5 Ways to Not Give Up when You Struggle with Depression
If you’ve struggled with depression, then you know that one of the greatest struggles is to maintain the motivation to do things that help you feel better. Depression zaps so much of your energy and can suck the desire to do the things you know you should be doing right out of you. While depression is a serious issue for which you need to consult your doctor and a licensed counselor, there are a few things you can do to hang in there and keep fighting.
There are few things more powerful than community when it comes to fighting depression. If you want to stay in the game, you’ve got to have people there for you. You need encouragement and accountability to not want to give up. This support can come from your family, a close circle of friends or from an online or in person support group. Studies have even shown that having a pet can do wonders for helping those with depression. Do your best to get as much face time with people as possible. Be honest with those that you are closest to about how you are feeling, what you are concerned with and what you need. Also, be intentional about reaching out to others who need you. This will keep you focused on something other than your own depression and remind you that everyone struggles. If you are a person of faith, staying connected to God is going to be critical in fighting depression. Do your best to maintain a healthy quiet time and prayer life so you are fully energized spiritually to fight your daily battles.
Do things you love.
Whether it’s coffee with friends, crafting or reading, schedule time to do what you love each day. Even if only for a few minutes, take some time to enjoy life a little. This will be difficult at first, but writing in your schedule is a great place to start.
The scientific research that continues to come out has repeatedly shown that exercise is truly critical in fighting depression. The hormonal benefits of a regular exercise routine have rivaled that of many medications, and daily exercise is becoming part of many treatment plans from doctors for those suffering from depression. Make exercise a priority and you will find fighting your depression a lot easier.
Eat a whole foods based diet.
When your body has everything it needs nutritionally to work optimally, you will find yourself with considerably more energy than when you eat a diet that mainly consists of processed foods. Eating a whole foods diet will not only drastically improve your energy levels, which will help you fight your depression, it can be key in balancing hormones that affect mood. A whole foods based diet and daily exercise are key in fighting depression.
Find the sun.
A daily dose of vitamin D can truly boost mood in big ways. You don’t need much sun, just 10-15 minutes per day will do the trick. This daily dose of sun will help boost your Serotonin levels naturally, improving your overall mood.
Just to be clear, none of these things are meant to replace the care of a licensed professional, whether that be a counselor, psychiatrist or medical doctor. However, once you have met with your healthcare professionals and have a treatment plan in place, these things can certainly help you continue moving forward. And, if your depression is not quite bad enough to warrant professional treatment, then implementing these strategies will help you improve overall mood, and fight hard against the blues.
If you want to implement one (or more) of these strategies but feel stuck on where to go next, I'd love to chat with you!