Depression is one of the most common and most serious mental health disorders. People often disregard depression as a bad tantrum or an episode of mood swings. But in reality, depression is a paralyzing mental condition that can manifest into a physical disability if left untreated. Along with medications and therapy, here are 10 natural tips to overcome depression.
While many people aren’t open to trying medicines because of the associated side effects, and therapy is expensive that many cannot afford, these 10 natural tips to overcome depression are not only easy and doable but also requires no money!
10 Tips to overcome Depression
1. Get out of the bed
It might sound so simple, but anyone who has ever been in the clench of depression knows that getting out of bed could seem like a task as big as climbing Everest. Research says that waking up just an hour early could reduce the risk of depression by 23%.
It is not just the emotional turmoil that keeps one hooked to the bed. Chronic depression could manifest into physical pain, body aches and weight issues, weakened immune system, sleep disruptions, and can even lead to heart problems.
Set an alarm at a fixed time every day and make it a point to get out of your bed. Set a daily activity that you love or a reward that will motivate you to walk out of your sheets.
2. Make your breakfast
Research shows that people suffering from depression often tend to skip breakfast. And several studies have proved that skipping breakfast could increase the risk of depression. Regular breakfast works as a protective shield against depression.
A healthy breakfast not only lowers the cortisol levels in the body but also offers a punch of nutrition that can elevate your mood and help fight depression. Studies also revealed that a deficiency in zinc and vitamin B complex can lead to depression. So, amp up your nutritional quotient.
Plan your breakfast a day ahead. And opt for something that’s healthy and easy to make like oatmeal, cereal, oats, idli, and dosa. Start your day with a cup of green tea for a powerful dose of antioxidants and limit your intake of stimulants like caffeine, soda, sugar, and alcohol.
3. Don’t skip your workouts
There is no dearth of studies that claims exercise to be a natural healing remedy for depression. Some studies say exercise is as effective as antidepressants. And it need not be intensive workouts, just a simple walk for 30 minutes can release feel-good hormones in your body. This hormone can reduce your perception of pain and ease your symptoms of depression.
People suffering from depression find it very difficult to gather the strength to work out. This along with the abrupt appetite can result in weight gain and low self-esteem. Thus, further pushing the person into the dark well of depression.
Keep a fixed time for your workouts and make sure to follow that religiously. You can also install apps that calculate your steps or give you a detailed report of your workouts. This works as a great motivator!
Also Read: Health Benefits of Walking meditation
4. Set your sleep routine
Depression can interrupt your sleep routine and an improved sleep routine decreases the risk of depression. Research further reveals that people with insomnia have a tenfold higher risk of depression. Researchers have further proven that sleeplessness can aggravate mood disorders and increase irritability.
Poor sleep disrupts your circadian rhythm and may cause difficulty in processing your emotions. That’s why it is important to treat your insomnia and take care of your sleep hygiene.
Set a regular bedtime. Keep your gadgets out of your bedroom. And if you are suffering from sleep disorders then practice yoga, breathing, relaxation therapies, and meditation. Taking a warm bath before bed and abhyanga can also improve your sleep!
Also Read: The link between positive thoughts and sleep
5. Listen to your thoughts
One of the most common things that individuals do in depression is boxing their emotions. They are too harsh on their own negative thoughts. However, both positive and negative thoughts are the flip sides of the same coin. Just like positive thoughts keep flowing through your mind, negative thoughts too might cross your mind. And when they do simply listen.
Don’t judge yourself too harshly for having these thoughts. Don’t be your own critic. Practice mindfulness and you will learn to listen to your own thoughts bearing the emotions tagged with them. Mindfulness is proven to be an effective treatment for depression.
Practice 20 minutes of mindfulness or meditation every day to build your emotional immunity. Try guided meditation or join a yoga group for better results.
6. Change the cycle
Studies revealed that when a person suffers from depression, they tend to follow the same cycle of activities over and over again. This creates monotony and makes the person feel trapped or stuck in a box. Such feelings can worsen the symptoms of depression.
One of the best ways to tackle this is by breaking the cycle. Research shows that picking a new hobby can decrease your risk of depression. Practicing art, music, pottery and dance are proven to reduce the risks of depression and improve your mood.
Pick up a new hobby or go out on an expedition. Do what makes your heart happy. Even going out shopping or grabbing a cup of coffee with your bestie could change the mood of your day!
7. Reach out to your near ones
Isolation and loneliness are closely related to depression. Having a good social life is like having an anchor to your emotions. Research shows that people who enjoy an active social life are less prone to suffer from depression, enjoy better physical health and live longer than people with poor social relations.
If you are witnessing the symptoms of depression beginning to appear or reappear, then start interacting with your close ones more. Try to make some new friends, invest in a social cause, or join a club. Don’t isolate yourself when the hollow strikes that will just empower the devil.
Talking to a therapist, counselor or mental health expert could be helpful. Remember it is very essential to open up when you are depressed, but it is more important to find the right ears. Opening up to a pessimist is not a good idea. Also, since you are very vulnerable at this time, make sure you can trust the ears you are pouring your heart too!
8. Get soaked in the sunshine
Nature is the best healer. Whenever you start feeling low, get out of your house and get a sun-kissed selfie. One of the main treatments for depression in modern medicine is light therapy. Sunlight can boost your serotonin levels and can elevate your mood; make you feel calm and focused. Forest bathing and expeditions in nature are also effective therapies.
Studies proved that deficiency in vitamin D increases the risk of depression. Without enough sun exposure, the serotonin levels in the body dip which can wreck up your mood and emotions. Low sun exposure can result in a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This can result in concentration issues, fatigue, sore mood, excess sleep, and loss of interest.
Whenever you feel low, chase the morning sun. Expose yourself to the morning sun for 15 minutes, 3 times a week. For better results, you can go for a walk in the morning. You can also increase your sun exposure by opening your blinds, drapes, and windows.
9. Journal your journey
One of the most effective tips to process your emotions is expressive writing in a journal. This not only helps you in venting out your emotions but also helps you see your thinking pattern clearly. It is also a great stress buster.
Mental health experts recommend journaling as a therapeutic practice for improving mood and managing symptoms of depression. Writing in itself is a therapeutic practice, it makes you more aware, lets you shift your viewpoint, and allows you to notice the patterns of your thoughts.
Set a 20 minutes time every day for journaling your thoughts. The tip is to write regularly. Make your journal a judgment-free zone, and don’t forget to write your gratitude journal.
Also Read: Proven benefits of gratitude journal writing
10. Get professional help
It is very crucial to seek professional help if you are suffering from mental health disorders. Seeking out help does not mean that you are weak, it just means you are smart enough to take the right step.
Depression is a real disease, much like any other physical condition. It is not within your limits to control your thoughts or reverse your feelings; it is the hormones that are messing up with the wires of your brain.
Your Takeaway – Tips to overcome Depression
That feeling hollowing your heart, eating a chunk of your brain, the thoughts that are making you feel like a prisoner are all real. It exists in a dimension that no one else can see. That’s why it is important for you to understand that depression needs to be addressed. Try these 10 simple and natural tips to overcome depression and if you are getting suicidal thoughts then please reach out to a doctor!