Being in a bad mood, feeling sad, or simply just having a bad day is a normal part of life. However, if you feel that a lingering bad mood or fatigue is keeping you from completing your day-to-day tasks, then you may be experiencing depression.
If you have been experiencing this, then you should seek treatment and begin making lifestyle changes that can improve your overall health and mood, and combat depression. Moreover, there are simple steps for you to achieve this.
Here are 8 healthy habits to combat depression.
Regular exercise can be extremely effective in combating depression. Research suggests that exercise can increase the body’s production of natural antidepressants and can be as effective as medication in combating medication.
While exercise may seem like such a difficult task when fighting depression, start small. Set small, easy goals. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Any kind of physical activity helps fight the negative feelings you experience.
What you eat and drink can be dynamically connected to how you feel. If you continuously give your body an unhealthy fuel source, then it is never going to function properly.
Eating food rich in vitamins and minerals that the body needs can greatly increase your mood and overall health. Additionally, losing weight can increase your self-esteem, which can also assist in combating depression. Avoid alcohol, drugs, or other substances that can have negative side-effects later. Eating healthy will boost your energy and make you feel better about yourself.
Sleep is a critical component of your overall health. Lack of sleep can cause more stress as well as cause greater levels of fatigue, so prioritize sleep to make sure you get an appropriate amount of it.
A bedtime routine can help you wind down after a long day. Turning off lights before bed can increase the body’s natural production of melatonin to aid in sleep. You should also avoid screens from televisions, smartphones, and other devices before bed as this can cause difficulty sleeping.
A happy heart is like good medicine, and laughter is truly the best way to administer it. Laughing can greatly reduce symptoms of depression. According to Everyday Health, “Smiling will send serotonin levels soaring, making you feel better physically and putting you in a happy mood.”
Find a good comedy to watch with friends or maybe a good book. Be creative in finding ways to laugh more. Although it seems so simple (perhaps even silly), laughing more can dramatically help with combatting depression.
Meditation or prayer can decrease stress and anxiety levels that can lead to depression. Sitting alone in silence can help slow the never-ending fast pace of life. This can allow you time to gain a new perspective, gather your thoughts, and focus on the positive things in your life.
You may simply sit in silence for a few minutes, or maybe you repeat a meaningful phrase or quote. Another thing that can help is to sit and express gratefulness for good things or people in your life. Healthline notes that meditation, prayer, or similar exercises can “help you improve your sense of well-being and feel more connected to what’s happening around you.” This can be a quick, simple, and easy way to combat depression.
Volunteering can be a great way to combat depression. Depression can cause you to become very internal and can become overwhelming when you are only looking at yourself. Serving other people can help you gain a new perspective and take your attention away from yourself.
Volunteering can also help you see others who may be less fortunate than you are, and this can allow you to put your situations and circumstances in perspective. Serving other people is also an incredibly fulfilling activity in which people often find great joy.
Additionally, you may also develop some new relationships with other volunteers.
7. Get in a routine
Depression can cause you to feel out of control as if you are not responsible for your own life. A routine can help regain control over your life which can help you feel more secure. Anxiety often accompanies depression, and maintaining a routine can help deal with this issue.
You can start by scheduling your time better. Maybe you can start a morning and bedtime routine that you do every day. Although you may not be able to control your schedule 100%, it will be incredibly beneficial to control the things within reach.
8. Reward yourself
Rewarding yourself with things you enjoy is a great way to make you feel better. While it can be unhealthy to overindulge, you must reward yourself in fun and healthy ways.
Start by making regular plans to do things you enjoy. Find a hobby, learn an instrument, listen to music, or go for a hike. Invest in yourself, and do the things you love.
For more information
If you still have questions about depression, then find a behavioral health clinic in Arkansas that works with ARcare to treat depression. Our family health center in Arkansas provides behavioral health services that can help you combat depression.
Visit ARcare or call at (866)-550-4719 to schedule an appointment.