Lifestyle Changes to Manage Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by profound feelings of sadness, isolation, hopelessness, or emptiness. Depression is a common, but serious mental health problem. Feeling sad from time to time is a normal part of life, but feeling crippled by your sadness on a daily basis could be a sign of something else. It involves your body, moods, and thoughts. It can touch all parts of your life such as how you eat and sleep, act, or feel about yourself and others. Depression can be overwhelming and prevent you from enjoying things you once had interest in. It affects everyone differently, but it can interfere with your daily activities, work, and life in general.

Effective treatment means more than taking medications. The more you change your lifestyle to ensure a healthy mind and body, the more you’ll be able to cope with the challenges of depression. Below are some ways you can improve your lifestyle to complement your depression treatment.

Healthy Eating Plan

Eating healthy is good for your body and will help your mood overall. The easiest way to improve your diet is to cut out junk food. Avoid foods high in refined sugar and foods packed with saturated fats. Incorporate healthy foods into your diet, including: Omega-3s and omega-6s fatty acids, meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, Complex carbohydrates and whole grains.

Exercise

Exercise increases your body’s production of natural antidepressants. Exercising for 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week, can help alleviate depression without the use of medication. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, boost self-esteem and provide restful sleep.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a Healthy Weight improves your self-esteem and overall health, and you don’t have to starve yourself or hop on a fad diet. Eating right and exercising regularly is the tried-and-true method for maintaining a Healthy Weight. The more you do these two things, the easier it’ll be to stick with them.

Proper Sleep

A common complication of depression is lack of sleep. Lying awake in bed at night with a brain that won’t calm down, or waking in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep, are common symptoms. Fatigue from lack of sleep can add to symptoms of depression, so proper sleep is an important part of a depression treatment plan. Develop a calming bedtime routine that can help you wind down at the end of the day, and follow a consistent sleep schedule to improve the amount and quality of sleep you get.

Support System

Depression can be alienating, and the right network of friends and loved ones can help you overcome your issues. Spend time with positive, supportive, and loving people to help you through rocky times.

Meditation

Meditation is the practice of engaging in a mental exercise, such as deep breathing or repeating a phrase or mantra, to achieve some kind of benefit. In the Buddhist tradition, the goal of meditation is spiritual enlightenment. Many modern practices focus on stress relief and relaxation. Meditation can help relieve anxiety that sometimes accompanies depression. If depression is disrupting your sleep habits, deep-breathing techniques can help calm your mind to help you sleep better.

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