By some estimates, one in three Americans experiences depression. Depression is common, and many of us will experience it at some point. But thankfully, it’s also treatable. From moderate to severe depression, there are ways to treat depression and reduce its impact on your life.
Here are a few ways how to fight depression.
An Important Note on Depression
Before we talk about how to fight depression, let’s consider some important facts.
- Depression looks different for everyone.
- What works for some people doesn’t always work for others.
- Treatments can take time.
- Don’t quit if a treatment doesn’t work right away.
- Know that professional help is always available.
We invite you to go through these steps and learn how to fight depression. But we also encourage you to seek professional help at any time you are dealing with severe depression. Help is available, and you never have to go through depression on your own.
How to Fight Depression
Use this list to learn how to fight depression. This list starts with small steps and works up to more in-depth treatments available.
#1) Learn about depression.
The first step in learning how to fight depression is learning about depression. The more you understand what you’re experiencing, the better you will be equipped to fight it. Knowing the biological, psychological, and social sources of depression can help you gain perspective and better understand what you are feeling and why.
#2) Set and stick to a routine.
Depression can make you not feel like doing anything at all. To keep yourself in motion, try setting and sticking to a routine. Having structure, such as a to-do list or something on your calendar, can help you gain motivation and encourage you to get started. If you need extra motivation, reward your efforts when you stick to your routine or accomplish a task.
Movement is medicine. High-intensity exercise can kick-start your body into producing feel-good chemicals. And, low-intensity exercise, such as walking or lifting weights, can help too. It can improve brain function and help you get tired and sleep better at night.
#4) Get more sleep.
Lack of sleep and depression have common links. John Hopkins Medicine says, “People with insomnia, for example, may have a tenfold higher risk of developing depression than people who get a good night’s sleep. And among people with depression, 75 percent have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.” Focus on getting both better sleep and more sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night and try to schedule 7-9 hours for rest.
#5) Eat healthy foods.
Food has a huge impact on how you feel. The right foods can boost energy and brain function. The wrong foods can leave you feeling even more sluggish, tired, and foggy. Approach your diet by eating more fresh foods. Eat leafy greens, nuts, healthy fats, berries, beans, and fish. Avoid processed foods with high sodium and sugar.
#6) Do something creative, fun, or novel.
When dealing with depression, you may feel like you are living inside of your head. This is why it can be helpful to put your mind to work doing something creative, fun, or novel. By getting into a state of “flow,” you can give your brain a break from the ruminations often associated with depression. (Consider giving art therapy a try!)
#7) Relax your nervous system.
Stress can lead to depression so engage in activities that help bring down your stress levels. To relax your nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety, try the following.
- Engage in deep breathing.
- Lay under a weighted blanket.
- Cuddle with a loved one or pet.
- Take a hot bath.
- Listen to relaxing music
- Spend time in nature.
#8) Avoid alcohol and drugs.
When people are depressed, many turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope. But, alcohol and drugs just make the problem worse. Alcohol is a depressant that can trigger anxiety. Avoid turning to a quick fix as it can lead to more long-term problems.
#9) Write about how you feel.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process them. It helps your brain organize thoughts and release you from staying stuck in a negative thought pattern. Start a small journaling habit to help get your emotions and thoughts down on paper and out of your head.
#10) Talk to a friend or family member.
We can’t say it enough: don’t go through depression on your own. Find someone you trust and share what you are going through. Talking (like writing) about your experience can help you process. Plus, talking to a friend or family member can give them a chance to share resources that can help even more.
#11) Talk to your doctor.
Depression has many causes. Some of the causes can be physiological. A health condition or medication can cause depression to creep up. Talk to your primary care physician if you are experiencing symptoms of depression to find out if something is going on with your body or if prescriptions could be causing the symptoms.
#12) Go to therapy or counseling.
Another way professionals can help is through therapy and counseling. Therapists and counselors can help you get the tools to reduce your depression symptoms. You don’t even need to leave your home to get help. Look for virtual therapy options if you can’t or don’t want to make it to in-office appointments.
#13) Work with a psychiatrist.
The difference between a therapist and a psychiatrist is that psychiatrists look at the biological, chemical, and physiological interactions that occur in our physical bodies when experiencing depression. They can treat both mental and physical symptoms and provide medication to help you on your road to recovery.
#14) Consider Ketamine Depression Treatment.
If you find that none of these other options help to fight depression, you still have options. Ketamine Depression Treatment has proven to be an effective way to reduce severe symptoms of depression. Patients have described Ketamine as a treatment that lifts the cloud of depression. It is a safe and effective way to get immediate relief from the symptoms of depression.
#15) Call a hotline.
You never have to go through depression on your own. If at any point, you need someone to talk to, call SAMHSA’s national hotline. Available 24/7, 365-days-a-year in English and Spanish, the hotline can connect you with someone who can help. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
#16) Don’t do nothing.
The worst thing you can do for depression is to ignore it. It usually won’t go away on its own. Use these tips to take steps to decrease the impact of depression, and you will see results.
Get Help with Depression
Depression is common and treatable. If you have been feeling the symptoms of depression, see how the steps on this list can help to reduce your symptoms. And if you find you can’t alleviate your symptoms on your own, get help. Professional services can help you find relief.
Loving Life Today is here to help. We offer therapy and counseling services in-office or through virtual sessions. We also offer Ketamine Depression Treatment, which we have seen lead to amazing shifts for people struggling with treatment-resistant depression. We’d love to see how we can help you, too.
Learn more about Ketamine Depression Treatment and get $20 OFF your first session by entering your information in the form below.