Depression is a common mental illness worldwide; data from the World Health Organization shows that 3.8% of the population suffers from it. There’s not one sole culprit or reason as to why this disease prevails. But in most cases, it has something to do with losing your loved one, failing on something, being bullied, genetic inheritance, or traumatic experiences, among other events that dump on your morale.
But if you’re on the road to recovering from major depression in your life, you deserve all the praise and applause. Know that you should take credit for all your hard work and determination in surpassing this dark phase. It’s time to continue moving forward and redeem your old cheerful self. No matter how tiny steps you’re taking now, what matters is that you’re progressing slowly but surely.
To assist you in your recovery journey, here are some insightful tips to help you bounce back stronger from major depression:
1. Try Answering Depression Symptom Questionnaires
An effective way to track your progress in recovering from depression is to answer the depression quiz. You can find one on this link: https://jacksonhousecares.com/program/our-treatment/depression/, as well as other recovery center sites. Depression symptoms usually change over time, and taking a quiz helps monitor your mental condition.
You can objectively determine whether your symptoms are improving by comparing your scores over time. There might be fewer of them or a decrease in their intensity. It will serve as a guide for you and your treatment provider.
2. Stay Connected With A Support Team
To overcome depression, getting support is essential. It’s human nature to seek and need companionship. And while you might think that there are too many bad people in the world, the opposite is also true: there are way more genuine and good people willing to help you go through your phase now.
You may find it hard to maintain a positive outlook and the effort required to beat depression on your own. But being part of a support group, a community, and surrounding yourself with people you can relate to will help you heal. However, it’s natural to likely maintain distance from people, as depression makes seeking help difficult. Depressed people often withdraw and become isolated, even from their family and loved ones.
Feeling overwhelmed, ashamed, or guilty when neglecting certain relationships is natural. However, you must overcome the fear of being judged, shamed, and rejected. Because the reality is that many people care for you. There is no sign of weakness in reaching out to others; it won’t mean you’re burdening them. There is a lot of love and concern for you from your loved ones.
3. Include Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
Regular exercise can help improve your mood and sleep quality. Numerous studies have been conducted to prove the positive correlations between exercise and mental health. Physical activity reduces anxiety, depression, and negative moods, increases self-esteem, and improves cognitive function. Exercising also relieves social withdrawal and low self-esteem.
In scientific contexts, people’s moods improve when they exercise because endorphins and serotonin are released. It can reduce any loneliness or isolation you may have, and it can put you in contact with other people. Both depression and anxiety are reduced by exercise; it also boosts your brain, allowing you to take control of your thoughts. All these reasons, and more, are significant reasons you should include exercise in your daily routine.
It is best to start exercising lightly, as you don’t want to strain your muscles physically. It might be a good idea to go for a walk with a friend around your neighborhood. You can then gradually increase your exercise frequency and improve your exercise capacity. Try to discover what you enjoy by trying out different activities.
Essentially, there are four categories of physical training, such as strength, cardio, balance, and flexibility. The key is to mix and match exercises and see which ones work and help you the most. Also, be open to the idea of playing sports, especially because this will allow you to play with other people.
4. Be Aware Of The Possibilities Of Relapse
It is not uncommon for people to be depressed more than once in their lifetime. And this should be something that you should be ready for. Possibilities of relapse can also happen anytime. Recovering from major depression doesn’t exempt you from experiencing another one. Some people experience depression more times than they can count, and it could be scary, but what’s important is to work your way around it to overcome it.
After being in the pit hole of depression recently, it could feel scary to go through depression again. However, you don’t have to let depression rule your life, which is why it pays to be self-aware of these possibilities. It will keep you mindful of such things that can happen to anyone. Also, knowing what symptoms to look for when feeling depressed is crucial. By spotting them early on, the sooner you get help, the sooner you can recover.
5. Write On A Journal
Another essential tip to moving on from depression is to try out journaling. This is a therapeutic activity that allows you to check on your thoughts and inner self. Keeping a journal can help you keep track of your symptoms, medication experiences, and self-help strategies.
Write down details about the experience that worries you, triggers feeling depressed, and the solutions that helped you overcome them. It might surprise you how journaling itself can already alleviate your worries and sadness.
In journaling, it’s best to write down how you feel, so this will make you aware of what triggers both positive and negative emotions within you. Your mental health care professional may be able to help you with your journal entries. You can discuss its content and work out a plan that will help treat you more effectively.
6. Set Achievable Goals
After the depression era in your life, it’s now tempting to bounce back on the things you’ve missed out on, and you’re eager to try and experience them. However, when your list gets too long, chances are you won’t be able to start on them. Set smaller goals instead of creating a long list of tasks. It can give a sense of control, accomplishment, and motivation to set and achieve these goals.
Set achievable goals that you can do for the day or the time being. Recovering from depression means living and focusing more on the present. Hence, it’s more effective to set achievable goals for the present. As soon as you complete a small task, focus on another small task, and then another. It will make you feel successful and productive.
7. Prepare Nutritious Meals Every Day
Depression cannot be cured or prevented by diet. But food does have an impact on your body and mind. Eating a healthy diet will keep you feeling good and give you the necessary nutrients. Avoid diets that eliminate whole food groups or severely restrict what you can eat.
Also, don’t follow some trending diets just because your friends or some social media influencers are recommending them. Focus on your body and see what healthy foods you need. Maintaining a healthy diet can be done with simple tips:
- Limit your fat and sugar intake.
- Eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Watch your calorie intake.
You can even consider seeking a dietician’s advice to attain a specific diet goal. After all, you’ll feel good in your mind when you look good physically.
8. Remove Toxic People From Your Life
It’s common to meet someone who makes you feel bad about yourself. These people are referred to as ‘toxic people.’ And you should do your best to remove them from your life. Some of them might not be aware of their dire implications in your life, and it’s healthier for you and your mental health to walk away from them.
It is always best to avoid toxic people, regardless of the specific situation. Because the truth is, they will only push you deeper into the pit hole of depression. Here are some doable tips to remove toxic people from your life:
- Stay away from those who make you feel bad about yourself.
- Don’t let people exploit you in your life.
- If they have nothing good to say to you, zone them out.
- Make sure you can detect a fake and a real friend. Online quizzes can help you determine if your friend is fake or real.
Toxic people can include your coworkers, friends, or even family. When you notice that they do you no good, it’s better to cut them out of your life. This way, you can reduce the stressors that contribute to your depression.
9. Prioritize Getting Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep can’t be overstated, and this tip is even more vital for depressed people. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consult a doctor. Sleeping pills should only be prescribed by a doctor treating your depression. You may feel groggy during the daytime if you take sleeping pills, and they may interact with other medicines you take.
Sleep can be interfered with by depression, antidepressants, and other medications. Sleeping too much is a symptom of depression for some people, while some cannot fall asleep at all. Ensure that you have healthy sleep habits. Here are some easy tips to get you on the right track:
- Maintain a regular sleeping and waking schedule.
- Don’t nap in the middle of the day.
- Make use of music, a book, or other sleep-inducing elements to help you drift off into slumber.
- Invest in a plush bed, linens, and pillows.
Experts also suggest that relaxing your facial muscles can help you sleep faster. You can do this by releasing thoughts that boggle your mind, which eventually helps your brain relax.
10. Continue Taking Your Medications As Prescribed
Even when you’re on the road to recovering from depression, you should not stop taking depression medications all at once. Make sure you take your medications according to the directions on the label. After your symptoms improve, continue taking your medicine.
Once you feel better, you should continue taking your medicine for at least six months to prevent depression from returning. Your doctor may recommend that you take medicine even longer if this isn’t your first bout of depression.
Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects from your medication. Many side effects should disappear on their own after taking medicine for a few weeks. However, this is on a case-to-case basis, so it’s important to observe yourself consistently when undergoing depression treatment.
11. Be Your Cheerleader
While you need people to motivate and inspire you to attain your goals, the most valuable cheerleader who can believe and pursue you is yourself. You should love yourself and reward all your hard work and successes. Acknowledge your accomplishments when you reach them.
Celebrate small wins and victories. Reward yourself with something that will make you happy. For instance, it can be eating out, buying the shoes you’ve been eyeing, or purchasing a new phone. No matter how tiny or big the reward is, it will help to make you feel good about your accomplishments toward depression recovery.
12. Explore Nature
An individual’s mood can be greatly influenced by spending time in nature. Many studies support how spending time in nature can improve depressive symptoms and help alleviate stress brought about by hectic lives. Greeneries help people take a pause from reality and connect with nature without disruptions by technology.
Mental health disorders may be reduced by spending time in natural spaces and improving mood and cognition. However, if you’re not ready to go hiking, camping, or trail-running, there are many other experiences with nature that you can enjoy, even in your local park. Go for a park walk or invite a friend for a picnic. These tiny things can already do so much for your mental health.
13. Connect And Socialize
Depressed people usually lack energy. And if you want to jumpstart your recovery, you need to push yourself to do more to stay energetic. One way is to start reconnecting with family and friends. Socialize and go out on a date with them. Keeping a close circle at first is healthy as you learn to trust people again.
Allow yourself to do things you enjoyed doing in the past. Face-to-face time can help you wash away depression’s temptations to isolate yourself. Plan ahead of time so you can prepare your emotions to once again surround yourself with people who genuinely care for you. While connecting with them can benefit your mental health, you’re also actually making them feel happy that you’re finally out of your shell.
The road to recovery from depression becomes easier when you know how to apply the right tips and suggestions, like the ones mentioned above. Always seek help from your doctor or treatment provider if you feel a relapse is happening anytime soon. The good news is that there are countless methods to battle depression, depending on choosing the best fit for you.