Drug Treatment in Malibu program could help you make your life better. Don’t be afraid to seek out the help you need and don’t feel embarrassed about asking for assistance.
Depression is hard to fight and you may not even want to fight the fight. However, taking some steps to improve your situation can change your life dramatically.