Get enough sleep. Depression can make it hard to get enough shut-eye and too little sleep can make depression worse.
What can you do? Start by making some changes to your lifestyle. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom -- no computer and no TV. In time, you may find your sleep improves and your mood will follow soon after.
Take on responsibilities. When you’re depressed, you may want to pull back from life and give up your responsibilities at home and at work. Don't. Staying involved and having daily responsibilities can help you maintain a lifestyle that can help counter depression. They ground you and give you a sense of accomplishment.
If you're not up to full-time school or work, that’s fine. Think about part-time. If that seems like too much, consider volunteer work.Get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D receptors are located throughout the body, including your brain.
A 2010 national study found that the likelihood of having depression is higher in people with low levels of vitamin D. In another study, researchers from the University of Toronto noticed that people who had symptoms of depression, particularly those with seasonal affective disorder, tended to get better when the amount of vitamin D in their bodies went up as you'd expect it to during the spring and summer.
Researchers don't know how much vitamin D is ideal, although too much can cause problems with calcium levels and how well your kidneys work.
Manage your weight. People who are obese may be more likely to become depressed. And, according to several studies, people who are depressed are more likely to become obese. Researchers believe that may be the result of changes in your immune system and hormones that come with depression.
Fortunately, a nutritious diet including the foods above will help you get to and stay at a healthy weight. If you're having a hard time, talk with your doctor.
All of these tips can help bring you out of that temporary funk you may be in at the moment. However, if you find that you have any of the following symptoms, you should contact your primary care physician immediately to be properly screened for depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Depression is a problem worldwide and it impacts even the best of us from time to time. Don't go another day feeling blue. Be sure to add some of these amazing foods to your diet and implement a few of our do-it-yourself tips to naturally fight off your depression.
Have you tried fighting your depression without medication? If so, let me know in the comments below!
Yours in Health & Happiness,
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