How To Feel Better When Depressed

Depression is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It not only affects the individual physically but also psychologically, leading to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been experiencing anxiety and depression due to social isolation, financial challenges, and uncertainty about the future.

However, there are ways to overcome depression and feel better. This article will delve into some practical tips that can help anyone who is experiencing depression to feel better.

1. Build A Support System

One of the most effective ways to deal with depression is by building a support system of people you can trust and confide in. This can include family members, friends, or a mental health professional. While it may be challenging to reach out when you are feeling down, building a support system can help you feel less alone and give you a space to share your thoughts and feelings freely.

2. Engage In Physical Activity

Physical activity has been known to have significant benefits to overall health, including depression. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters, and helps reduce cortisol levels in the body, which is a stress hormone that triggers depression symptoms. Even a few minutes of physical activity per day, such as walking or yoga, can go a long way in improving your mental health.

3. Get Adequate Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial to maintaining good mental health. However, depression can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. This is why it’s essential to establish a bedtime routine that can help you relax, such as taking a bath, reading a book or listening to calming music. You could also try limiting your screen time before bed, as the blue light can interfere with your sleep patterns.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and accepting your feelings without judgment. Mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, or even simple mindfulness practices such as savoring your food or paying attention to your surroundings, can help you focus on the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or anxious about the future.

5. Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

There is a strong link between what you eat and how you feel mentally. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, high-quality proteins, and whole grains can provide the nutrients your brain needs to function correctly. On the other hand, consuming large amounts of processed foods or sugar can lead to inflammation in the body, which can increase the risk of depression.

6. Break Down Tasks Into Smaller Goals

When you’re feeling depressed, even the simplest of tasks can feel overwhelming. This is why it’s essential to break down your goals into more manageable tasks. This could involve making a to-do list, checking off small accomplishments along the way, or breaking down a task into manageable parts. By focusing on accomplishing small goals, you can gradually build momentum and overcome feelings of helplessness.

7. Find An Outlet For Your Emotions

Depression can make it difficult to express your emotions. However, finding a creative outlet can help you channel your feelings in a healthy way. This could involve journaling, painting, or even dancing. By engaging in a creative activity that you enjoy, you can release any pent-up emotions and improve your mood.

8. Seek Professional Help

Depression is a medical condition that sometimes requires professional help. If you find that your depression symptoms persist, it’s essential to seek the help of a mental health professional. This could involve seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist who can provide you with the necessary tools and support to manage your depression effectively.

Conclusion

Depression can feel overwhelming and isolating, but it’s essential to remember that there are ways to feel better. By building a support system, engaging in physical activity, getting adequate sleep, practicing mindfulness, eating healthily, breaking down tasks into smaller goals, finding an outlet for your emotions, and seeking professional help when needed, you can effectively manage your depression and improve your quality of life. Remember, taking small steps towards self-care and seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength.

FAQs

1. What are some lifestyle changes I can make to help combat depression?

There are several lifestyle changes that can help alleviate symptoms of depression. These include regular exercise, healthy eating habits, adequate sleep, reducing stress, avoiding alcohol and drugs, socialising with friends and family, and setting achievable goals for yourself.

2. Should I consider therapy or medication to help manage my depression?

If your depression is severe, or if lifestyle changes have not been effective, it may be appropriate to consider therapy or medication. Talking to a mental health professional can help you identify the root causes of your depression and provide you with strategies to manage it. medication may also be prescribed in some cases, but this should always be done in consultation with a healthcare professional.

3. Can mindfulness and relaxation techniques help with depression?

Yes, mindfulness and relaxation techniques can be effective in managing depression. These techniques can help you tune into your body and mind, reduce stress, and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Examples of mindfulness and relaxation techniques include meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation.


References

1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

2. Cuijpers, P., Berking, M., Andersson, G., Quigley, L., & Kleiboer, A. (2013). A meta-analysis of cognitive-behavioural therapy for adult depression, alone and in comparison with other treatments. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 58(7), 376–385. https://doi.org/10.1177/070674371305800702

3. Harvard Medical School. (2019). Depression and pain. Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 26(2), 3–4. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.3987