Mental Health

How to Take Care of Yourself When Depressed

Depression is a mental state where the affected person suffers from a low mood and often lacks aspiration to participate in normal daily activities. Depression as a state of being for some people can last for months, and when this happens, an individual’s physical health generally becomes affected. It is important to recognize the signs of depression and to know how to take care of yourself when depressed.

The best treatment for depression will be to acknowledge that you are stressed and therefore react positively to that situation. Here are five ways on how to take care of yourself when depressed.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Most people tend to shift towards drugs or alcohol thinking it is a good way of how to take care of yourself when depressed. However, the problems that led to depression will not be solved by drugs of any kind, nor alcohol. Therefore, you should avoid them and look elsewhere for a way to cope.

Avoid any temptations that tell you to pass by your favorite watering hole, bar or club, and actively seek out opportunities to find company or association that will support you, rather than tempt you. Once you find that you have the inner strength to avoid alcohol and drugs, you are in the process of healing.

Talk to Someone Close to You About How You Feel

The second step is sharing the problem and not keeping it to yourself. Scientists and psychologists have found that when a person opens up and begins talking about an issue that there is a sense of relief experienced.

In the majority of cases, the depressive feelings tend to subside, and in some cases, they are described to have gone completely. Talking with someone who is impartial and non-judgemental can be a good way of reducing your load and managing the impacts of depression.

If you feel that you don’t have someone who is close to you that you can talk to, make an appointment to see your Doctor, and discuss how you have been feeling.

In recent years, Doctors have become much more aware of the need for good mental health as well as physical health, and they are trained and capable of offering the needed support.

Indulge in an Activity you Love

As you talk with your friend in a safe environment, you can also participate in an activity that brings you pleasure. For instance, if you are a soccer fan, you can watch the football or go out and kick the ball around while you chat.

Participating in any kind of physical activity will help you to feel better through the process of the body naturally releasing endorphins. It is important that you get some exercise in if you’re feeling depressed.

One of the bigger risk factors when working through depression is the decline in physical health. Do your best to keep on top of this, even if all you feel you can do is go for a short walk in the sunshine. Every little bit will help you.

Get Good Quality Rest

A common problem for someone who suffers from depression is that their sleep cycles are often extremely out of alignment, and they struggle to get good quality rest.

In order to begin the recovery process, the need for good quality sleep is critical. This allows the body to physically undertake the healing process. You may find that your Doctor prescribes medication intended to help you cope with the feelings of depression. If you are struggling to sleep it is important that you share this information with your Doctor so they can better help you.

Try to eliminate as much blue light from devices as possible. The television is something that will stimulate your brain and get in the way of good quality sleep, so it is probably a good idea to move it out of the bedroom. This will be tough at first, but after a while, you will feel the difference.

Some newer devices have been built with a blue light filter. Try turning the blue light off on your phone or tablet for a few weeks. It is amazing the difference this makes to helping you mind disconnect from the stimulation, and slow down to a recovery state.

Remember; Your Life Is Significant

As tough as things may seem when you have the company of the Black Dog, work hard on keeping your focus on the things that make you even the slightest bit happy. It may be something as seemingly insignificant that you love to have a coffee first thing in the morning, or the way the sunlight falls through the curtains in the morning looks beautiful to you.

Begin a gratitude journal and each day, before you get out of bed, sit up and think of something that you like and think about how grateful you are that it exists. It could be anything at all, it just has to be important or valid to you. Make a note about this and how it makes you feel knowing that it is a part of your world.

Do this each day, pick something new and write about it. If you put this off until later in the day it will not be as effective as if it is done first thing in the morning.

There’s a little bit of a mind hack being used here; you can use it to your advantage to choose how you want your day to go. Have you ever woken up and had a song stuck in your head? You hadn’t heard it for some time, and surely not today, but there it is – this is what you are going to use to your advantage.

Replace the song as something that gets into your mind with your thought of gratitude. Instead of ‘Mmm-Bop’ going through your head all day, you’ll have a better chance of happier thoughts.

This is a key approach on how to take care of yourself when depressed. You have the ability to choose, you have the strength to own your decisions.

If you feel that your depression keeps recurring, take some time out to talk to your Doctor, or a Counselor, who will help you with alternatives to manage the depression.

Remember, your ability to recover from depression starts with you, so it is important that you seek assistance, particularly when you don’t know how to take care of yourself when depressed.

About the author

Dr. Izzy