Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
Perceptions Can Affect Treatment And Outcomes
Looking at the causes helps people understand that being depressed is a medical condition, not a choice.
Depression can be, needs to be, and deserves to be treated. However, there are many different ways to treat the condition. What works for one person may not work for another, and some people have to try many different options before finding something effective.
Its also not unusual for people to need to try different treatments throughout their lives to manage depression, as the condition can change and evolve in response to changes in a persons life .
If you are depressed but dont understand why, you may recognize that you need help and may want it, but may also be struggling with the feeling that you dont have the right to ask for help.
Know this: Every person with depression deserves treatment.
Create A Wellness Toolbox
A wellness toolbox is a set of tools that you can use to help soothe yourself when you are feeling down.
The tools you find most helpful might not work for someone else so it’s important to carefully consider what things can help you feel your best.
Think of things you like to do when you’re happy. Then, when you’re feeling down, try one of those activities.
Cuddling your pet, listening to your favorite music, taking a warm bath, or reading a good book are just a few tools you might find helpful.
Create a list of the activities you might try when you’re feeling bad. Then, choose an activity to try when you’re having a particularly rough time.
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Make Time For Rest And Relaxation
Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can affect your energy and motivation, which often only adds to feelings of guilt and worry.
Remember, though: Depression and anxiety are health conditions. If you had the flu, youd need time to rest, right? Mental health symptoms require recovery time, too.
Instead of fixating on the things you think you should be doing, honor your needs by taking time for activities that soothe and relax you. Maybe this includes things like:
- watching a comforting movie or TV show
- re-reading a favorite book
Causes And Treatments Of Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Depression can have many causes, all of which are complex and can be difficult to understand. In some cases, feelings of depression can be clearly connected to an experience in someones life, such as a tragic loss or a violent event. Other people may be aware they have a family history of mental illness and, as a result, may not be caught off guard by a diagnosis of depression.
However, some people become depressed and dont know why. They may feel they do not have a reason to be depressedespecially if they perceive their life as being good or easy compared to others.
The pressure to explain or justify how they feel can make depression worse and may prevent people from getting necessary treatment.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease even with treatment
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
When To Get Professional Help For Depression
If youve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesnt mean youre weak. Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like youre a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!
Dont forget about these self-help tips, though. Even if youre receiving professional help, these tips can be part of your treatment plan, speeding your recovery and preventing depression from returning.
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Get In Touch With Mother Nature
Do you know there is a concept of nature walk which is found to boost mental well-being and reduce the feeling of depression by nearly 70%?
All you have to do is go out, take a walk in nature, and heal. It is indeed one of the healthiest things to do when you feel alone. Make sure you soak yourself up in this nature walk by keeping your digital devices at home and by rejoicing in what mother earthhas to offer.
Signs That Make You Feel Depressed
You may be depressed if youve felt sad or unpleasant most of the time for longer than two weeks, have lost interest in or pleasure from routine things, and exhibit several symptoms from at least three of the categories listed below.
Its important to remember that we all occasionally experience some of these symptoms, so if you dont, you might not genuinely be sad. However, not everyone sad displays all of these signs.
Even while depression might happen just once in a persons life, most people have many bouts. The following symptoms may be present during these periods and last for the majority of the day, almost every day:
- Moods of melancholy, tearing, emptiness, or despair
- anger fits, irritation, or impatience, even over trivial issues
- the inability to enjoy the majority or all of ones typical activities, such as love, hobby, or athletics
- sleep disorders, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Being worn out and lacking energy makes even minor chores more difficult.
- weight reduction with a decreased appetite or weight gain with an increased appetite
- Unease, anxiety, or worry
- slowing of the mind, speech, or physical motions
- feeling unworthy or guilty, dwelling on mistakes made in the past, or placing blame on oneself
- Having issues with memory, decision-making, concentration, and thought
- Suicide thoughts, murder, or other violent acts regularly or repeatedly
- Physical problems are not explained, including migraines or back pain
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Do You Have Depression Or Lifestyle Fatigue
As such, this journey invites you to adopt the attitude that you are attempting to:
With this background in hand, let us move on to Step 1.
Step 1: Realize that you are not alone
We can start with a general point of awareness that is important for not just people who are depressed but for everyone in society. Depression is common. It affects people across all social groups and classes. Consider that the World Health Organization identifies depression as the single most detrimental medical-health condition of all .
There are three key points for this first step. The first is that almost everyone is affected by depression, either directly or indirectly. As such, it is crucial that we are aware of this and create a community that is aware of this. Second, it is crucial that individuals dealing with depression know that they are not alone. The experience of profound loneliness is common in depression and, as we will see, it can contribute significantly to depressive states. However, the fact of the matter is that it is something many people deal with.
This concludes Part I.
Try To Eat Balanced Meals
Nourishing your body with whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, can help you get the nutrition you need and it could also help improve your symptoms.
You dont need to cut these out of your diet entirely, but try to balance them with nutrient-dense foods when possible.
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.
- Help them stick to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications.
- Make sure they have transportation to therapy appointments.
- Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them to your loved ones health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Managing Anxiety And Depression
A therapist can offer more guidance on treatment options for anxiety and depression, but you can also take steps to cope with symptoms on your own.
The strategies below may not always help, but trying different approaches at different times can help you learn more about what works for you. That insight can guide you toward a personalized toolbox of coping strategies, so you always have options to consider when feeling distressed or overwhelmed.
Your therapist can also offer suggestions for new strategies to try, plus offer tips on putting them into practice.
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Ways To Help Yourself Through Depression
If you are going through depression, it’s best to get help from a therapist. To get the most from your therapy, you can do things to help yourself too.
Here are 5 things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can help a lot.
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
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Share A Good News With A Friend
Well, we have mentioned above to connect with others to battle off your feelings of loneliness but this point in this list of things to do when you feel sad and alone is unique on its own.
Generally when we call a closed one or a friend we are subconsciously involved in complaining about our lives but take a moment and share one piece of happy information with your pal. It will deepen your relationships and feed your brain with positive hormones.
Try To Spend Time Around Others
Depression often leads to isolation, says Fahimian, so its important not to forget about relationships with loved one.
So, if a friend or family member asks to spend time with you, consider accepting their invitation. In fact, you might consider opening up to them and telling them about what youre feeling and what kind of support youd like from them.
If you dont feel like you have a friend or family member you can trust, consider looking into support groups or online peer support. It can be a way to meet and share your experience with others who are going through something similar.
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If You Feel Up To It Try Some Mild Exercise
Exercise can be extremely helpful, says Melissa Shepard, MD, board-certified psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. It doesnt have to be an intense or long workout anything that you enjoy that will get your heart rate up will help.
For example, you could try taking a walk around the block, doing some stretches, or trying some light yoga.
Dealing With The Winter Blues
For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
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Risk Factors For Depression
Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected
Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.
You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
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