Following on from my earlier discussions about depression, taking care of ourselves is one of the important thing we can do, to help us overcome the condition. We have to nurture ourselves.
This means making time to do the things that we once enjoyed, setting our own limits on what we feel we’re capable of doing, asking for help where we need it, adopting habits that are good for us and trying to bring fun back into our lives.
Whilst it may seem an effort to force ourselves to have fun, being able to pick up a previous hobby or indulge in a little exercise, will go some way to helping us get back on our feet. Expressing ourselves through hobbies such as music, writing, or art, can also take the edge off Depression.
Strategies need to be in place; create a wellness toolbox; something we can do to draw inspiration from, writing a journal and marking down what we like about ourselves is so important. Perhaps we could go back to reading if that is something we once enjoyed, or perhaps listening to music. Pets are a good stress reliever.
Pets have been statistically proven to reduce stress. A healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone wanting or trying to get through Depression. Sleep is a great healer and although Depression can involve sleep problems, aiming for between 6-8 hours a night, should help us cope better during the day.
Spending a little time outdoors can also help with Depression, as sunlight helps trigger chemicals in the brain. Even 15 minutes a day should be enough to make us feel better. Relaxation is another way to help relieve symptoms of Depression, as well as reducing stress. Relaxation can bring a sense of well-being. Yoga, meditation or deep breathing techniques or anything that challenges the way you behave.
We must also look at and identify our stressors, to try and figure out what exactly what we are stressing over. For example non-supportive relationships, taking on too much, or health problems. Once we know what our stressors are, we can make a plan to minimise their impact, or make a plan to avoid them altogether.
Many people who are depressed can be perfectionists. It’s not possible to function normally and continual with such high standards. We should try reducing the high standards we set for ourselves. If we try to lower our standards, we can work on being happy with whatever new standards we set ourselves.
Finally, say no to added responsibility and plan ahead, working through any triggers and limits. That way we will be able to identify and avoid the many problems associated with our triggers.