Depression is engulfing and painful. It takes away one’s joy, confidence, energy, appetite, goals, focus and logic in one strong sweep. It is a lifelong battle for some. It can be a horrific battle in response to a life altering situation for others. Some feel the depression with the seasonal changes. Depression may be an everyday feeling of gray clouds and a blue mood, even when there are positives in one’s life. Many seek medication and/or counseling to help them with their depression. Some hide the depression and isolate themselves due to negative feelings or fear of negative reactions from others, which leads to the depression worsening. There are small choices everyday that one can make to proactively handle their depression. Remember, the little things do count when fighting depression.
Each day try to implement the following into your day. Try to create habits with the following behaviors. Additionally, communicating to the supportive people in your life is a great start so they know how and when to help.
- Practice positive thinking by choosing a daily affirmation. Some popular affirmations for depression are “ I am Strong”, “I Love Myself Unconditionally”, and “My Challenges Bring Me Better Opportunities”. Take time to reflect on your affirmation and repeat to yourself throughout the day. Journaling and practicing relaxation breaths with your affirmation is recommended.
- Take a shower and get dressed. Be mindful of the smells of the soap and the feeling of the water.
- Eat healthy comfort whole foods. Be mindful of the taste, smells of the food, and the way your body feels. Vitamins and Mineral supplements are shown to support one’s mood.
- Move your body and exercise. Taking a 5 minute walk is better than nothing.
- Get outside and breathe in some fresh air. Be mindful with your 5 senses. Practice your breathing paired with your affirmation. According to Monica N. Starkman, MD and her book The End Of Miracles, “Try and do a little every day. Whatever you can do, just walk ten steps in place if that’s all you have the energy for. Exercise is like fertilizer for the brain and improves its biology. It has a strong anti-depressant effect, so take it like a medicine.”
- Enjoy the morning sunlight.
- Allow for yourself to engage in activities that you once enjoyed. Depression takes pleasure away so if you do not enjoy music the way you previously had, it’s ok. Listen to music, play or sing music as you did in the past even if the pleasure is not there. It is important to stimulate your brain in this manner.
- Giving and receiving Hugs
- Lower your expectations of yourself on the hard days but continue pushing yourself to stick with these daily habits.
Take Care and Remember that the Little Things Do Count!
If you feel like discussing your feeling with a counselor, Paper Cranes Healthcare is here for you. Call (480)704-3474 to schedule today.
Laura is a counselor at Paper Cranes Healthcare that specializes in working with people dealing with depression and anxiety.