With several measures put in place limiting human contact to a great extent, cases of depression have been on the rise. However, lots of people are still oblivious of what depression really means and how much damage it could cause.
Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by prolonged anxiety, stress, or sadness. It is also characterized by loss of interest in activities, leading to significant impairment in daily life.
Depression can be caused by biological, psychological, and social factors. These factors may cause changes in brain functioning including the altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.
You can easily tell if you have depression by looking out for the following symptoms: anxiety, mood swings, weight loss or gain, lack of sleep or too much sleep, excessive crying, and thoughts of suicide.
If you have any of these symptoms, then it would be best if you took urgent steps to deal with this problem. We have put this article together to show you effective measures you could take to deal with depression.
Seek Medical Help
The first medical help you can seek is therapy. You read that right, therapy. It helps a lot of people when they can just voice out their feelings to someone who cares and who cares better for your mental health than a local therapist? Your therapist might give you some work to do on your own to help yourself though like writing exactly how you feel in a journal, taking at least five minutes a day meditating, or any other thing. He can also help you create strategies to avoid the triggers for you.
The second way is by getting medication from your doctor. Please remember to never self-medicate for this can cause a lot of harm to your body especially if you are allergic to a particular ingredient in the drug. Make sure to get a prescription from your doctor. You can even combine both ways to get maximum results.
Move Your Body
Exercises have proven to improve sour moods. Regular exercise would release feel-good endorphins and take your mind off worries. Don’t think of exercise as running a marathon or lifting weights for two hours. Thirty minutes of exercise at least should be enough and can be spread out in chunks throughout the day. If you’re not used to exercise, try walking to work or school instead of taking the bus or you can even walk to the park. If you’re not in the mood to leave your house, try doing some chores. Yes, chores are a form of exercise too.
Take Care of Your Nutrition
This is a great addition to therapy as you are taking care of this yourself in your house. You can seek the help of a nutritionist to give you a good diet that would benefit your body or you can try some diets such as
Mediterranean diet which involves eating whole grains, veggies, and healthy fat.
Dash diet which involves high protein and vegetable intake, and low fat, limited sugar.
Fuel Your Body with Water
Lack of water is very dangerous to the body and drinking lots of water creates a huge boost to your health. Not only does it aid digestion, weight loss, and circulation flow, it also helps lessen depression. How? Studies have shown that dehydration can heighten the risk of depression. Scientists recommend that you drink eight cups of water every day. You can also take fruits that are high in water like watermelon and the likes.
Regulate Social Media
You might find yourself spending most of your time on social media for lots of reasons.
So many studies have shown that social media is linked to depression and this can be through so many ways such as:
- Developing low self-esteem due to comparison
- Spending so many hours on social media leaving you sleep-deprived
The best solution to avoid all these issues is to quit social media completely in order to at least get to a stage where you no longer feel depressed. It can seem drastic but limiting your social media might not really help as so many people are not self-disciplined.
Sleep plays a very important role in our mental health. Sleep deprivation can take a toll on our mental health and sometimes all we just need is a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can sometimes heighten your stress levels and can in the long term cause you health challenges such as heart attacks and diabetes. If you are having problems with sleeping, it would be best if you speak to your doctor about it
Meditation has been proven to help one relax and unwind especially mentally. Taking some time to meditate every day can significantly help lessen depression. All you need to do is take a few deep breaths and let your mind relax for a few minutes. If closing your eyes, and blocking out the noise helps you meditate better, then go for those too.
Spend Time with Your Family
Studies show that spending some quality time with your family can help you unwind and forget your worries which would reduce the risk of depression. That comes as no surprise since humans are naturally wired to desire social interaction.
Try taking some time off to connect with your family members. If anyone should understand you better, it’s your family. Family is everything. If you have been unable to physically interact with family members due to the lockdown measures or any reason at all, then you should get in touch with them via calls or social media.
It’s possible for you to overcome depression. However, you would need to make the choice today, and also take the necessary steps to overcome this monster.
Keeping your thoughts to yourself would not in any way get rid of the depression. You need to voice out either to your therapist or to your family.
Also, take some time to work on yourself as well. Cultivating new habits is hard but you can always start small and work your way up.
Remember, there are no quick fixes. The steps we have outlined will not give you the results you desire overnight. You can only overcome this monster by remaining committed to these measures in the long run.