It is remarkably normal to experience the typical symptoms of anxiety and depression. Research shows 1 in 6 people experience these mental health problems in any given week in England.(1) There are many external triggers for people experiencing these symptoms, such as the everyday stressors of work or significant life events occurring. The pandemic is an excellent example of an external situation that has bought a lot of uncertainty, which has impacted people’s mental health in many ways.
Many people seek professional help for their experiences with anxiety and depression, depending on the severity and impact it’s having on their lives and those around them. One of the most common treatments is medication, but there are many other non-medical ways to manage anxiety and depression. For more information, you can visit CFAH, but here is a brief overview of some examples.
Taking Time Out
Taking time out for yourself is a brilliant form of self-care – time dedicated to yourself to incorporate relaxation. Stepping back from your problems is a clever way to clear the head. You might want to run yourself a bath infused with aromatherapy oils, or perhaps a scenic stroll in nature will take your mind off things? It could be something as simple as listening to one of your favourite albums, sitting down for five minutes to enjoy a cup of tea.
Breath work and Meditation
Meditation and breathwork are great ways to bring your focus back to the present moment. Many describe anxiety as a fear for the future, where depression is often associated with what has passed. Instead, meditation encourages us to sit with the present moment, to form a sense of peace and contentment in the now. This time allows us to acknowledge and clear the mind of thoughts that no longer serve us.
Exercise, Exercise and More Exercise
If you haven’t already, creating a realistic and achievable exercise routine that suits you is a great way to manage and cope with symptoms of anxiety and depression, not forgetting the physical benefits. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which are excellent mood boosters. Plus, the more you exercise, the more you will feel energized and vibrant.
Limit Unhealthy Foods and Caffeine
When we feel bad, it’s easy to pick up feel-good junk food or sweet treats to make us feel better. However, too much sugar and fats will leave us feeling worse in the long run. Limiting our caffeine intake and adopting a balanced diet filled with fresh fruit and vegetables will increase the nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins our bodies need to thrive. It will have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing too.
Talk to Someone or Keep a Journal
Writing and talking things out can help you process your feelings and significantly benefit you. Often when we bottle everything up inside, we can feel alone in how we feel. When we confide in someone, we realize the amount of support around us and that we aren’t ever alone in how we feel. There may be friends and family you can talk to; otherwise, you may feel more comfortable talking to an unbiased professional therapist.
In conclusion, there are many proven strategies for coping with and managing anxiety and depression. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to reach an impossible perfection. After all, we are only human, and we can only do our best. Take plenty of steps to look after yourself in more challenging times and stay grateful for all the positives along the journey.