Depression is an illness that may impact all aspects of someone’s life, and it’s more prevalent than we thought, especially in the context of the global pandemic that has reshaped the world as we knew it. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost 7% of US citizens were suffering from depression in 2017, which represented around 17.3 million people.
Since the pandemic has forced many countries to take restrictive measures against the coronavirus spread, the incidence rate of depression and anxiety has gone even higher. One of the numerous studies conducted in the last year has shown a rise of the depression rate by threefold, as a consequence of the pandemic.
How to Deal with Depression Naturally
If you or a loved one have experienced symptoms of depression and you want to find a way to deal with the depression without medication, or as a complementary treatment to it, read on to find out some of the most effective ways to control your symptoms.
Setting goals might seem overwhelming for someone fighting depression. But starting very small and setting realistic goals for your day can do wonders, giving you confidence and helping you stay on the path.
By exercising, you will help your body release natural antidepressant hormones, which will improve your mood and functionality while keeping you fit, healthy and happy. You don’t have to aim for performance or big challenges, just doing a little exercise each day, preferably outdoors, will help you control your depression more easily.
Get in a Routine
Having a routine that allows you to rest and take your time while giving you a clear structure, can help you get back on track and control the depression episodes. Set up daily tasks that won’t exhaust you, and be gentle with yourself in case you don’t follow it to the last detail. Include tasks that focus on your well-being and encourage yourself to follow through with the routine every day.
Eating healthy food, cooking for yourself, and being mindful about what you put in your body will help you appreciate yourself and practice self-care. Eat nutritious food that looks and tastes good, and focus on it when you are eating. Getting the proper nutrition will make you stronger against physical and mental challenges.
Get Enough Sleep
One of the best natural ways to deal with depression is to get enough rest. The CDC recommends 9-12 hours for school age children, 8-10 hours for teens 13-18, 7-9 or more hours for adults between 18-60, and 7-9 hours for adults over the age of 61.
Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
When negative thoughts creep in, try detaching yourself a bit from them. They might seem to lead to the same conclusions, but looking at things from another perspective might surprise you a lot. Challenge your bad thoughts and ask yourself if it’s you or the depression creating them.
Try Something New
Getting help for depression often means getting out of your comfort zone. If your old habits and hobbies don’t seem that interesting anymore, simply try something new. You might be surprised to find something you didn’t know you love, and a new occupation is amazing for dealing with the apathy, sadness, and feelings of insecurity that often come with depression.
Meditation is a great natural way to destress, being mindful, focusing inwards, and creating a healing environment for you.
Get a Handle on Your Stress
Very often, stress and anxiety are co-existing with depression, and these conditions tend to exacerbate each other. If you are stressed when dealing with depression, take measures to identify and minimize some of the sources of the stress, and find healthy ways of coping with it.