Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. But while overcoming depression isn’t quick or easy, it’s far from impossible. The key is to start small and build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day.
1 Reach out and stay connected
When you’re depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate. Even reaching out to close family members and friends can be tough. Compound that with the feelings of shame and the guilt you may feel at neglecting your relationships. But social support is absolutely essential to depression recovery. Staying connected to other people and the outside world will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook.
2 Do things that make you feel good
To overcome depression, you have to do things that relax and energise you. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling fun activities into your day.
3 Exercise during the day
Exercise is a powerful depression fighter and one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms. It also helps prevent relapse once you’re well. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This doesn’t have to be all at once—and it’s okay to start small. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.
4 Eat healthy and mood- boosting diet
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones (such as certain meats). Don’t skip meals, try to minimise sugar and refined carbs.
5 Get a daily dose of sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun. Aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day. Remove sunglasses (but never stare directly at the sun) and use sunscreen as needed.
6 Challenge negative thinking
Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future. As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they crumble. In the process, you’ll develop a more balanced perspective.