Depression is fast becoming a worldwide epidemic, the ‘silent killer’ has recently been sprung back into the limelight. There have been well-documented suicides in the media of late, and it’s something that has become a sad reality for families and individuals in a number of households. This article will support you, when looking to conquer your depression.
According to a recent study, 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. This is a serious issue and isn’t one that should be overlooked.
It has become apparent that depression isn’t just a mental perception but it is an illness, condition and is something that can’t be seen by the naked eye.
The purpose of this blog is to simply help bring some routines and practices that could help you look at things in a new perspective, they may motivate you to incorporate set things into your day or at least do further research. You can use all tips discussed on this page, whether you’re depressed or not.
Please note that you shouldn’t swap any advice with that of your practitioner or GP. If you are depressed then you should notify a professional. None of the advice here is intended to stop your medication or other practices; it’s merely tips and motivation.
Choosing just one of these tips, is a great way to start- which one suits you best?
1. Tidy Your Room
In order to conquer your depression, the first step we list is to tidy your room. It doesn’t get simpler than that?
It seems almost impossible to believe that this could help your mood, but believe it or not, this is advice given by a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology. As part of Jordan Peterson’s steps, he encourages people to start by cleaning their room.
It seems as though, it’s used as symbolism, a way in which you can start taking action in your own world before worrying about external factors. Personally, I feel that there’s more to it- it is a way of goal setting. Only this type of goal setting allows you to be present and you will almost instantly be able to reap the rewards. You will see the ‘fruits of your labour’ as you sit down to relax in a tidy room, once the task is complete.
2. Positive Self-Talk
Before we can love others, we have to love ourselves. Our thoughts become reality and if we’re talking ourselves down, both out loud and in our own mind, then what chance do we have?
Try this, every time you say something negative about yourself, pull yourself up and rephrase it.
You have locked your keys in the house, rather than saying to yourself or somebody else- “I am stupid” you can be kind to yourself and understand, you had a lot on or you simply made an easy mistake.
Instead of saying you “can’t” do things, concentrate on the things you can do and ways that you can improve on the things that you can’t.
3. Meditate/Quiet Time
Sometimes our brain can work overtime and it can be hard to shut it off, even when trying to sleep. You wouldn’t leave your computer running non-stop, there has to be a time where we put our minds’ on stand-by.
Meditation is a fantastic tool used by a number of cultures. There are different ways to meditate and sometimes people don’t know where to begin. It’s hard to go wrong, if you sit down and start, then you’re doing something right.
Check out this book, it is the perfect meditation book for beginners, (link is to Amazon, I receive a small commission) it will help you to make a start.
There are a lot of benefits to meditating:
- Controls anxiety
- Helps you make rationale decisions
- Reduces stress
- Promotes all-round emotional health
- Enhances self awareness
- Helps productivity
- Helps control pain
- Fights addiction
- Improves sleep quality
There are a lot of emotional, hormonal and scientific explanations for the above and if you’re sceptical of meditation, then I urge you to look for yourself.
It has been proven to strengthen immune systems, support the pre-frontal cortex, in order to help with decision-making and also eradicate excessive cortisol hormones created through stress.
4. Get a Routine
The NHS suggests that those suffering with depression, should find a familiar routine.
Being able to do so can ensure that you keep a regular sleeping pattern and you’re able to ensure vital tasks are still being carried out, such as cooking, eating and working. Straying too far from a routine, will do the opposite and that can be a slippery slope, and it’s a “funk” that’s much harder to get out of.
5. Find a Goal
What motivates you? Finding a passion, something that you can work on, is a fantastic way to get your juices flowing- if you can get creative or simply set some goals that you know you can meet, you are going in the right direction.
The risk with setting goals, is that if you fail to meet them, you could be hard on yourself, ultimately making your illness worse. This would deem the whole of this tip completely useless and counter-productive.
That’s why we suggest that you follow our goal-setting tips. Set realistic goals that you know you can achieve, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction as you tick them off at the end of the day. That’s not just a move for your depression, but in order to meet your long-term, seemingly far-fetched goals, you need to first make small steps towards the target and make sure you are attempting aims that are achievable, in order to ensure consistency.
6. Eat Healthy
You are probably already aware of the significance of nutrition and the effects that it has on our mental and physical attributes.
Did you know that most of our serotonin, the hormone labelled as the “happy hormone” is created in the gut? This means that we should make a conscious effort on maintaining our gut health.
Eat for energy and vitality, an easy tip would be to count colours- find colourful foods, we’re not talking Skittles either. Enjoy various fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and more!
7. Get Involved in Nature
You can always rely on Mother Nature to nurture to your needs, she’s available to ground you and increase your joy and happiness. It sounds pretty ‘hippy’ doesn’t it?
Brace yourself, it’s going to get worse. Remember the old phrase “Tree-Hugger”, well science has now revealed that doing so can increase serotonin levels, but don’t panic, you can merely walk through nature to enjoy all of its benefits.
From walking through wooded area, beaches and mountains, you can embrace negative ions, which can ultimately affect mood and sleeping patterns. Add that you’ll also increase good hormones to the picture and you can see why getting your fix of Vitamin N is vital.
8. Start Exercising
Exercise can seem like the last thing on your mind, when suffering from depression but after enjoying a form of physical activity, you will be thanking yourself for doing so.
Why is exercise good for our mood?
- Releases good endorphins, endogenous cannabinoids, a natural brain chemical multiplies and creates a sense of well-being.
- Takes Your Mind Off Stresses- Avoid negative thoughts and other things on your mind, by getting stuck into your workout.
- More Social Interaction- Involving yourself in things is difficult, but by getting out and joining a gym, it becomes a social outlet and will enable you to gain confidence.
9. Speak to Somebody
We haven’t ranked these steps in any particular order, if we were to, then this would top the list.
Something that’s easier said than done but talking to somebody could help you cope with your mental health..
Here are some places to turn to for help:
There are plenty of ways to get help, you can drop in to your local GP and he can place you into safe hands, as well as advise you.
10. Limit Alcohol
Alcohol isn’t a great drug for anybody, let alone somebody with poor mental health, it can exacerbate anxiety and also worsen depression.
It’s not always completely down to alcohol itself, but more down to the way it is used as an escape, when coming back to reality it is clear to see nothing’s changed.
According to the NHS limiting your alcohol consumption is a good way to cope with depression.
11. Getting Quality Sleep
Sleep is a foundation of health and should be the main aspect that any health enthusiast takes into account first. Somebody that’s struggling with mental or emotional issues will notice they flare up and their mind wonders most, when they can’t gain quality sleep.
Good sleep includes benefits such as:
- Good Mood
- Reduce Stress
- Strengthen Immune System
- Maintain Weight
- You can empathise
- Concentrate Longer
- Sharper and More Reactive
- Improves Ability to Socialise
Falling out of a sleeping pattern, can be harmful to your overall health.
12. Cut Down Caffeine
Caffeine can be the perfect energy boost for many, or even feel as a necessary routine for most. But did you know that caffeine can amplify anxious tendencies? If you have anxiety, then you may want to try cutting out caffeine.
Stimulants can be bad news for those that suffer with anxiety.
Although the above may seem like the last thing that you want to do, by adding some of them into your routine, it could help you significantly. You don’t have to try all of them at once, as the goal-setting advice alludes to, baby steps is a great way to begin making positive changes.