Self Care for Depression
Updated: Mar 23, 2019
At least 1 in 7 of us will experience depression at some point in our lives, and some research suggests that number may be even higher. Depression is overwhelming, and makes those experiencing it, as well as their loved ones, feel hopeless and helpless.
When anyone experiences symptoms of depression, such as persistent sadness, sleep problems, and lack of energy, it is important to seek professional help from a doctor, therapist, or other medical professional. However, there are things we can do to help ourselves or suggest to loved ones struggling with depression:
Get moving - exercising, while you might not feel like doing it, releases endorphins, which act like antidepressants - improving our mood (and as a bonus, it will help you sleep better too!)
Get outside - being outside each and every day, even for just 20 minutes, will boost your mood as well as your vitamin D levels. When we are deficient in Vitamin D, it increases our chances of experiencing depression. So make the time to get outside - it makes all the difference, whatever the weather.
Get relaxed - meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are all activities that can help boost the neurotransmitters in the brain that impact our mood. They can help us let go of negative emotions that don’t serve us, making us more balanced and able to live each moment to the fullest.
Get some fish - eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like wild caught salmon, healthy fats, and lots of fruit and vegetables, has been shown to positively impact our mood. Avoiding sugar and processed food helps reduce anxiety and depression. Many experts recommend following a mediterranean diet with lots of fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and high quality olive oil.
There are more alternative options than listed here to explore as well, but whatever you try, be sure to do so in conjunction with seeking professional help. Depression needn’t leave us feeling helpless, like there is nothing we can do. There is always something that can help us move in a positive direction; when depression rears its ugly head, take action and see what works for you.
Ring the bells that can still ring. Forget the perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.