Reach out and stay connected

Reach out and stay connected

You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking

Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. 

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If you’ve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. 

Depression can be treated and you can feel better.

Do things that relax and energize you. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling fun activities into your day.

Even if your depression doesn’t lift immediately, you’ll gradually feel more upbeat and energetic as you make time for fun activities.

Foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood: caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones (such as certain meats).

  • Don’t skip meals. 
  • Minimize sugar and refined carbs. 
  • Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. 
  • Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. 

Get a daily dose of sunlight

Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. 

Get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. 

Ask yourself:

  • “What’s the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?”
  • “What would I tell a friend who had this thought?”
  • “Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?"

Do you feel like you’re powerless or weak? That your situation is hopeless?

These types of thoughts aren’t realistic. When you really examine them they don’t hold up. Identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.

  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.
  • Keep stress in check. Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out, and find ways to relieve the pressure and regain control.
  • Practice relaxation techniques daily.
  • Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. They just need to be a good listener.
  • Make face-time a priority. Talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression.
  • Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. 
  • Find ways to support others. 
  • Caring for a pet can get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed.
  • Join a support group for depression. 

Regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms and prevents a relapse.

  • Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic: walking, weight training or swimming.
  • Add a mindfulness element. Focus on how your body feels as you move.
  • Pair up with an exercise partner. 
  • Take a dog for a walk. You can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. 

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