Depressed? It’s time you learn to deal with it!
Lots of people have had their battles with depression… and won! How about you?
Depression is a condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people around the world. It affects people of both genders, as well as all races, income, age and ethnic and religious background. However, it is twice as common in women compared to men and three to five times more common in the elderly than in young people.
It is so widespread that doctors and researchers have considered depression “the common cold of mental illness.”
Depression can come about as a result of a severe loss such as a death in the family or a failed relationship. It can also be a chemical imbalance in the brain. Depression can be transient, meaning that it affects people at certain times or for certain periods then stops and comes back. It can also be chronic and exist for long periods at a time.
To add to the misery is the alarming damage depression can do to your business and to your relationships. It actually can make you absent-minded and extremely forgetful since it takes so much mental energy.
Depression may go hand in hand with a number of other physical health problems, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Now the latest evidence suggests that depression may also increase risk of stroke. (Research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital).
Just trying to survive the battle of the blues is exhausting. It takes a lot away from other important aspects of your life – like your job and making quality time with friends and family.
Depression drains your energy, hope and drive, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. While you can’t overcome depression through sheer willpower, you do have some control- even if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. Feeling better takes time, but understanding and knowing the symptoms can help.
Symptoms of depression
How do you know if you are depressed?
Depression symptoms are usually thought of by their emotional components- deep sadness, disinterest in life, and frequent crying. However, depression can have physical symptoms as well, affecting your appetite, sleep habits, and energy levels.
According to clinical research, depression is known to have two (2) sets of symptoms:
- One set consists of distress-related symptoms, such as depressed mood, worry, negative thinking and dread.
- The second broad set includes items like fatigue, low energy, low motivation, and low enjoyment spirit.
The symptoms are often subtle at first. It can be hard to recognise that symptoms may be connected. Throughout the course of our lives, we all experience episodes of stress, unhappiness, sadness, or grief. Over a period of days or weeks, the majority of us are able to return to our normal activities. But when the symptoms last for more than a couple of weeks in a row, we may have what is called “clinical depression.”
Clinical depression is not just grief or feeling sad. It is an illness that can challenge your ability to perform even routine daily activities. At its worst, depression may lead you to contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide. Depression represents a burden for both you and your family. Sometimes that burden can be overwhelming.
The biggest barriers to overcoming depression are recognition of the condition and seeking appropriate solutions and help.
So much for the bad news! The good news is that there are many newly discovered effective weapons and natural methods to use when fighting depressions.
Due to advancement in science and evolution in technology which help speeds up education and knowledge, we are lucky to know that there are many ways to reduce depression naturally without medication.
The first step in fighting depression is to take a natural remedy. This is better option than drugs for most people because natural remedies have minimal side effects.
Making adjustments through natural ways to fight fatigue and depression
Sleep, Depression and Fatigue
When you are in the midst of depression, sleep is often disrupted, which can make you feel completely exhausted and drained of energy. You can make adjustments to your sleep, which may help you fight depression and fatigue.
- Have a schedule bedtime and wake time that you follow every day of the week, including weekends.
- Create a good sleep environment – make your bedroom dark, cool and comfortable
- Relaxation exercises may help
- Wake up no later than 8 a.m. each morning, earlier if you can.
Exercise and Foods for Energy
Your level of physical activity and the quality of your diet also play a role in gaining control over fatigue. While it might be hard to find the motivation to work out when you’re fatigued, exercising during the day will actually boost energy levels. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day. Walking, dancing, bicycling, and gardening are all fun ways to add activity to your day.
A brisk 30-minute walk or jog around the track three times a week may be just as effective in relieving the symptoms of major depression as the standard treatment of anti-depressant medications, according to the results of a Duke University Medical Centre Study.
“Best of all, exercise will help boost your confidence.” James Blumenthal, psychologist
Food for the blues: Fighting depression with proper nutrition
Many of the symptoms of depression can be directly linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in our standard diet. Depression mood swings and fatigue often have a common cause: poor nutrition. Avoiding depression or recovering from a depressive episode is often as easy as changing your diet and boosting your consumption of key foods that deliver brain-boosting nutrients and help regulate brain chemistry.
Your eating habits may also help you manage depression and fatigue.
Loss of appetite is a common symptom of depression, but you need to eat healthy foods for energy. On the other hand, if your depression symptoms lead to loading up on sugary, fat-laden junk food, these foods may make you feel worse. You should choose foods for both nutrition and energy. Opt for plenty of lean proteins, such as chicken, soya, cheese, beans, turkey, fish like salmon and sardine, and other seafood, whole grains, including whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals, and a wide range of fruits (Bananas, and vegetables-when incorporating them in your diet including a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
- While all these foods might seem like a good place to start when you want to beat the blues, changing a natural, whole food diet can significantly improve your mood, your health and your figure.
- Cooking more fresh food, exercise regularly and getting plenty of sunshine can further improve your state of mind and also work to get you out that slump.
- Focus on distributing calories during the day, eating a lighter evening meal and limiting heavy nigh-time treats- a small snack is better.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Eat every meal
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Not eat big meals close to bedtime
10 powerful depression-blasters to chase the blues away
1. Focus on helping others instead on yourself
Don’t spend time brooding. Instead, engage yourself in constructive activities as it will fight your blues. When you do something constructive with your time, the mind does not get the time to be sad and depressed. Also, there is a higher chance of meeting other people and socialising with them when you engage in something. Welfare activities such as volunteering to help in children or any other social programmes will make you feel good and keep you from your depressive episodes.
2. Nurture yourself with good nutrition.
Proper nutrition can influence a person’s mood and energy. So eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and get regular meals (even if you don’t feel hungry, try to eat something light, like a piece of fruit, to keep you going).
3. Simplicity of living can be healing
When we’re striving to keep up with other people’s standard of living, it causes needless stress. Instead of concentrating on trying to acquire more and more stuff, appreciate what you already have instead. Don’t let the stuff of life be your boss!
4. Turn your back on harmful thinking
What you’re thinking rules your life, so pick your thoughts carefully!
Thomas Jefferson advised that nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his or her goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. How true.
5. Express yourself
With depression, a person’s creativity and sense of fun may seem blocked. Exercise your imagination (painting, drawing, doodling, sewing, writing, dancing, composing music, etc) and you not only get those creative juices flowing, you also loosen up some positive emotions. Take time to play with a friend or a pet, or do something fun for yourself. Find something to laugh about – a funny movie, perhaps. Laughter helps to lighten your mood.
6. Healthy living
Get at least thirty minutes of sunshine outdoors every day. Sunshine triggers the body to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to boost the immune system and reduce depression. Getting some sunshine every day will have a positive effect on your mood and body as well.
7. Practice the art of forgiveness
Choose to let go of all grudges against anyone who has ever harmed you. When we don’t forgive, we’re only hurting ourselves.
8. Be thankful
Tell the people in your life that you appreciate them and thank them for the many things they do for you.
9. Look on the bright side
Depression affects a person’s thoughts, making everything seem dismal, negative and hopeless. If depression has you noticing only the negative, make an effort to notice the good things in life. Try to notice one thing, then try to think of one more. Consider your strengths, gifts, or blessings. Most of all, don’t forget to be patient with yourself. Depression takes time to heal.
10. Identify troubles, but don’t dwell on them.
Try to identify any situations that have contributed to your depression. When you know what’s got you feeling blue and why, talk about it with a caring friend. Talking is a way to release the feelings and to receive some understanding. If there’s no one to tell, pouring your heart out to a journal works just as well.