If you’ve been feeling tired for no reason, and don’t enjoy things like you usually do, you could be depressed. You might have trouble sleeping at night, or get irritated over little things. Left untreated, depression tends to get worse and worse. If you aren’t ready or don’t want to take medications that can leave you suffering with side effects and are hard on your body, try changing your lifestyle first. These four easy lifestyle changes can make your depression go away. Depression is a crippling mental ailment that can lead to traumatic circumstances if not treated appropriately. The case of the late Mr.Robin Williams, a world-renowned actor and comedian who had touched the lives of so many people through his films, took his own live as a result of severe depression.
The first lifestyle change you can make that has a huge impact on your mental state is getting more exercise. Exercise raises your endorphin levels, which in turn make you feel good. Daily exercise can actually help to reprogram your brain, and keep your depression at bay. Exercising for 30 minutes each day is best, but studies show that even walking three days a week raises your endorphin levels and leaves you feeling better.
Once you work exercise into your routine, the next thing you can do to ease your depression is to get enough sleep. When you’re depressed it can be hard to sleep, but not getting the sleep you need tires you out, drains you and leaves you more depressed. It becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Try setting a routine for yourself. Go to bed at the same time each night and don’t let yourself sleep during the day. Don’t eat, watch TV or work on the computer for two hours before bedtime. This trains your body to sleep at the same time each night.
Healthy eating does wonders to ease depression. A diet full of junk food and soda drains vitality from your body, leaving you feeling flat and empty. Eating sugary foods to make yourself feel better has the opposite effect. You may feel better in the moment, but after you consume the sweets you feel tired. Eating a healthy diet gives you strength and energy, and in turn makes you feel less depressed. Try eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid like salmon, spinach and tuna. Clinical research shows that Omega-3s can alleviate depression.
Finally, start a routine and stick with it. Structure gives you purpose and prevents you from spending your days aimlessly floating around. Make a schedule for your day and don’t deviate from it. Be sure to make time for exercise and one to two activities that bring you pleasure, like gardening or having coffee with friends. Think of your schedule as a blueprint for the life you want to be living. A good routine won’t leave you time to be depressed.
When you make these changes to your lifestyle, you alleviate your depression and become a healthier person. Depression doesn’t have to rule your life. Battle it head on and gain control of the most valuable gift that you have. Once you start incorporating these techniques into your life, each day will seem a little brighter. Soon you’ll be wanting to say….depression??? what depression? who is depressed?
As an additional resource for battling depression, I have found this workbook titled “The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression” to be of significant value and have used it in positively helping one of my family member’s bout with the crippling disease.