5 ways to take care of yourself
It is often said that in order to overcome depression, you have to take care of yourself. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning to manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, adopting healthy habits, and scheduling fun activities into your day.
1. Aim for eight hours of sleep.
Depression typically involves sleep problems. Whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. I know for me, my depression definitely got worse when I had little sleep as I also suffer from insomnia. So, now that I'm on medication that also helps me sleep, I'm feeling so much better! Make sure you're on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits such as less caffeine, more exercise and reduced mobile/laptop use before bed.
2.Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day.
Do you know that lack of sunlight can actually make depression worse?! So make sure you’re getting enough. Take a short walk outdoors, have your coffee outside, people-watch on a park bench, or sit out in the garden. Aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day to boost your mood.
3.Keep stress in check.
Not only does stress prolong and worsen depression, but it can also trigger it. Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out. For example, work overload, un-supportive relationships, or taking on too much. Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can make a plan to avoid them or minimize their impact.
4.Practice relaxation techniques.
A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
5. Care for a pet.
Pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed—both powerful antidotes to depression. Sadly, my Mom won't let me have a dog (though I'm still working on it) so I just have to stroke other peoples dogs instead.
© Beckie Eschle | All rights reserved.