Depression self care
How Self-Care Can Combat Depression
When you struggle with depression, it may seem like it’s hard to get out of. While it is not simple, taking steps each and every day to care for your mind, body, and soul can help you combat your symptoms and start living healthier and happier.
Below, we’ll share some key tips to jumpstarting your self-care routine and nutritious foods that you can eat that are proven to combat symptoms of depression. It’s time that you took back control over your life, and we’re here to show you how.
Why Is Self-Care So Important when Treating Depression?
Depression can make those who suffer from it feel less than good about themselves. Dealing with negative thoughts can weigh a person down, making their symptoms of depression worse. Self-care can give a boost from the inside out, making positive changes in more than one way.
A lot of times, symptoms of depression affect the entire body. You may feel weak and unenergetic, unable to move. You may lack motivation and wind up getting anxious if you try to get yourself up and out. Though it may be a challenge at first, caring for yourself both inside and out can make you feel good about yourself, pumping up your energy and getting you excited to seize the day.
Self-care creates positive changes
Self-care can bring about positive changes, making you feel great. A warm shower and putting yourself together are great ways to start feeling great, putting a smile on, and taking off to start your day. Try putting on your favorite song, wearing your favorite color, or watching your favorite feel-good movie, bumping up the positivity. The better you treat yourself, the more compassionate you will be to yourself.
Self-care makes you feel more compassionate
Taking steps to take better care of yourself, you’ll start to realize all of the positive things that come from treating yourself well. This will make you more compassionate and caring in the long run, falling back in love with you.
The better you are to yourself, the better you will feel and the more positive energy you will send out. You will also notice that you get more positivity coming back to you, with others picking up your vibes and returning them right back.
The benefits of self-care when you're suffering from symptoms of depression are endless, which is why you should take steps to start implementing more into your daily routine. Below, we have 10 ways that you can start caring more for yourself, escaping the darkness, and seeing the light in your life.
How To Self-Care with Depression
Knowing all of the great things that can come from self-care, you should look for ways to incorporate it into your daily routine. Trying these out and making them into a routine, you will start to have a more positive outlook on life and reduce your feelings of depression. Below, we’ll share some key ways that you can add self-care into your life, enjoying all of the benefits that come along with it.
1. Find someone you trust and talk to them
When you are not feeling your best or are dealing with unnecessary stress, getting it off of your chest has the ability to make you feel better. Invite a good friend or loved one over and let them in on how you are feeling. You will feel instant relief and also let someone you trust know how you are feeling and what you're struggling with. Not only should you share with those you’re close with, but try reaching for support from others too in a support group.
2. Try a support group
In addition to sharing with someone close to you, you could share with others that are experiencing similar symptoms. When we know that someone else is going through the same thing we are, we tend to feel included and relieved. Try a support group where you can meet with others and share your feelings and help others who feel the same. This will help boost your confidence so you can take a good look at yourself and start realizing what you need to feel your best and brightest.
3. Physically look after yourself
When we stop caring for ourselves, we start to feel weighed down and ashamed to look at ourselves in the mirror. By doing small things daily to keep up with your appearance, you can start to feel better about yourself over time. Start by keeping yourself clean and put together, fixing your hair, brushing on a little makeup, and letting your best features shine through.
It also helps to get some exercise, which will help you feel better from the inside out. You'll not only boost your mood, confidence, and overall mood toward yourself, but also your health. Make sure to try to eat well, sleep well, get some exercise, and do something good for yourself each and every day. On top of that, pay attention to how you talk to yourself, keeping it positive.
4. Be aware of how you talk to yourself
We are often very critical of ourselves. A lot of times, we start to speak negatively to ourselves and put ourselves down. When dealing with signs of depression, the last thing you should do is talk down to yourself, thinking more positively.
This is not something that you can change overnight, and persistence and practice are key. Start by looking in the mirror and saying good things to yourself at least once a day. Continue until you make it a habit, saying nice things to yourself and changing your mindset to an overall positive one once and for all. Once you start feeling better, you can take steps to manage the stress in your life.
5. Take time to manage stress
Stress is something that affects us all. Learning to manage stress can help you have a more positive outlook and combat the overwhelming symptoms of depression. Try to take some time each day to live in the moment and just be.
Meditate, take a hot bath, take a walk, anything that helps you get in tune with your inner voice. The better you know yourself, the better you’ll know how to combat and manage stress. With stress out of the way, you can start looking toward brighter things, focusing on goals
6. Set goals
Setting goals is the number one way to get motivated. Carve some time out to create a to-do list, writing down some of the key things you want to do in the near and far future. Writing them out on paper will help you come face-to-face with them, bringing them into your conscious mind.
Try to make a plan that will help you achieve your goals, writing out key steps that you can take to get there. The more steps you add, the more success you will have, getting closer and closer to your goal after each milestone that you accomplish. Though you might want to celebrate your successes, be mindful of how you do so, steering clear of things that make you feel worse in the long run.
7. Avoid alcohol and drugs
Many of those who suffer from depression turn to alcohol and/or drugs for relief. Though it might seem like a relief at the moment, it’s not a long-term fix and will often leave you feeling worse than before. Alcohol and drugs are downers, dragging down mood and making us feel sluggish.
Knowing that alcohol and drugs have this effect, it's better to eliminate them at all costs, turning toward healthier forms of relief like meditation, yoga, and activities with the ones you love. Plus, with less time feeling down, you can squeeze time into the things that make you feel happy.
8. Discover what makes you feel happy
Finding time to do things that you enjoy, you'll live happier and have something more to look forward to. If you've always loved art, dance, exercise, or music, you can look for fun things around your community. Join a gym that has fun group classes or take a class with an expert to finally give your love for painting a try.
Taking time to do something you love will boost your mood and make you feel more fulfilled, finally listening to that voice within. The better you are in tune with yourself, the more you will understand the kind of help you need, able to seek it.
9. Get help as much as you need
Feeling down or depressed is not something to be ashamed of. When you start to feel symptoms piling up, give someone a call, visit your group, or seek professional help from a therapist or doctor. Only you know how you feel, and keeping it to yourself won't get you the help that you need. You know better than anyone when you need help and should seek it when you need it. Getting help can help you notice things in your life that bring on stress, including your home, which should be like your sanctuary.
10.Make your home a place you want to be
Your home should be your sanctuary, a place that you go when you want to relax and let the stress melt away. For some, the home is not that, actually making them feel more stressed the minute they walk through the door. Instead of feeling that way, take steps to de-stress your home and create your fortress.
Clean up, organize, splurge on furniture and scents that help you escape. When you come home after a long day, you’ll walk in with a smile, able to relax your day away in the comfort of your own home.
Food that Helps Depression
In addition to taking steps to care more for yourself, you can add healthy foods to your diet that help to boost the mood and calm symptoms. The foods that you eat play a huge role in both your physical and mental health, helping to stabilize your emotions. To start enjoying the benefits of nutritious foods, add a few of these key nutrients to your diet.
Zinc is an essential mineral that helps strengthen the immune system and aids in the reparation of cells and tissues in the body. Zinc is one mineral that the body does not store, meaning that you need to make sure and eat foods that are rich in Zinc to keep your supply up.
Zinc is found in grains, lean red meats, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds, beans, milk, cheese, and yogurt. It’s recommended to choose a few and vary your diet so that you’re getting healthy proteins along with other key nutrients.
Omega-3s are fatty acids that work wonders for the brain. They have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow to reduce the risk of heart disease. Because of all the healthy benefits, omega-3s can prevent symptoms caused by depression, allowing the brain to work more efficiently.
Omega-3s are found in fish and some nuts and seeds. It’s recommended to have 250-500 mg every day for healthy adults. Just like with zinc, it's recommended to vary the types of omega-3s that you add to your diet, switching it up so your body is filled with healthy nutrients.
Folate is a key vitamin that helps metabolism and the formation of DNA. Folate also helps form healthy red blood cells, keeping blood pressure regulated and heart-healthy. Folate is a B-vitamin, which makes it water-soluble. For that reason, your body does not store it, which is why you need to supplement it with food.
Folate is found in leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, as well as bananas and beef liver. Because B-vitamins are linked to concentration and fatigue, supplementing your body will help you feel more energetic and ready to take on your day. Mix a few foods with folate into your daily meals and start to notice a change in no time.