Depression is not a phase of life. It is a real problem which does not go away unless treated. Depression can drain you completely leaving your feeling fatigued and empty inside. Depression can affect you at any stage of life from the time of childhood to old age. People living with depression find it hard to muster the desire and strength to visit the therapist and fight against this problem.
It is hard but not impossible to cope with depression. Taking small steps to make yourself feel better can be huge leaps in terms of making it easier to cope with depression on an everyday level. In this in-depth guide, I have focused on strategies which will help you cope with depression and fight depression naturally.
Let’s see how you can fight depression naturally
Have realistic expectations
Depression is more common that you think. Millions of people get affected by depression at some point of their life. You may not know this, but they too might be going through similar experiences as you. It might be hard for them to cope with depression as well. The first step in fighting depression naturally is to accept that depression is a common problem and totally treatable. You must be accepting, loving and open to yourself to be able to cope with depression.
Wallow, but wallow constructively
The most common approach used to cope with depression is to just push all feelings and emotions towards the back burner where it cannot hurt the person concerned. However, this is just a method to delay the inevitable. You cannot escape or fight depression by this method. Eventually your feelings and emotions will break the dam and come to the surface. This time it will be overwhelming to deal with them and get them back in control.
Therefore, if you feel down on any day, don’t try to force it away. Let the emotions seep in. However, do not let them accumulate. At this point, it would be a good idea to write or journal down your feelings you are currently experiencing. Allow your feelings to make their way from your mind to the paper.
Tomorrow will be different from today
The thoughts, emotions and mood you feel today will not be the same tomorrow. If you had a bad day today and could not achieve the goal you had set for yourself, you must tell yourself that tomorrow is there and you will be able to achieve your goals tomorrow.
Allow yourself to accept that not all days will be the same. Some days will be easy while others will be hard. Having this thought in your mind and reminding yourself of this everyday will be a huge help in the battle to cope with depression. Even if today was not so great, you must look forward to tomorrow as a fresh start.
Assess parts of your emotion instead of generalizing the whole thing
When depression hits, it tends to trigger all negative emotions. It tends to remind the person of all the negative memories. During such periods, people tend to focus on the one wrong thing that they did instead of all the things which they did right.
This overgeneralization can hamper the progress you have made so far. Force yourself to recognize the good that you have done. This will help you start positive and fight depression naturally. Remember to document the good things you did during the day or the good that happened with you during the day in a journal.
Focusing on the good things will help you move your thoughts away from the whole scene and focus on the individual positive pieces.
Do the opposite of the suggestion given by the depression
People suffering from depression have an irrational and negative voice in their head which only shows and focusses on the negative. This negative voice in your head may try to direct you away from getting self-help. It is imperative that you recognize this choice and do the opposite action of what this voice suggests you to do. Replace this voice with logic. Logic will be your biggest weapon to help cope with depression.
If your head tells you that an upcoming event might not be fun or worth the effort to get ready, tell yourself, “it will be better than sitting here and spending another night alone “. You will soon realize that the negative voice is not logical or realistic.
Set achievable goals
Try to keep your to-do lists short. Focus on goals which can be attained easily. Set up a to-do list comprising of small goals and tick them off as and when you finish them.
Here are a few examples:
- Don’t clean the whole house, only clean a section of the kitchen counter
- Do not do the entire laundry, only sort the clothes by color in different baskets
- No need to cover the entire chapter or book in a day, only study one paragraph.
Once you have successfully accomplished the small to-do list you set for yourself, you can then proceed to set some other small goals and look forward to achieving them.
Reward yourself for your efforts
Every small goal that you complete must be accompanied by a reward. This will not only boost your self confidence, it will force that negative self talk to reduce. This is your biggest asset in your struggle to cope with depression.
You may not be in the mood to celebrate your success with confetti and chocolates. However recognizing that you have done something good and achieved something can be a very powerful boost to your self confidence and a big leverage against the negative thoughts which depression forces you to experience.
Create a routine and stick to it
Depression tends to disrupt the routine of a person. Therefore, following a schedule may make you feel like you are in control and make it easier to fight depression naturally. Make sure that your schedule focuses specifically on the time just before bedtime. Keep the routine loose but structured. This will help you in complete your daily tasks and allow to maintainable place on a daily basis.
Engage in activities you enjoy
Depression tends to suck out all the joy of living. It will also push you to give into fatigue and tiredness and make you stop enjoying life completely. Do not let your depression win. The first step in taking back control of your own life is to engage in activities you enjoyed. This is a pivotal step in helping you cope with depression.
If you love music, put on a music of your choice while you do the work around the house. If you love dancing, dance when you are alone. Be non-judgmental towards yourself and appreciate your efforts. Such activities will help lift your mood and energy and become your best strategy to help with depression.
Listen to music
As I mentioned earlier, If you love listening to music or singing, leave no stone unturned in involving this activity in your daily life. You can even join a band. Music has been observed to be especially beneficial when performed in settings involving groups. If you do not wish to be a part of the band, you can even just involve yourself in the act of listening. This works equally well in fighting depression naturally.
Spend some time with Mother Nature
Nature has been observed to be a powerful ally to help cope with depression. According to research, spending time in nature increases mindfulness s and improves the mental health of a person.
Exposure to sunlight has been shown to have similar effects and helps to cope with depression. Such activities cause an increase in the serotonin levels which provide a temporary boost in mood and energy of the person.
Chalk out a schedule which involves spending a few minutes with nature. You can either plan daily walks or you can opt for weekend hiking trips. Such activities will help you reconnect with nature, distract yourself and allow you to get some much needed sun rays.
Spend time with your loved ones
There is no better remedy to cope with depression than having the support of your loved ones on this journey. Depression forces people to isolate themselves and stay away from their loved ones. Spending time with people you love will make you feel better about yourself and snout the overall situation of your life as well.
Remind yourself that your loved ones care about you. They want to help you out on your time of need. You are not a burden to them. Spending some time with family and friends will not only make you feel better, it will bring joy to their lives as well.
Try something new
Engaging in the same activities everyday does not challenge your brain. When you engage in new activities, it causes firing of neutrons which were dormant so far and also helps to alter your brain chemistry. As per research, engaging in doing new things every now and then can cause improvement in your overall sense of well being. It also strengthens your social relationships and can be a huge help in fighting depression naturally.
Talk to your therapist
A therapist is trained to understand your problem and guide you to cope with depression in the safest way possible. Psychotherapy helps people focus on adjusting their lifestyle in a manner which helps minimize their stress and cope with depression. A therapist will not only help you manage your negative thoughts, he or she can also steer your mind towards positive thinking and self esteem improvement. Such changes can make a huge difference in your progress to cope with depression.
Practice sleeping well
This is probably the first thing which is negatively affected by depression. People who suffer from depression either sleep too little or sleep way too much. Stick to a sleeping schedule. Go to bed at the same time everyday and get out of the bed at same time everyday.
If you do not get a good night sleep, it will just worsen your emotions. Therefore, engaging in good sleep is very important in the fight to cope with depression by natural means.
Exercise not only offers physical benefits, it has a ton of psychological benefits as well. Exercising has been observed to relieve stress and make you feel better. with every exercise session your self esteem increases and you get stronger, both emotionally and physically. Regular exercise can be a great asset in helping you cope with depression.
Remove liquor from your life
Alcohol will not help you cope with depression. If anything, it can force you further into depression. Despite of being aware of this, a lot of people make alcohol their friend in trying to fight depression naturally.
Engaging in regular liquor consumption can not only worsen your symptoms of depression, it can also have a negative impact on the medication you have been prescribed to help you cope with depression. A healthy lifestyle is the first step in your step in your attempt to cope with depression. Alcohol and drugs should be kept away in order to keep the lifestyle as healthy as possible
Focus on nutrition
Lack of nutrition can cause aggravation of depression. Omega 3 fatty acid supplements like salmon oil or fish oil have been observed to improve mood in people suffering from depression. Diet and depression have been observed to go hand in hand. Hence, maintaining good diet and nutrition can help you go a long way to cope with depression.
Do you or any of your loves ones suffer from depression? Which is your favorite method to cope with depression. In case you have other tips to fight depression materially, please leave them in the comment section below. If you have any queries regarding this blog post or any other blog post, feel free to reach out too me on my social media channels or leave your queries in the comment section. I will be happy to help you out as soon as possible
See you in my next blog post
Frequently asked questions
What is the most effective way to treat depression?
So far, medication and psychotherapy combined have been observed to be the best way to treat depression . The medications can help bring down the symptoms under control while the psychotherapy can work at removing the problem from the root.
What are the top 5 causes behind depression?
The top causes behind depression are
- Health or loss of a close relative
- Serious illnesses
Does therapy really work with depression?
Medications take time to show improvement if semitones of depression in the client. However, therapy has shown to work on the short term as well as the long term causes of depression.