Depression can deplete your hope, energy and drive, making it hard for you to feel good.
No matter how old you are, depression can be pervasive, as though you are in a dark passage with no light. Hope vanishes and things you used to enjoy can feel as though they are a chore.
Defeating depression isn’t fast or easy, but it can be overcome. I’ve found that the key is to begin small, with one or two simples steps.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Overcoming depression requires activity, but getting active when you feel low is not easy. Have a think about the resources you have on hand. Perhaps you can start with a walk or make a call to friend or family member.
Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day. Here are some things I’ve found can help to deal with depression.
When you’re depressed, there is a tendency is to withdraw and isolate yourself. Reaching out to close family members and friends can be tough, especially when compounded with any shame and guilt you may feel from neglecting your relationships. But, even though it is one of the hardest things to do, it will be rewarding.
I find social attachment is important to overcoming depression. Keep in contact with friends and family – you’ll see a huge difference in your outlook and mood.
Exercise is a powerful way to fight depression. It relaxes your mind and works as an energy booster for the body. Health experts say that regular exercise appears to encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways. I’ve found that even as little as a 10-minute walk can improve my mood for some time.
Combat negative thinking
Depression makes you put a negative spin on everything, but in turn negative thinking can make you feel even lower. You may feel hopeless and pessimistic about the future, disliked and worthless. In reality this is not the case, but changing your outlook can be hard, and takes practice. Try to spend a few minutes each day relaxing, and thinking positively.
Cashews are a good source of healthy fat for the body – and this is vital in helping to prevent depression and to balance your mood.
Cashew contain high levels of L-tryptophan, an amino acid which the body turns into serotonin. In the body, serotonin works as a neurotransmitter which helps the smooth functioning of the brain, and in turn can help to overcome depression.
If you are not fond of eating cashews on their own, you can always try different cashew recipes like vegan cheese, nut butter, cashew milk, cashew chocolates etc.
Exposure to sunlight
Sunlight can also help support serotonin levels and enhance your mood. You should get at least 15-20 minutes of sunlight each day. While you are outside, why not try to do an activity at the same time? If you are inside, allow as much natural light as possible into your workplace or home by opening blinds and sitting close to the windows.
Eat a healthy diet
No one has yet perfected a diet that can overcome depression, but food does have an effect on how you feel. Avoid eating foods that can adversely affect your mood like trans fats, alcohol or caffeine. Try to reduce your use of baked food, pasta, sugary snacks and chips as they can drain your energy and lead to a crash in your mood.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 and folic acids give you a real boost. Try salmon, sardines, tuna for omega-3 or avocado and spinach for a folic acid boost. Eating small amounts every three to four hours can help.