Self-Help for Depression
Attitude plays a role on how depression plays out. Some people accept these mood changes and easily discuss, “being in a funk” or “having a blue period.” Other people are less accepting. Self-judgement can be pretty counter-productive for the person already in a depressed mood. If you are depressed, be gentle with yourself, but there are things you can do that will make it better.
Depression is very treatable. Therapy, exercise and nutrition are all powerful medicine used to treat depression, especially if used together. If pharmaceutical treatments are employed – their efficacy is greatly enhanced when used in concert with the non-pharmaceutical treatments below including counseling.
- Get some sunshine
Roll up your sleeves, take off you sunglasses and soak in some sun. Don’t do that thing where you say, if 15 minutes is great 3 hours will be AWESOME! No. Just 15 minutes or so, ideally before 10 am or after 3 pm to avoid the most intense UV.
- Get some exercise
Go out for a walk, ideally outside, but wherever you can is better than nothing. If you are athletic and want to really workout, then by all means DO IT. Depression can leave the dedicated athlete with no motivation, so don’t tell yourself that it won’t work unless your at 80% of VO2 max. I don’t know what any of that means, so apologies if it is nonsense. A 15-30 minute walk is sufficient, the trick is to get it done. Keep your expectations for yourself reasonable and set yourself up for success.
- Think about nutrition
Have you lost your appetite? Are you eating anything that is not nailed down? Nutrition is key to mental health, but without getting to fancy, use your sense. Eat balanced meals, eat your fruit and vegetables, get nutrient dense calories. Get plenty of healthy fat.
- Get connected
Pick up the phone. Volunteer. Accept invitations. Commit to do at least one socially engaged thing per week. Do not wait to you feel like doing it, just do it.
Depression can cause both sleeplessness and too much sleeping. Try to avoid these extremes, use sleep hygiene techniques to promote sleep and try not to indulge the urge to remain sleeping beyond what is normal for you.
- Call for help. There is no one answer for everyone. Talking to a trained therapist can help you understand yourself, your experience, and discover the methods that work for you.
Susan at (719)551-5283 for your free 15 consultation to see if depression counseling in Colorado Springs is right for you.