Depression can make you feel terrible. It is like a never-ending black hole and you might feel like it is constantly sucking you in. Along with therapy and medicines (if needed and prescribed by a psychiatrist), you can make positive changes at home and combat depression. There are quite a few natural remedies for depression. They can be subdivided into two parts:
You can make positive changes in your daily life to deal with depression. Most days, you might not feel like doing the smallest of chores. Understand that making tiny changes and taking the most minor steps can enhance your mental and physical health. Here are 10 lifestyle changes for treating depression:
Acknowledge That you Feel depressed
Being in denial will not help you. So the first step would be to acknowledge that you have depression. It is just another disease and you can overcome it. You don’t need to feel scared or ashamed.
Try to identify the Triggers
Does your job wear you out mentally? Is your friends’ circle creating any pressure on you? Is any part of your body troubling you a lot? Be honest with yourself. If you find any trends in things that trigger the terrible feeling in you, make a note. Try to get to the root of it by yourself or by discussing it with your therapist.
Set Small Goals for Yourself
The thing about depression is that some days, you cannot seem to get out of bed or even brush your hair. Tasks that are more complex seem impossible to undertake. Do not fret. Set goals each day. Some day it might be ‘I will wash my hair today,’ whereas some other day it can be ‘I will complete the unfinished project today.’ Meeting the goals will give you a lot of satisfaction and happiness.
Exercising releases endorphins that are also known as feel-good hormones. Swimming, dancing, practising yoga, playing some games will keep you physically healthy and make you feel better. Also, read: health benefits of regular exercise.
Have a Proper Sleep Schedule
Are you sleeping too much and waking up extremely tired? Do you wake up at a certain point every night and find it hard to go back to sleep? Correcting your sleep is paramount in the natural treatment for depression. Depression is known to affect sleep cycles. Some people sleep a lot while others develop insomnia. Either way, both end up feeling exhausted. Here are some tips that might help you in correcting your sleep quantity and quality:
- Try not to fiddle with your phone during bedtime.
- Read a book if you can.
- Try waking up at the same time every day.
Try to Ward Off Negative Thoughts
All of us have negative thoughts. The important thing is not to let them linger for too long. A lot of mental work has to be done for depression treatment at home. Try to use logic to get rid of baseless negative thoughts. Think everybody hates you? Do you have proof? Forget it if you don’t. With practice, you can master this art and feel better with every passing day.
Take up Responsibilities
You do not have to burden yourself with great responsibilities. Taking baby steps is the key. Consider volunteer or part-time work if full time is too much to handle at the time. Do what you like. Do what intrigues you and makes you happy. Babysit your nephew, cook for somebody, help somebody with his or her assignment. Keep yourself involved. You will feel an immense amount of relief and accomplishment wash over you.
Try to Do Something New
Home remedies for depression don’t always have to be confined to the four walls of your home. Try learning something new – a new language, a new form of dance, painting or singing. Go to various events in your city, spend time, have fun, make friends. Try out a new cafe, read a new book, re-read an old favourite, watch a funny movie, cook, bake – fail the first few times but do it nevertheless. Learning something new will fill you with satisfaction and there will be no pressure because it will be something interesting.
Find Reasons to Laugh.
Watch a funny TV series, go and watch a standup comedy show, hang out with funny people, don’t shy away from cracking jokes. Find reasons to smile and laugh as often as you can. You do not have to put a smile on your face because others expect you to. You do not have to pretend. Find real reasons because smiling or laughing shouldn’t have any pressure or stress attached to it. More often than not, it’ll feel like you have forgotten how to smile. It is okay. Tell yourself that it is not the end of the world. Smiling and laughing out loud are two of the most important natural remedies for depression.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Laughing
Don’t Bottle up Emotions.
Apart from visiting your doctor, talk to your close friends when you have to. Talk to the people you trust. If something good happens to you, express your excitement. If something bad happens, communicate that too. Shedding tears doesn’t make you weak. Laugh when you have to, cry when you have to. Let it all out. You will function much better.
Specific changes in diet can also help with depression treatment at home. Eating the right kind of food can enhance your physical and mental health. Depression makes people averse to food or makes them overeat. Hence, controlling one’s diet is an essential element in the natural treatment for depression. Following are some foods that can help combat depression:
1) Spinach, kale
According to a study by JAMA Psychiatry, severe depression can be linked with brain inflammation. Dark and leafy greens are said to prevent all kinds of inflammation. They also have Vitamins A, C, E, K, minerals and phytochemicals that will keep your heart healthy, weight in check, and protect you against various diseases.
Instant mood lifter. Having chocolates secrete feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine that are less in people with depression.
3) Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Tuna
Fishes that have a high level of Omega-3 fatty acids are also very good for depression as it enhances serotonin levels.
Also Read: Best Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
4) Healthy Fats
Butter and coconut oil are high in healthy fats that are good for your brain. Cheese in pasta, whipped cream with chocolate cake all secrete feel-good hormones and make us feel great.
5) Nuts and Seeds
Foods rich in selenium like nuts and seeds are very good for patients diagnosed with depression. Low selenium levels and poor mood are connected according to various studies. Avoid too much caffeine (soft drinks, coffee, tea) and alcohol. They might give you an initial high that feels wonderful but negatively affect your mental health.
When To See A Doctor
While we’ve listed many things you can try to help yourself manage depression, we can’t conclusively state how to treat depression by yourself. Everyone needs help with this so you need to know when to seek help.
- Momentary sadness and depression due to a known cause that goes away shortly isn’t the same as clinical depression
- If your depression is prolonged and is affecting your relationships, your ability to work or your daily routine, this is a clear sign that you need to seek help
- If you are having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death along with depression, you should speak to a counsellor or therapist immediately
- If your depression is causing changes to your sleep, dietary habits ability to focus or affecting your energy levels, it’s time to see the doctor
- If you are not sure how to seek help, start by informing your regular doctor of your concerns and they’ll help you from there
Do you feel like depression makes you go down an endless spiral in spite of all the therapy sessions you have been attending? Combine this positive lifestyle and diet changes and apply them to your life. Also, pay heed to what your doctor has to say. These home remedies for depression are bound to help you a lot. Stay strong and remember that depression is not invincible.
Also Read: How To Help Someone with Depression?
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.