One common symptom of depression is a feeling of helplessness but medication isn't always necessary for treating your depression. Here are 10 ways to try and help with fighting depression naturally.
Get into a routine
If you have recently fallen into depression, your life probably lacks structure, with successive days blending into each other. For getting yourself back on track, you could put together a schedule to follow on each day - although obviously, a weekday schedule might noticeably differ from a weekend one. You can ease yourself in by keeping your routine gentle at first.
A great thing about a schedule is that it can help you to work towards realizing particular goals. That's effective in countering the depressive feeling that you can get anywhere. Don't be afraid to keep your goals small at first, however. It could be as small as washing the dishes on each other day. You could later set more challenging goals as you feel ready for them.
Do something new
Are you feeling very much "stuck in a rut"? Then an overly familiar lifestyle could be to blame. Freshen things up. Perhaps you could see a new exhibition that has just started at a local museum, get into a book that isn't of your usually preferred genre, or attend a dance class. Challenging yourself in such ways affects your brain's levels of dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure.
Spend more time in nature
Each day, spend at least half an hour outdoors. There are lots of different ways in which you could connect with the organic world. You could, for example, do some gardening, chop wood, go hiking, walk the dog, or go canoeing. Whatever suitable nature-focused activity you opt for, you should stick at it for at least 30 minutes each day. Simply catching more sunlight can really help you.
Find a quiet spot, close your eyes there, and leave your thoughts to drift past like clouds. Meditating in this manner will help your mind to stay in the present moment. Negative thoughts can melt away as you are healed inside. Don't fret if you are inexperienced with meditation; you can start with just a few minutes daily. There are also smartphone apps that can guide you in becoming more mindful.
Exercise boosts the positivity-inducing brain chemicals known as endorphins. A great attraction of exercising is that there are so many different methods for doing it; therefore, you don't have to struggle to find a method that you enjoy. You can walk, run, swim, dance, play football... the list goes on. Exercising can be especially beneficial if done outside, letting you enjoy nature at the same time.
Seeing that beach body start to take shape is bound to do wonders for your self-esteem, but all of that exercising could count for little if your diet is poor. There are also health-related complications that can arise if you fail to adhere to a good diet. That diet won't magically fix your depression; however, particular foods containing Omega-3, such as sardines and salmon, might help.
Get sufficient sleep
There are various things you can do to help improve your sleep. These include always going to bed and getting up at the same times of day and removing all distractions - including computers and TVs - from the bedroom. Also, before settling down, it’s a good idea to do something that induces relaxation, like drinking a herbal tea or enjoying some soothing soaking in the bath.
Write down your thoughts
By putting your feelings on paper, you could better comprehend what is causing your depression. Writing like this could enable you to think through your situation - and as a result, feel better or devise a practical solution. Why not keep a journal in which you regularly articulate your thinking?
Forgive and forget
Maybe someone seriously wronged you in the past, and you still haven't come to terms with it. However, anger can fester if you don't let go of past grudges. You could also pick up physical ailments. Forgive whoever has mistreated you, seek forgiveness should you have been at fault, and forgive yourself as well. You are then mentally well-positioned to move on.
Please keep in mind that the effectiveness of these techniques can vary between people. It can be wise to ask a qualified psychiatrist what they think of these methods before you actually undertake any for yourself. Furthermore, we haven't touched on many other ways of naturally relieving depression - such as looking after a pet, listening to music, and spending more time with friends and family.