July 30th, 2020 12:00am
Depression affects more than 18 million adults alone in the United States and accounts for almost five million sick days a year. So, it’s safe to say depression can take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing to the point of debilitation.
When suffering from depression, you can experience loss of interest, fatigue, sadness, and have difficulty concentrating. Just one of these symptoms makes it difficult to be productive or feel satisfied with yourself.
If you struggle with these symptoms, it can be difficult to find the motivation needed to seek treatment. There are six ways you can fight depression and find solid ground. The first step starts with your mindset.
When depressed, it can be so easy to slip into negative self-talk. Instead of owning this negative self-talk as your inner voice, see it as your illness. Think of any demeaning thoughts as a symptom of depression and accept it for what it is.
Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and like other illnesses, it often needs to be seen as such. Every day can be different when depressed and accepting where you are today is the first step in your fight against depression.
If you’re feeling tired for no reason with no motivation to get out of bed, that’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself. Think of your depression like you would the flu. No one would expect you to cross off your to-do list with the flu. So, don’t expect to conquer the world on days when brushing your teeth feels like running a 5K.
Be kind to yourself and open to accepting where you are in your journey. This is key when building self-love and coping with depression. Don't let it define you though and one or at most two days in bed are okay, but ultimately bed is not the place where you will move forward.
Life, in general, comes with stress, tension, and anxiety. Piling this on top of depression is the perfect storm. Using mindfulness techniques like meditation is proven to reduce stress and increase feelings of contentment.
Meditation for depression may sound like a hoax. And truthfully, it won’t cure it but it can help with the symptoms. Meditation teaches you how to look at your thoughts without passing judgment.
The point of meditation is to see the thought, accept it, and let it go. Even if you’re experiencing bad thoughts, meditation will teach you to accept them and let them pass. This disrupts the negative thought pattern and allows you to continue on without getting caught in the cycle of depression.
Learning how to meditate does take some practice, but with some time you will be able to call on your zen whenever you need it.
It can be nearly impossible to focus when you’re depressed, much less focus on your diet. It can be difficult to eat three meals a day when you’re feeling down. But being mindful about what goes in your body can be beneficial when fighting your depression.
Unfortunately, there is no diet on the planet that can cure depression, but taking stock of foods you regularly eat can speak volumes about your mood and body function. Foods like processed sugars and carbs can cause you to crash and feel less than productive.
One study analyzed the sugar intake of 23,000 people and discovered that men who ate 70 grams of sugar a day were 20 percent more likely to develop depression and anxiety.
Try a diet that focuses primarily on healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Although there isn’t a lot of research around why food can improve mental health, scientists believe vitamins support enzyme function, which allows serotonin and other feel-good chemicals to synthesize, thus making you feel better.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is classified as a cannabinoid derived from cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t give you a “high” feeling. Over the past decade, research has soared due to the legalization of marijuana in several states across the U.S. and there are great choices from CBD Canada.
Even though research has increased, there is still much to learn about CBD and its effects on mood disorders such as depression. New research suggests that CBD could have a beneficial impact on depression.
Researchers believe CBD has a positive impact on depression due to its relationship with serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that manages everything in the body from sleep to appetite.
While CBD doesn’t increase serotonin, it does enhance your body’s sensitivity to the serotonin that’s already present. One study suggests the effects of CBD on these brain receptors create an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effect.
When compared to prescription antidepressants, there are some benefits to using CBD. It comes with fewer side effects than some antidepressants and is less habit-forming as well.
Remember, always talk to your doctor before stopping any prescription medication. Everyone is different, so speak with your physician to see if CBD is right for you. Alternatively, you can buy high-quality CBD from a reputed CBD store.
Depression comes with an array of sleep problems. You can either sleep all the time or not enough and both can exacerbate your symptoms. Keeping a healthy sleep routine could be the answer to helping your depression.
Having a consistent time to sleep and wake is a great way to keep your sleep schedule in check. Planning for eight hours of sleep per night could help with the feeling of lethargy and disinterest as well.
There are many factors that affect the quality of your sleep. Monitoring your caffeine intake and decreasing screen time before bed may help you rest easier.
Battling depression alone is an uphill battle even if you’re doing all the above. Always consider speaking to a mental health professional about your depression. Having a trusted ally to analyze your symptoms and build a clinical treatment plan could change your relationship with depression for the better.
Also, perhaps speak to your general practitioner about referring you to a therapist or specialist. Keep in mind, treatment plans may vary for everyone and changes to your treatment plan are normal.
On the worst days, depression can consume you, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The six ways to fight depression are just the beginning of your mental health journey.