Wake up, go to work, come home, watch TV, eat dinner, sleep – repeat. At times, everyday life can become very mundane and boring. No matter what you do you find yourself waking up on the wrong side of the bed. It becomes a chore to get up and get ready. That pep and lust for life you used to have has faded and now you are finding more and more difficult to stay motivated and happy throughout the day. The number of things that now bring you joy are steadily declining, as you find yourself daydreaming and zoning out more than ever before. You may be slipping into depression but this article will help you with how to deal with depression.
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The thoughts that go through your head are more negative than positive. Bad moods have become a regular thing and sleep is one of the only things you can look forward too. Maybe you’ve been drinking in excess on weekends or taking narcotic substances recreationally to ease the pain. This can be a very dark place to be, no one deserves to be depressed.
If this explains you or what you have felt recently, don’t freak out, you’re very far from alone. This depressive episode will pass, but it will take some work on your end to get through it. Finding the motivation to change and conquering the fears that keep us locked in place can be challenging, but the work is worth it to be happy. These three easy, natural and free activities will help get you back to your old self.
How to Deal With Depression
Make a Gratitude List
Thinking about the positive things going on in your life can be difficult when suffering from depression, but with time it will become easier. I suggest doing this in the morning as part of your daily routine, maybe when you’re brushing your teeth or are in the shower. Think of what you are grateful for at that moment, it doesn’t have to be anything profound, simple things will work. For example:
- I am grateful for…
- Having _____ as my friend
- The hot water in this shower
- Being able to afford this toothpaste
- Having a roof over my head
- Food in my fridge
Say it out loud or just say it to yourself. You don’t have to write down what you are grateful for, but you can if you want. Try to come up with at least 5 things, the more the better. It may seem awkward and be a bit difficult at first, but with time it will become easier.
Exercise and Eat Healthier
You don’t need to go to the gym for an hour a day, 6 days a week and eat kale with every meal to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Just 30 minutes of physical activity 3-5 days a week will make a huge difference in your mental state. Your brain will release natural endorphins, like dopamine, as a reward for your physical work. It has been scientifically proven that regular exercise will help decrease levels of depression
When this is combined with a healthy diet you will see amazing results, not just physically, but mentally too. Try to cut super fatty foods, like fast food out of your diet. Soda and heavily sugary drinks, while delicious, are harmful to your mental wellbeing. When we eat these types of foods our body has to work extra hard to digest them. This leads to decreased energy levels and mood swings. Try replacing soda with water or flavored seltzer. Cheeseburgers with turkey burgers or chicken breast sandwiches. I understand life can get very busy and sometimes fast food is the easiest option, but eating healthier will get easier with time. You will notice a huge difference in energy levels and your overall quality of life in just a short amount of time.
You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to practice meditation. Hundreds of studies have proven that meditation and mindfulness training is beneficial to one’s mental health. There are thousands of free guided meditation videos available on YouTube, ranging in length and difficulty. From just a few minutes for beginners to an hour or more for those more advanced; there’s something for everyone. All you need to meditate is a quiet space, even a car, and a few minutes. Practicing meditation a few times a week for 10 minutes a day will make a difference. At first, it will be challenging to quiet your mind, but you will eventually learn how to be comfortable by yourself with nothing but passing thoughts.
As time goes on you will find yourself being less reactive to certain situations. You will have more energy and have a sense of peace you may have never felt before. Praying, yoga and just sitting silently are also forms of meditation. Try to add this to your weekly routine, it’s free and it’s easy! Your mind and your body will thank you.
This was written by William Weiss. He is an advocate for sobriety and is spreading the awareness of substance abuse. His website is here. Please take a minute to visit it and share it with anyone you know who may need his resources.