Depression, taking care of yourself

Taking care of yourself, of your mental health, is one of the important thing you can do to help you overcome depression. It is also important to nurture yourself.

This means making time to do the things that you once enjoyed, setting your own limits on what you feel you’re capable of doing, asking for help where you need it, and adopting habits that are good for you.

Whilst it may seem an effort to force yourself to have fun, being able to pick up a previous hobby or indulge in a little exercise, should go some way to helping you get back on your feet. Expressing ourselves through things like music, writing, or art can also take the edge off depression.

Strategies need to be in place, create a wellness toolbox; something you can do to draw inspiration from, write a journal, marking down what you like about yourself. Perhaps go back to reading if that is something you once enjoyed, or perhaps listen to music. Pets are also 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.

It is important to look at and identify your stressors, to try and figure out what exactly you’re stressing over. For example non-supportive relationships, taking on too much, or health problems. Once you know what those are, you can make a plan to minimise their impact, or make a plan to avoid them altogether.

Many people who are depressed can be perfectionists, but it’s not possible to function normally and continual with such high standards. It is important to try reduce the high standards we set for ourselves. If we try to lower our standards, we can work on being happy with our new standards.

Also, say no to added responsibility and plan ahead, working through any triggers and limits. That way you can identify and avoid the many problems associated with depression triggers.


30 Jun, 2010

4 thoughts on “Depression, taking care of yourself

  1. This is great advice Ilana. Everything you’ve recommended works great if you do it. For me just getting out in the sunshine helps a lot. I get more depressed when it rains and am happiest in the sun. If I had the means I would go live in a tropical area because it’s always warm and the ocean soothes me. I’m always a very happy person when we go on cruises.

    My problem is motivation. I have so many things that I can do (scrap-booking all the pictures, jewelry kits to make, and baking). I think I get overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start, so I don’t do anything except study. I need motivation. I procrastinate so much of the time and I need rest but there is always some kind of interference with that.

    Anyway this is really good Ilana, I think having someone that understands you and what’s going on is very important also. So many times we think the other people in our lives don’t want to hear about our problems so we still suffer in silence. Other people especially family, are usually more than happy to lend an ear. Opening up and getting it out will help even if it’s a stranger like a therapist. If I keep going I’ll start repeating what you said in your post cause your right on the money. Great post and advice.

    1. Lisa picking up on you point of you procrastinating. You are probably not alone there, but I think we ultimately do it because we’re not happy so we give up and just do nothing. It’s a kind of retreat. If we’re not taking control, we don’t have to make decisions. We let others think for us. For many years this is how I lived my life. Only when I started bringing control back into my life did I stop procrastinating. I believe you can too.

      If you have family who you can talk to then you are one lucky lady! I went through counseling for many years and that did help to some extent, but a lot of the process has to be worked through by you. I think my spirituality allowed me to understand a lot more and as soon as I found that I became more at peace with myself.

  2. Lots of great advice here. If people follow it, it should make them feel better. I myself find listening to music helps calm me. If I am a little down it will lift my spirits.

  3. Randy, I’m glad music works for you. I find that music helps me too. It’s a matter of finding what works, if you find a winning formula it’s good to stick with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Order my new book

Ilana x