Emotions like sadness and grief are normal human emotions, but clinically diagnosed depression is a whole other animal.
Depressive symptoms can range from loss of interest, fatigue, overwhelming sadness to extremely severe symptoms that put your life at risk.
Depression can be very overwhelming and you may feel very alone. The good news is that depression is highly treatable. Unfortunately, most of us are likely to have our depressive symptoms go unnoticed or brushed off as a bad mood or feeling sad. It’s important to recognize depressive symptoms to understand best how to manage them in your everyday life and if professional treatment is needed.
Although counseling and medications can be extremely helpful for this and may be necessary at some point, there are things that you can do to start to take action before it’s too late.
- Eat Healthy. Eat a well balanced diet. Ensure that you are eating enough quality food, nutrition is a vital part of our mental health.
- Get Moving! Moving your body can have a multitude of benefits to not only help how you feel, but improve your thought processes and your self-esteem.
- Get enough sleep, but not too much! Although your motivation may be low, it’s important to not allow yourself to lay in bed all day. Taking naps throughout the day can actually worsen your depression. It’s important to set a consistent sleep schedule. Start creating a habit and overtime this will become much easier.
- Take care of yourself. You want to surround yourself with the right people and environment, that can help calm you down and improve your mood. Allowing yourself to rest and be around people and things you enjoy can be extremely helpful. Make a cup of tea, read a good book, meditate, put on music you enjoy, surround yourself with good scents from scented candles or aromatherapy or call a friend.
- Accept yourself. We are all unique and no one is perfect, everyone has good and not so good qualities. We can definitely work to improve in some of these areas that may be holding us back, but it’s important to remember that you have significant value that is not dependent on other people’s opinions. Participation in activities that you are good at or areas you are strong in can help grow feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
- Stay Connected. You may have a desire to isolate yourself and withdraw from others, but this can actually worsen depressive symptoms. Make sure that you stay connected with others, find a few people that you can talk to and obtain support from. Talking with others will also help you to change the focus from how you feel to what’s going on outside of your depression.
- Treatment Options. Last, but not least, it’s so important to remember that you are not alone. There is help out there and we are just a phone call away to assist you in obtaining the services you need.
In the meantime try out some of these alleviating factors and let us know how it goes. If you have any tips to share please let us and others know by commenting below.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Victoria Schmick-DiStefano, LMHC