6 Steps to overcoming Depression Naturally

“Just get over it…”, “you have to snap out of this…” “It’s just a phase…”  These are just some of the typical messages people hear when dealing with depression. The problem is, not only are these well intentioned responses futile in recovery, they also encourage more feelings of inadequacy and failure when we are not able to ‘just snap out it.”  This perpetuates the cycle of depression as we begin to feel more incapable of others expectations of us.

Approximately   1 in 10 adults suffer from depression in the US alone.  If untreated, depression can become a biological debilitating disease preventing us from doing activities that we enjoy and interacting with family and friends.  At some point it gets so back, getting out of bed becomes a chore if not impossible, over eating or under eating affect weight and a perpetual feeling of hopelessness, as if being transplanted a new set of eyes that influence everything we see with a tint of sadness and negativity.  

When sadness continues to a point where our daily lives are affected a trip to the doctor and possible medication and therapy can do wonders to help overcome the symptoms. The following is a list of activities you can try to do in conjunction with treatment that will greatly enhance your success in managing your mood. I recommend these to my clients and understand that it’s easier said than done. With support and guidance the activities can help you for the rest of your life.

1.       Get out of the house. Studies show that as little as 30 minutes can greatly influence our mood, set our internal clock helping in setting sleeping cycle.

2.       Aerobic exercise.  30 minutes of releases endorphins that help to relieve stress and produce a feeling of euphoria. Finding someone to walk with, preferably during the daylight hours can kill two birds with one stone!

3.       Journaling.  Pick a specific time during the day or evening that you can commit to and journal. Don’t know what to write? That’s okay. There is not structure to journaling.  Allow the words flow freely without worrying about spelling mistakes or what other people might think. Begin with what you’re feeling in the here and now. Some days it’s one sentence, some days you will find that it’s more. The thing to remember, there is now wrong way.

4.       Sleep. In my opinion, changes in sleep patterns (either too little or too much), drastically affects our moods. In addition to a medical consultation, you can help stabilize your sleep pattern by developing healthy sleep hygiene. Save your bedroom for two things only; sleeping and sex. That means no TV at night and no reading in bed. Avoiding caffeine after noon time can help not make sleeping such a struggle. Have a regular wake and sleep schedule by getting out of bed at the same time daily and go to bed at the same time. Begin a ritual of preparing to relax at night with activities that are not stimulating. I suggest a bath; use of candles and soothing music at least an hour before bed. Chamomile teas are also helpful in preparing for bed.

5.       Improve diet. When I eat healthier even just a few times a week, I begin to feel better about myself. This means, not skipping meals, eating more veggies and fruits and decreasing sugar and processed foods. You don’t have to make major changes. I suggest my clients begin with just one healthy meal a day and set small realistic goals then reward yourself for by splurging one something your enjoy!

6.       Appearance. No matter how what is happening, I always tend to feel better after fixing my hair. How we present ourselves is important in helping us feel better about ourselves. Make sure you get out of your PJ’s when you get out of bed, shower and where your day clothes. It makes a world of difference!

Yes, these suggestions can feel impossible when you’re depressed. But with therapy and possible medication , it’s possible to slowly master these tasks and make it part of your daily activities for lif