9 Steps To Help Yourself Through Depression

Is It Sadness or Depression?

Depression is a difficult and terrifying emotional disorder.  It can feel like there is no end and be completely overwhelming.  Depression is nothing to mess around with. There are a few things that you can do at home to improve your level of success with treatment, and there are a few things you can do to prevent the disorder.

Here are a few tips and tricks that you can do to help yourself through depression.

There are actually quite a lot of things you can do about depression that doesn’t involve medication.  In fact, even with medication, you must change some things or when the medication is finished the depression will return because the behaviors haven’t changed.

Here Are 9 Steps To Help Yourself Through Depression:

1. Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet

Believe it or not, we are what we eat.  What you can do to help yourself through depression starts with developing a healthy balanced diet.  Our bodies, including our brains, are fed by the food we put in our mouths.  If we eat garbage we can only expect our bodies to produce garbage.

2. Exercise, Even 10 Minutes Can Do The Trick

When we are under stress, and feeling depressed, we often lose sleep and forgo any exercise program we may have been using.  Don’t!  Exercise is important for the release of endomorphism, which work in our brain chemistry to help elevate our mood.  It doesn’t have to be an Olympic effort, even 10 to 20 minutes a day of work that elevates our heart rate will do the trick.

3. Sleep Between 10 pm and 2 am

Ideally you get at least 6-8 hours per night, as sleep is extremely important to recharge our brains.  The trick is to get those hours between 10 pm and 2 am, as these are biologically our best hours for sleep.  If you have to work late, go to bed early and get up at 5 am.  Your brain will be more productive and you’ll accomplish more.

4. Stop Rehashing Your Emotional Problems and Concentrate On The Solution Instead

What you can do to help yourself through depression includes cutting down on the rehashing you do each day about your emotional problems.  It is important to know what they are but it is just as important to concentrate on the solution to the problems and not the issues themselves.  When you find yourself doing all or nothing thinking, stop!  When you don’t have an activity to do pick up a good book that is exciting, not a romance or self-help book.

5. Develop a Support System to Stay Active

Develop a support system with friends, family and support groups who can help you to stay active and involved in activities.  The more active you are the less time you have to worry about your problems and your emotional situation.

6. Keep a Diary or Log of How You Feel Each Day & Celebrate the Good Days

When you are developing a plan around what you can do to help yourself through depression remember that depression isn’t an all-or-nothing situation.  Try keeping a diary or log of how you feel each day.  You’ll start to notice that there are shades of gray to your feelings and your emotions. Depression is a continuum; some days are better than others.  Celebrate the good days and learn what triggered them so you can repeat.

7. Do What You Enjoy

Continue to do what you know you enjoy.  You may not feel like doing it, but do it anyway.  You’ll find satisfaction in accomplishing the most mundane tasks. Even going out and meeting friends, though it may be difficult, will improve your mood and help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

8. Evaluate Honestly What You Feel and How You Feel

Triggers for depression can be found in environmental, interpersonal or physical/medical causes.  Try sitting down and honestly evaluating what you feel and how you feel.  Use a list to categorize the symptoms that make you believe you are depressed.  For instance, you may be feeling fatigue constantly, or emotionally drained, or realize that someone else’s expectations are burdening you.

9. Take One Step Each Day

Next, take one step each day to solve those issues as you continue your plan around what you can do to help yourself through depression.  If you are constantly fatigued you may want to get a physical exam to rule out a physical or medical problem.  Or if your emotional fatigue is around a difficult relationship you may want to investigate some assertiveness training.  A long, honest talk with your parents, your spouse or someone that is putting pressure on you could clear up your perception of their expectations.

What you can do to help yourself through depression involves several steps and you definitely have more than one option.  Keep an open mind about what may or may not help and move forward.  Remember that depression results in stagnation and loss of movement.  Movement, of any kind, is movement toward resolution and happiness.



HelpGuide: Dealing with Depression


National Institute of Mental Health: Men and Depression


Health: 10 no-cost strategies to fight depression


TeensHealth: 5 ways to fight depression


PsychCentral: Where to get help for depression


PsychCentral: strategies for overcoming depression


Psychology today: Growing From Depression


Anxiety and Depression Association of American: Self help Publications and Materials



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