9 Powerful Ways to Manage Depression Naturally
We’ve all experienced sadness. Maybe a best friend moved away, or a favourite teacher retired. But sometimes, we confuse sadness with depression and struggle to understand the difference between the two. So, imagine waking up and your body feeling stuck in quicksand. You then spend all afternoon in bed because getting up is too difficult. And when you can finally manage to get up, it takes all your energy just to get to the bathroom. Never mind the thought of making something to eat or brushing one’s teeth, if possible. Basically, if you multiply an average person’s not-so-good day by one hundred, this is what it feels like to live with depression.
Where Do We Begin?
When it comes to depression, we must first learn to crawl before we can work. In other words, people don’t usually go from feeling depressed to being cured in one night. Typically, it involves a step-by-step process to achieve wellness.
Depending on the severity of depression, some folk may need to take medication. However, this article will address natural ways to treat depression. So, let’s go over some.
1. Take it one step at a time.
Telling someone to exercise when they can’t get out of bed is unrealistic. So, try and start by going from your bed to the couch. Even if all you can do at the beginning is sit on your couch and watch TV, that’s okay.
Staying in bed all day can create sleep disturbances and lead to increased feelings of anxiety. So, the fact that you left your bedroom is what matters most.
2. Balance what you eat.
Food can be a source of comfort and lead to overeating when depressed, but it can negatively impact our health. Plus, the guilt that usually follows when we overeat can feed into depression. However, it’s not to say that one can’t enjoy comfort foods, but balancing them with healthy foods is essential. Examples may include yogurt, cheese, whole-grain bread, brown rice, and fruits and vegetables.
Other people undereat when depressed due to a lack of appetite, interest, or energy. So, see if you can grab something easy – e.g., yogurt, cheese, nuts, or an apple. These foods contain proteins and fiber, which increase energy and keep the body and gut healthy. Still, if all you can grab is crackers in the meantime, it’s better than nothing.
Many people with depression also struggle with eating disorders, so receiving the necessary help is vital.
3. Create a task list.
Disciplining oneself when depressed can be very challenging, so how about creating a small task list with no more than two daily activities? It can be anything from making a phone call to putting away paperwork.
It helps to start with the most important task on your list just in case you struggle to complete the rest. Checking off what you’ve achieved can also give you a sense of achievement. However, if you can’t complete any or all tasks, know that it’s okay, and it may take several tries. Just don’t give up.
4. Stick to a routine.
Sticking to a routine is difficult when depressed, but it can cause you to feel worse about yourself if you don’t.
Examples can include:
- Turning off the TV an hour or more before you go to bed
- Going to bed and getting up at the same time daily
- Taking a shower upon waking
- Getting out of your pajamas, even if you’re not going anywhere
If these are too challenging, how about brewing coffee or simmering tea and sipping it at the table? It might sound simple to the average person, but it’s a huge accomplishment for those who are depressed.
Following a routine can give you a sense of purpose and direction and boost your self-esteem.
5. Journal your thoughts.
Most people with depression are their worst critics and are full of self-hatred and negative self-talk. Therefore, jotting down your thoughts can be a helpful way to get them out of your mind.
You don’t have to write a novel, especially if your energy is limited. It can be a pros and cons list or even a simple mood chart. Or try writing positive things about yourself, even if you don’t believe it at first. Hopefully, with practice, you will feel better about yourself.
6. Don’t isolate yourself.
We often isolate ourselves from others when depressed. Still, as human beings, we need sociability. And though spending time with oneself to a degree is healthy, there’s a difference between enjoying alone time and isolating.
Isolation can lead to substance use, self-harm, suicidal thoughts or attempts, or death by suicide. So, the sooner you surround yourself with others, the safer you will be.
7. Get your body moving.
At some point, it is vital to get your body moving. Our bodies and brains thrive on exercise to keep us healthy. In other words, exercise pumps our heart and activates brain chemicals, decreasing heart disease, anxiety, and depression. So, here’s an example to get your body moving over time in steps:
Walk around your house for at least a minute every hour. Next, see if you can do home activities like washing laundry or vacuuming. Eventually, step it up by working out to an exercise video, gardening, or walking around the block. Finally, when you’re ready, try biking, jogging, or joining a gym. Do what will motivate you the most.
8. Seek peer support.
You are not alone, as millions of people struggle with depression. Therefore, seeking support and having peers who can relate to you can make all the difference. One such place is Barty’s Adventures, where they hold special events and adventures to help men feel better about themselves by keeping active, thus improving mental health. Barty – We Are A Mental Health Initiative
9. Seek mental health treatment.
You don’t have to wait until things get bad to receive treatment from a professional. A therapist can help you challenge your negative thoughts associated with depression. You will learn to build coping skills and problem-solve to manage or prevent future occurrences.
Why Not Try Online Therapy?
Hopefully, these points could give some comfort, but sometimes just reading quotes isn’t enough. Online therapy can be a great option if you or a loved one is looking for more support.
Therapy through BetterHelp.com/Barty can be more affordable than traditional therapy and allows many options to communicate with your therapist from the comfort of your home. Most importantly, remember that it is okay not to be okay, and you are no less of a human for feeling your emotions and being vulnerable.
To receive 25% off your first month, head to BetterHelp.com/Barty
Feel free to drop by if you’d like to chat and just say, ‘Hey Barty,’ in strict confidence, and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or do not hesitate to leave a comment below.