There are many things you can do yourself to help yourself feeling better, and they do not cost a dime. Here are ten ways of self-help.
1. Do not blame yourself
This is the most important thing you can do, to beat the depression. Feelings of guilt can only be a barrier on your way to recovery. Dealing with depression requires a practical, proactive approach and patience. You must be able to treat depression just as any other diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
2. Talk about it
3. Exercise regularly
This may be the last thing you do when you are depressed, but running or going to the gym can actually make you feel better. In one study, patients that regularly exercised on a treadmill or bike, in 12 weeks reduced the severity of symptoms by nearly 50 percent.
4. Postpone important decisions
Depression can affect judgment, so it is wise to postpone important decisions about relationships or career until you feel better. One of the symptoms of depression is a negative prognosis for many things that are happening in your life. It changes your view on almost everything, and you may not even be aware of it. If there is some important decision you must make, do not be impulsive. Before making a decision, consult the people around you whom you trust, such as, family, friends or even a therapist.
5. Stay healthy
If you feel depressed, lack of care about your overall health may worsen symptoms of depression. The relationship between depression and illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease is similar to the phenomenon: what is older - the chicken or the egg. Studies show that depression can worsen these diseases and vice versa. People who have diabetes are more likely to be depressed, and there is evidence that heart disease contributes to depression, especially after heart attack.
6. Maintain a daily routine
Keeping up regular routines is very important for people who struggle with depression. Try to perform all your daily activities at the same time. Routines can help you to avoid staying in the house, the so-called pajama syndrome, which can make things worse. With routine, you show yourself and others that, if you are able to get through the day, you are able to recover.
7. Eat healthy
Everything you eat affects the brain, so if you feel depressed, it is important to eat healthy and have a balanced diet rich in grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins. Food will not do a miracle in the fight against depression, but some foods can affect your mood more than others can. For example, carbohydrates and foods that contain vitamin D increase the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with mood. And some researches suggest that omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and fish oil, help in fight against depression.
8. Avoid alcohol and drugs
Although it may be tempting to drink or use drugs, do not do that. People who suffer from depression and anxiety often turn to alcohol and drugs to relieve symptoms, but this strategy is detrimental in the long run. Alcohol and drugs affect the brain, which can cause problems in relationships, at work, as well as in other aspects of life.
9. Try to sleep well
Depression and lack of sleep often go hand in hand. Insomnia is common thing, and in many people the lack of sleep worsens mood. This does not apply to everyone, because, lack of sleep is in some people is uplifting the mood, but not in the long run. It can also trigger mania in people with bipolar disorder. Much remains unknown about the relationship between depression and sleep, because everyone has different needs when it comes to sleep, but experts recommend enough sleep and maintaining a regular schedule of sleep and wakefulness.
10. No overload
Following a strict schedule can be a trigger for depression. If you struggle with depression, it is important not to overload and not to accept more obligations than you can handle. If you have complicated tasks at work or at home, take breaks. And remember that it's OK to slow down a little because maybe you can not do everything with a hundred percent capacity. If you really can not work, you must be compassionate with yourself. You deserve a break because you are sick.