Fighting the Epidemic
While Depression may be a reality, doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome. Every journey begins with a single step. Living with depression can be exhausting, difficult and in some cases unbearable, just like not treating a wound will cause more pain. There are numerous tools one can employ to fight the epidemic in their own way for themselves and their near and dear ones.
Beating Depression one step at a time:
Usually, when talking about depression all the tips seem to be generic— do things you like, take help, exercise, don’t isolate yourself, eat a balanced diet. Does this sound familiar? Well, those tips will help you and can bring you numerous benefits which we will come to. However, all those steps come after taking charge of your situation. Fighting depression is a slow battle, we won’t lie to you, but, it’s a battle we all can win, this is the truth.
This may be the hardest step to fight depression, but it is essential. This is not about gaining acceptance of society, it’s about you. Depression is an internal fight, one that people cannot see which is why you need to know you are the one who knows it best. So, the minute you take cognizance of your situation and understand that nobody knows about what you’re going through better than you, the whole fight will get easier. What’s more, this acceptance can come at any point in the battle, when you’re at the beginning, the middle or even at the end. It applies to any point in your life, and if you know somebody going through depression, remember they know what they’re going through.
This can be in any form or manner, it doesn’t have to be through talking. If you’re low, the more you express yourself through emotions, through art, writing, singing, whatever it is, you’re slowly letting go of everything inside you and your mind. Breathing too can be extremely calming, it’s about slowly letting go of each thought and worry, in the way you know best. Internalising Depression makes it that much harder to fight.
Having a routine doesn’t mean every minute of everyday needs to be planned. Always start small, why not have one activity you do every day at a fixed time? It can be as simple as writing a page in your diary, or cooking one meal, or calling a friend or family member. A routine helps you take control of your own life, something depression doesn’t make easy to do.
Depression grows from a sense of doubt, and may sometimes stem from a lack of satisfaction. This can be crippling for the mind, while rewarding yourself may sound childish at first, think about it, it will help you fight the negativity. Living every day is comprised of little things we do. The more you celebrate little victories, it pushes you to do better, it builds confidence. If your friend or family member is struggling with depression, you can also support them in this way
Keep ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Today’ separate:
The tendency is to link the two and then get caught up in a cycle of distress. What happens today will not determine your future. This is another way of taking control of your life, you determine what tomorrow will be for you, especially by learning from today. Take each day as it comes in its own right, don’t dwell on what has been.
Do what Depression tells you not to do:
This may sound confusing, but hear us out. Depression fills you with doubt, exhaustion and dissatisfaction. This may lead to you losing interest in things you enjoy, not wanting to meet friends and family, not wanting to eat, or eating too much, not wanting to sleep or wanting to sleep at all times. The best way to fight it at that point in time is to do exactly what you don’t want. Every time you give in, Depression wins. As a friend or family member, you may also be able to notice these changes and support those fighting depression through encouragement and motivation.
Depression can be hard to identify and even harder to address, due to the stigma and denial that comes with it. Therefore, it requires a safe space to discuss it. Getting support from those close to you and from professionals is the first step to fighting this battle. Not only should we be willing to talk about it, but we need to be ready to listen to the conversation around it. There are many ways you can reach out to a friend or a family member you know is going through this battle alone. For the person going through it, it may be difficult to articulate what they’re feeling, or may not know that you may want to help them. The best way to help at such times is to give them time.
Depression can tire one out, fighting it requires energy, hence activity is central to the battle against depression. While you may not feel like it, activity can be more potent than medication. Even a 10-minute walk or a relaxing session of Yoga may help your mood. Yoga has been proven to relieve symptoms of depression by relieving stress, working on the mind and improving sleep. If you want to help someone close to you, be their partner and keep them active. This can help energise them, and relieve symptoms that otherwise are hard to fight.
Get some Sun:
As much as activity helps, the sun helps uplift moods and keeps serotonin levels in check. Nature and sunlight can have a huge impact on depression as studies have shown.
While Depression is a gloomy disease, that puts you in a dull, grey zone, a little bit of light can go a long way. A lack of Vitamin D can lead to severe impact on physical health too, so go get some sun.
Depression may make you want to eat too much or too little. It’s important either way to eat what’s right for you. If somebody you know is depressed, they may not feel like it, but you can help make sure they don’t skip meals and also ensure their eating a balanced diet.
To help overcome depression, the diet should be enriched with Vitamin B in leafy greens, chicken and eggs. You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health here, there are some delicious recipes out there, that you can whip up in minutes! Omega-3 fatty acids found in food can help the mood. It is also important to cut down on the carbs and refined sugar, which may help give a sudden burst in energy and mood, it may also be the food you crave, but in the long run, they will only have a negative impact on your health.
Getting professional help:
While these tips and certain helpful lifestyle changes will help you and your loved ones, know when to get professional help. Don’t be afraid to take professional help, it won’t imply that you are weak. Depression is curable, and the minute we take help and help each other, it will get easier. There are many treatment options through medication and therapy to address Depression and it’s best to talk to a professional, to know which is better for you. Remember, you are not alone.https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm