Depression affects everyone from time to time, but sometimes, the gloom just doesn’t leave like it should after a certain period of time. If you feel that your life is getting affected on a daily basis because of the gloom, loneliness, hopelessness, and emptiness that you feel all the time, it’s time to consult a professional at the Family Psychiatry of North Jersey. However, do not feel as if you cannot do anything to improve the situation because you most certainly can. Some of the important steps anyone can take towards bringing themselves out from chronic depression have to do with bringing about changes to one’s lifestyle and that’s exactly what we are going to discuss next.
Eating Healthy, Not Less
It must be understood that while eating healthy has a lot to do with keeping depression in check, it doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as a weight loss diet. A weight loss diet is designed with the sole purpose of making you lose fat, and while that generally means healthy food habits, it can also lead to further depression as it has been proven that severe drop in calorie intake can cause emotional problems. The right diet, on the other hand, will focus on cutting out harmful calories from your regular diet by eliminating junk foods, sugar, excess salt and excess carbs. The meal should still make you feel good and give you the energy you need to go through your day because you will be replacing the bad stuff with foods that are good for you, such as omega 3 fatty acids, protein, essential amino acids and complex carbs.
The Right Exercise
Just like the point about the diet, the exercise routine need not have a very specific goal, such as building bigger muscles or losing a lot of weight either. The general idea is to exercise regularly for general well-being and leading a healthy life, and that’s pretty much all you need in order to keep depression in check. However, if you do have any specific goals as mentioned before, it’s even better.
In case you have not been working out for a long time though, all you need to do is start with something and you will immediately see improvements in your mood as physical exercise is linked directly to the release of endorphins, which play a big role in helping you to stay cheery. A point to remember would be that cardiovascular exercises are more effective against fighting depression and busting stress than lifting, so set your routine accordingly. Also, feel free to choose an activity which appeals to you, like yoga, dance, or martial arts if you don’t like traditional gyms, as it will be even more effective against depression if you actually look forward to your next workout session.
It is no secret that a lack of sufficient sleep alone is enough to make any physical or psychological problem worse and when you already have depression, it’s only a matter of time before lack of sleep catches up with you in a very bad way. Unfortunately, depression itself is a cause of insomnia, which makes it a very tough situation for someone suffering from chronic depression. If you think you are suffering depression-induced insomnia, try the following.
- Maintain a fixed bedtime
- Start a pre-bedtime ritual like 30-minutes of reading or watching TV for example
- Practice meditation and breathing exercises before going to bed
- Seek medicinal help from your psychiatrist if all else fails
Changing Your Outlook
This is part of what a therapist will try to help you achieve, but there’s a lot you can do by yourself as well. Depression changes our perspective and brings about a negative outlook on everything and the first step to changing your outlook is to realize that things are not as bad as they feel right now. It is also important to surround yourself with positivity to help with the entire process.
Depression is usually ignored by people until it reaches a stage where the original cause is so deep-rooted that finding and addressing it takes years of therapy. Fortunately, with the help of therapy, medication, and an improved lifestyle, it is possible to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, no matter how bad the situation may seem at first.