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5 Ways to Combat Depression

— January 21, 2020

Lifestyle changes and medical interventions can help an individual to feel better.

Do you ever feel like depression crumbles you down to the core? Whether it is corporate competition, academic race, or people poking their noses into your life – depression comes from different directions. At times, people who are in the deep pits of stress feel so for no reason. It harms their overall well-being and perspective on life. 

It is important to acknowledge how this ailment is spreading exponentially. Depression is one of the most common mood disorders in the United States. It results in prolonged sadness and limits a person’s ability to stay active in their daily routine. The 2019 Report by the World Health Organization (WHO) provides that, globally, more than 264 million people suffer from depression. It is a major backer to the global burden of disease.

But the fact that makes us rest assured is, depression is treatable. Lifestyle changes and medical interventions can help an individual to feel better. The question is, are you ready to deal with it? Do you want to live your life to the fullest? Or, are you okay with bouts of depression pinning you down for the entire lifetime?

If not, then scroll down. We have listed some quality tips below that will help you to combat depressive episodes. Let’s have a look:

  1. Express Yourself

The initial step to cope with depression is acceptance. Be open and loving towards yourself. Understand what you are going through. Some people out there feel that suppressing their emotions will help them deal with issues better. They believe in putting on a brave face. We believe this approach is quite erroneous. 

If you are going through the emotional frenzy, don’t just stay there. Consider an activity like writing or painting. Let your creative juices flow, so those positive emotions can find a passage. Another benefit of expressing yourself is that it brings your thoughts and feelings to the surface. Most people are surprised by what they write, says Denver psychotherapist Cynthia McKay.

In case writing is not your forte, you can go for expression through poetry, music, or visual arts. The idea is to blow off steam in any way possible.

  1. Set Routine and Goals

Why most people feel depressed is the fact that their lives lack structure. At the end of a chaotic day, you might feel you have achieved only a little despite running around like a maniac. As one day melts into the next, you stand under overwhelming depression. 

Try to set a gentle daily schedule to get you on a proper track. Take time out for self-care. Ian Cook, the Director of Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA, suggests that you need a routine to cope with depression. One way to resolve this trouble is by setting goals. He says one must start small by easily achievable targets. 

It will improve your self-esteem, and you can move for more challenging goals. And, as you keep on achieving those goals, depression will slowly wave off.

  1. Exercise

Exercise is a proven and all-natural treatment to deal with depression. Dr. Michael Craig Miller, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that exercise works as an antidepressant for some people.

Person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs; image by Bruno Nascimento, via
Person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs; image by Bruno Nascimento, via

Depression leads to physical issues like reduced energy, body pains, disturbed sleep, etc. On the other hand, exercise releases a biological cascade of events with various health benefits. These include improved sleep, low blood pressure, protection against heart diseases, etc. 

You can start by little physical activities like a 10 – 15-minute brisk walk every day. You can also jog, dance, and bike around if you want. The aim is to release a desirable adrenaline rush and make you feel better about yourself. Sticking to a prolonged exercise program will encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways.

  1. Get Good Nutrition

The adage you are what you eat fits perfectly well in this advice. Depression leads to people eating more than their usual appetite or not eating at all. If you are suffering from any of these conditions, you must start being mindful of what you are consuming. Start by having regular meals and eat plenty of fruits/vegetables. 

Besides the obvious, work to weed out the harmful habits like smoking and regular consumption of alcohol. A new study published on Wicked Karma Radio Network (WKRN), a Nashville News Channel reports that people who smoke are at an elevated risk of being depressed and suffering from schizophrenia. Therefore, modify your lifestyle so that you will weather depressive episodes with a rejuvenated sense of empowerment.

  1. Get Good Sleep 

All those nights you overthink can trigger high levels of depression. It won’t allow you to shut your eyes and will make depression even worse. In a study of 18,980 people in Europe conducted by Stanford researcher Maurice Ohayon, depressed people had five times more chances of suffering from Sleep Disordered Breathing.

The point is that symptoms of depression overlap with sleep problems. One can try to level down a single aspect and see how it brings a positive impact on their lifestyle. When you feel depressed, you can try modifying your sleep patterns. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Remove all distractions from your surroundings and relax your mind when it is time to sleep.

Switching off your devices will give you a wonderful sense of satisfaction.

Final Verdict

In the end, we want to highlight the fact that depression takes time to heal. Don’t just flip the tips away if they fail to work in the first few days. It requires consistency to witness successful outcomes. Hang in there. Good things will happen to you.

Note: If you are suffering from extreme depression and experience suicidal thoughts, we will strongly advise you to seek professional assistance. Therapy will help you to cut down the high levels of depression. Later on, you can follow these tips to make sure it never happens again.

Did you ever have an extreme depressive episode? How was it? Would you like to share? 

Join the conversation!