Just as your mind muscles need to work to stay agile, so does your body. The two work in coordination and often one failing, affects the other. Exercise would release mood-enhancing biochemicals that would naturally uplift your spirits. If you can't get out of the house, just do some yoga postures, crunches etc.
3. Get sunlight
Even 20 minutes of sunlight daily can do wonders. Not only is this great vitamin D
source (deficiency of vitamin D is known to lead to depression), sunlight also rejuvenates you. I have found morning dose to be very effective.
There is NOTHING more self-empowering than meditation. It is good for both body and mind. Meditation also helps regulate emotion and mood. You could do silent meditation or chant mantras or even walking meditation. As little as ten minutes a day will show positive results.
Knowledge is power. Empower yourself to understanding your problems and finding solutions to what works for you. It would help build your confidence in yourself and enhance self-esteem.
6. Take natural supplements
Get your blood checked for everything. Hormones, blood routine, liver
function tests, vitamin D & B12
, minerals etc. Intake natural sources of multivitamins, proteins, minerals etc. Wheatgrass is the considered superfood. It has almost everything. Also, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are important for mental health which we don't get naturally. Taking calcium
is especially important for women. You can also consider other healthy natural sources (spriulina, gonoderma, flax seeds etc).
7. Food and sleep
Eating healthy and sleeping well are essential to recovery. Reduce intake of fried foods, spicy overcooked meals and introduce more salads and fruits in you diet. Read a good book, have comfortable bed and routine of sleeping and waking. Sleep maintains circadian rhythm of the body and these are linked with maintaining hormone levels. And you know how we feel directly depends on the chemical messageners (hormones) in our blood!
8. Practice gratitude and compassion
Depression blinds us of all the good things in life. It makes us wallow in self-pity and enjoy self-loathing.
Wake up everyday and write 3 things you are grateful for and 3 things you want to accomplish that day. At the end of the day, recall ways you were compassionate and in what ways you could improve.
This practice will slowly remove negativity from your life. You would start attracting positive things. It could also help simplify and streamline your thoughts.
9. Practice Self-love (radical acceptance)
There is a reason this deserves a separate point. Depression's main weapon is murder of self-esteem. So, the most obvious way to fight it is to love oneself radically. Radical acceptance entails that you accept yourself, others and situations without judgement. No need to be so harsh on yourself. You deserve joy, love and success just as anyone else. Remind yourself of that everyday. In fact, whenever you catch your thoughts floundering towards negativity, cut them short by creating a voice of Self-love.
Fight this âYou stupid moron. How could you make such a mistake.â
With this âit's alright. I am human and I can make mistakes. This is a good lesson. I'll be more careful in the future.â
10. Get some love
Yea, should be obvious, no? Get hugs. If you don't have people in your life, get a pet. Affection has the power to soothe pain. It cuts loneliness. Loneliness is what we need to stop feeling.
11. Dress well (look good)
Dress in the most vibrant colors you can find. A depressed person often becomes dull, wearing blacks and greys often. Try to deliberately avoid wearing dark dull colors. I mean sure, they look hot but they also have a certain heaviness in how they feel. If you don't understand what I mean, just try this advice.
12. Avoid negative news and angry sophists
News is often full of negativity. Someone with depression is vulnerable to melancholy. You want to be pulled out of darkness, not pushed down further in it. The world already feels like it is wearing you down, why add more weight?
Besides, there are some people thrusting their agendas in your face to provoke reaction who are eternally ready to engage in a fight in the name of discussion. Best to avoid them, because they'll pull you down in the process of pushing themselves up.
13. Monitor your moods
You might not be hyper moody like I am but everyone has their own set of triggers. You need to identify all possible triggers. What makes you happy and what makes you sad. Then deliberately add the positive activities and manage reactions to negative triggers. There are plenty of good mood apps available. This will prepare you for the worst while guiding you to add your favorite activities.
14. Declutter, dust and clean
A depressed person's surroundings can often reflect the messy state of their mind (unless clutter is a part of their lifestyle). I start cleaning when I start to drift towards depressed waters. It requires some push but once you start cleaning, the expectation of the results would keep you going. You would also notice that when you clean, your mind tends to go blank and the mind clutter calms down. Plus, cleaning is exercising.
15. Take up a new hobby
You need excuses to be around people, to step outside of your house and be motivated. Take up an activity that you have always wanted to learn but didn't. Could be painting, soap-making, dancing, swimming, learning a new language, volunteering at a shelter, walking animals. Whatever you can think of and just start. It will help broaden your horizon and provide hope.
16. Spend time in nature
Nature can heal. When you are truly present in nature, you can forget your worst woes. There is a beautiful universe beyond the cacophony of our human existence that deserves to be experienced because there is true bliss in it. We are one with the universe; the stars, a man-made thing and all the trees and animals are made of the same cosmic dust that we are. No one species is greater than the rest. This is a realization, not a sentence to be read and forgotten.
17. Help people (Active compassion)
Helping people actively can make a depressed person feel better about themselves. There is some research that corroborates for this. We are a community. Helping each other (not just as people but as species) is our duty.
18. Learn to laugh at yourself.
This is really the best way out. Don't take yourself too seriously. Comedians are some of the most hurt people. Also, some of the most insightful people. The moment your mind tells you how awful you are, laugh at it. Laugh at your awful situation. Laugh at yourself. Now, I know it's hard to do all the time but whenever you can, laugh at the buffoon in the mirror. S/he will love it!
19. Do activities you used to love
Depression can make you lose pleasure in doing stuff that you used to (Anhedonia) but that is no reason to stop doing them. Push yourself to partake in stuff you enjoyed. Watch your kind of films, theatre, dancing, reading, food, travel and everything you liked before.
20. Talk about it!
Sounds simple but I know many people hide their depression. This only adds to the stigma in society and burden on the person trying to recover. Just opening up to someone about your struggles can make you feel lighter. Find a support group if you can't find a confidant in life. Knowing there are other people out there fighting the same demons can reinstate your faith in yourself and world, at large.