Depression is a mood disorder that is associated with a long lasting feeling of unhappiness and disinterest in performing various activities. It can also be called as major depression or clinical depression or major depressive disorder. It can create an imbalance, which will cause physical and emotional problems, affect various feelings and a person may also think as well as behave in a vague manner. You may face difficulties in completing all your daily chores and depression may also make you feel worthless.

5 Self Help Strategies for Handling Depression

Depression often draws off the hope, energy and the drive that can often make it difficult for a person to feel better. Overcoming depression is not easy and it is a disorder that takes time to leave the body as well as the mind. You cannot expect a person to get out of depression instantly, but the imbalance can be controlled even if the symptoms are severe. The basic thing is to begin with small tasks and you will eventually get there. Feelings take a better stance with time and you can make positive changes on a daily basis.

Starting little and Staying on Track is Key for People Who Want to Recover from Depression:

Recovery from depression can begin by setting small goals that are easier for you to tackle. Collect all the available resources and utilize them for surviving the entire situation. It is true that most of the depressed patients might feel drained or flushed, but they have to eventually meet the daily set goals like making a phone call to your loved ones or taking a stroll to clear your head.

Begin coping with things gradually and be sure to complement yourself after finishing the goals. Initially, the goals may seem small but with time they may add into your daily chores. Remember, the amount of energy that you put in for recovering from depression, the results will be equally fruitful.

Self Help Strategy #1 for Handling Depression

Focus on Building Helpful Relationships:

Getting enough support often helps in tackling the depression and keeping your mind clear of all the second thoughts. It might be difficult for you to manage all the goals and when you have someone for assistance, it may be easier to accomplish them. Beating depression becomes easier when you have a sidekick or your loved ones who care for you. Remember, depression only worsens with loneliness and you must make an effort to be socially active at all times.

You might be overwhelmed to reach out to your loved ones for help in tackling depression. You may be too tired to talk, feel guilty and ashamed for abandoning a relationship that you share with others. Always have a sound mind that this is the phase of depression and reaching out for help does not mean that a person is weak or you are burdening others with your issues. The persons whom you beseech for help are your dear ones and you can build a support group for relying when in need.

  • Rely on family members and friends who are trustworthy. Share your feelings and speak about the hassles that you are facing. The people with whom you are in conversation should help you from getting out of the situation.
  • Try to be socially active and when in depression, being in a group of people often helps. They might help you in feeling less depressed at all times.
  • Be a part of various support groups. You have a long way to go to cope with the thoughts that are bugging your mind due to depression. By relying, sharing and supporting others, you might be able to get out of the troubled mind easily.

Self Help Strategy #2 for Managing Depression

Confront Your Negative Mindset:

Depression often brings on the negative aspects and you might think low of yourself, the situations that you face and the expectations as well. This loop can be easily broken, by maintaining a positive attitude towards life and laying back all the negative thoughts. This is the right way to replace the negative thoughts with the ones that are more balanced.

Following are Some Ways to Tackle Negative Thinking:

  • Learn to think outside the box. Keep on asking yourself if someone else would think badly about you like you are thinking right now. If you find no as an answer, never force yourself to get things done or think bad. Think about those statements that are not harsh and describe the realistic side of you.
  • It is fine to be less perfect at times. Many people who are depressed often wish to be perfect in everything they do. They hold themselves to match up to the highest standards that they have set for themselves. When he or she fails to meet them, chances are that they might be struck with depression.
  • Engage in various social activities with people who have a positive mindset. This may help you in encountering the ideas that belong to a brighter side of life. Keep a track of all the minor incidences that are often tackled by people in an easier way.
  • Log in your negative thoughts. Maintain a journal for instances that have created a loneliness or kept you depressed for an entire day. After a point of time, you can connect the dots and see the appearance of the patterns, which might help in tackling them.

Self Help Strategy #3 for Patients Dealing with Depression

Take Real Good Care of Yourself:

Taking self-care is extremely important for overcoming depression. This often involves leading a healthy lifestyle by managing the stresses and following a healthy habit as well as be socially active.

  • Aim to get a sound sleep. Sleep for at least eight hours a day as this can help you in maintaining your mood in a positive manner. Design a sleep schedule to adopt a healthy sleeping hour.
  • Get sunlight on a daily basis. When you are not getting enough exposure to sunlight, you may suffer from depression. Grab a cup of coffee outdoors, have an al fresco meal while watching people play around. Be sure to get enough sun exposure for 15 minutes and use a light therapy box if you are living in a place with little sunlight or during winter seasons.
  • Keep a constant check on stress levels. Stress can trigger depression and worsen it as well. Try to learn about the instances that keep you stressed out and find ways to tackle them without being too hard on yourself. When in need, you can also make a plan.
  • Put relaxation techniques into your daily practice list. Relaxation can help in controlling the emotional imbalances in depression. Try deep breathing, yoga, meditation or muscle relaxation.
  • Pets can be antidotes for helping in recovering from depression. Care for your pet. Pets have a strong emotional attachment with its owner and when in need, you can also rely on taking care of the pets for grooming them.

Self Help Strategy #4 for People Struggling with Depression

Exercise Regularly:

It's easier said than done. Exercising while being depressed may be the last resort for most people suffering from the condition. Various studies have shown significant benefits of exercising regularly. It can be as useful as any antidepressant medication. The fatigue, depressed feelings will eventually reduce and the energy levels will be elevated as well.

The exact work method of exercise in soothing the emotional rush has not been speculated. However, it has been noted that when the body has high energy levels, it can give rise to new cells in the brain that increases the production of endorphins and neurotransmitters. It can reduce the tension in muscles and lay a positive impact on the body.

Maximum benefits can be gained by exercising for 30 minutes every single day. The routine may be small and can last up to a minimum of 10 minutes too. Following are the easy ways to get going with your exercise routine:

  • Opt for stair climbing rather than using elevators
  • Choose a farthest spot for parking your car
  • Stroll or take your dog for a long walk
  • Find a partner for exercising
  • Walk and talk while on the phone in your home.

The basic idea is to find a task that you love the most and continue it for the entire day to boost the energy levels.

Self Help Strategy #5 for Taking Control of your Depression

Have Healthy and Mood Encouraging Food:

Eating has an indirect connection to your mind. Aim to follow a balanced diet that comprises of carbohydrates, low fats, proteins, a lot of vegetables and fruits. Avoid taking in foods that can create an imbalance between the body and mind. This involves alcohol, saturated fats, caffeine as well as trans fats.

  • Never skip any meal. Avoiding a meal can often lead to irritability and make you feel tired. Be sure to eat a small portion of food every three hours.
  • Reduce the consumption of refined carbs and sugar. These foods can lay a negative impact on your mood and it is better to avoid them at times.
  • Lay stress on consuming complex carbohydrates. The level of serotonin in the brain can boost by eating foods like whole grain breads, oatmeal, pasta and baked potatoes.
  • Increase the vitamin B content in your diet. Deficiencies in Vitamin B-12 and folic acid can trigger the episodes of depression. Eat leafy vegetables, beans, egg, chicken and Vitamin supplements.
  • Try foods that are rich in nutrients. Bananas have magnesium, Vitamin B6 that help in reducing depression and make you feel more active. Also eat brown rice and spinach for increasing magnesium levels for reducing agitation as well as promote sleep.
  • Include chromium supplements to your daily diet. This can help in easing mood swings, cravings for carbohydrates and help in managing the depression levels in an efficient manner.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: March 29, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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