Depression is one of the worst mental illnesses around that so many people suffer from. It can make you feel helpless, and it also can make you believe that you're not good enough for anything. Depression holds the power to destroy your self-worth and self-esteem, and it can stop you from moving forward in life in general. The unfortunate thing about it is that depression is so common. In fact, according to The National Institute of Mental Health, over 20 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from some type of mood disorder.
For instance, if you're working at a job where you're being treated poorly, depression can make you believe that you will not be able to leave that job because no other employer will hire you. Yes, it's true that the job market is competitive and tough. However, never forget that depression is a terrible liar. Depression can stop you from going out there and looking for a better job. You'll start to believe that others have a better chance of being hired than you all because you believe you are not good enough. That's an unfortunate example of how depression affects sufferers.
Even though someone who has depression cannot 'get over' it because it's an illness—just like someone cannot get over diabetes, there is some good news. Just like other illnesses, depression can be managed and controlled. You don't even have to take antidepressants if you're concerned about the side effects. However, you do have it in you to manage your condition naturally. Let's look at 10 natural ways to manage depression.
1. Eat Healthy Food
The fact of the matter is that diet can have a huge effect on your mental health, and physical health. You know that saying you are what you eat. There is truth to this statement. If you are eating junk food that is high in sugar, refined carbs, and trans fats, you're hurting your overall health. If you change your diet and start eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids, and complex carbs such as whole grains you will start to feel better. And when you start feeling better, you'll be able to manage your depression much easier. If you're unsure of what foods to eat, visit a dietician or a nutritionist who can give you the guidance you need.
2. Be Sure To Get Enough Sunshine
It's true that you'll want to stay protected from the sun's UV rays by wearing sunscreen if you're going to be spending plenty of time outdoors. However, you still need some of that Vitamin D from the sun. That's going to help your mental health immensely. Be sure to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine. And, if you live in a colder climate, you can get lamps that mimic the sun's benefits, and be sure to take Vitamin D supplements as well. This will do the same job as if you were to literally go outside and get some direct sunshine.
3. Be Gentle With Yourself
When people have a hard time controlling their depression, there's a good chance that they're talking to themselves in a negative way. The next time you catch yourself with the negative self-talk, you must stop and remember that it's your depression talking. Change the way you speak to yourself, and be kind instead of negative. The more you are mindful about being gentle with yourself, the less you will struggle with the negative self-talk.
4. Get 7 To 9 Hours Of Sleep
Getting the proper amount of sleep will do wonders when it comes to managing your mental health. If you're constantly getting 6 hours or less of sleep each night, or if you're getting more than 9 hours of sleep, your overall health will be poor. And, that includes your mental health. If you get the right number of hours of quality-sleep, you're going to generally feel better. The way to improve this is to set a sleep schedule. Set a time to get to bed, and set your alarm to wake up in the morning and a particular time. Be consistent with your sleeping schedule, even during the weekends. It's important to wind down each evening by watching an enjoyable television show, listening to relaxing music, or reading a light-hearted book before going to bed. You'll have an easier time falling asleep quickly. If you still have a hard time falling asleep, then you may want to talk to your doctor or naturopath to see how you can find methods to help you fall asleep quickly.
5. Start Meditating
The fact of the matter is that when you start to meditate, your entire brain starts to change for the better. Meditation clears your brain and helps you think more clearly. You will also just start feeling better in general, and you'll find yourself becoming more organized if you make a habit of meditating. Start meditating for a few minutes in a day, and then increase it to an hour in time. If you're unsure of how to start meditating, you can take some courses as there are plenty around.
6. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture has many benefits, and has been known to treat many ailments. This is because certain pain points in your body are being controlled through the use of acupuncture. This treatment can be quite helpful for people who have depression and/or other mental illnesses. Look for a reputable acupuncturist in your area and give it a try.
7. Look For Holistic Supplements
There are plenty of good-quality natural supplements that can help treat depression like valerian root, 5-HTP, St. John's Wort, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Ginseng. However, it is not advisable to just try something without speaking with a naturopathic doctor first. Be sure to consult one, and get some advice on what natural supplements to take to help you manage your depression properly.
8. Quit Drinking, Smoking And Doing Recreational Drugs
If you are into these bad habits, then it's a good time to quit. These substances will only worsen your depression, and if you need help quitting you can work with a doctor, therapist, or addiction specialist. He or she will create a plan for you to wean you off. This way you will have an easier time with quitting instead of just going off cold turkey. This could be dangerous in a number of ways.
9. Get Moving
It's a known fact that exercise helps relieve symptoms of depression. Therefore, when you are working on a plan to control your depression naturally, then you must incorporate exercise. You don't need to spend hours at the gym working out to achieve mental health benefits. All you need to do is take half-hour brisk walks 5 days a week. You will feel a lot better once you get into the habit of this.
10. Get Into A Routine
If you're not on any kind of routine or set schedule, you may feel like everything in your life is uncontrollable. Therefore, your depression will worsen if there isn't a routine that you're sticking to in your life. Now is the time to create one. You will start becoming more organized, and you will feel accomplished by finishing tasks such as paying your bills on time. That in itself will help you feel a lot better.
And while you're taking advantage of these 10 tips to manage your depression naturally, be sure to talk to someone as well. Look for a trained therapist who you can connect with while you are working on taking better care of your mental health. Once you get into these good habits, you will be successful in managing your depression.