Depression is a state of mind that oftentimes feels like an iron cape that rests on your shoulders. It is not only heavy, but it also acts as a wall, isolating you from the rest of the world. It makes you feel utterly alone – feeling that at times feels desperately unbearable. Still, even though it keeps you down, scares away the joy and lowers your energy levels, you must know that you are not alone in this.
Yes, there are many people out there who suffer from depression. According to the latest surveys, it is estimated that over 20 million people are dealing with this mood disorder in the US. Quite a big number of people who believe they are alone in their suffering and feel hopeless.
I know about depression because I have experienced it myself. Around eight years of it. Yes, there were times when I wanted to give up on life, there were times when I even tried it. But, somehow, I managed to stop at the very last minute. Perhaps I was too much of a coward to do it, or perhaps there was a part of me that believed I could conquer my depression. Maybe the truth lies in between, but, what I do know is that it does get better. Therefore, it is worth the effort of fighting it. It is worth the effort of finding meaning and conquering our very own self.
Although there are many ways of fighting it, here are a few light suggestions you could try for yourself right now:
Say No To Drugs And Alcohol
Unfortunately, many people who are dealing with depression resort to abusing these two as a means of coping with all the sadness and hopelessness. True, short term it is somehow soothing. But long term, it is a recipe for disaster. There is a fine line between compensation and addiction. Do not attempt to walk that line.
Reach Out For Help
Whenever you feel the need for a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to help you stand up, feel free to simply ask for it. Always. There are enough people around that would agree to help you. Don’t underestimate the kindness of people, even of those who don’t look the part. You would be surprised to find out just how kind and nurturing someone tough or bossy can be. Also, let us not forget about specialized help that ranges from psychotherapists, psychiatrists to spiritual gurus and so on.
Working out is oftentimes one of the most ignored “cures” for mood disorders. It is a very important component in depression as it helps oxygenate the blood and release some yummy neurochemicals that help with your mood. For this reason alone, you should include working out or exercising in your daily routine. Not to mention the other benefits, that range from a healthier body, better skin to even a better-looking body. This can translate in higher self-esteem which, in turn, translates to – you guessed it – lower depression.
Now I know you may not feel like it, but it is important to force yourself to do some exercise. It can be walking in the park, jogging, playing some sport or whatever you would like.
If sport was a big part, then meditation is an even bigger one. This bad boy not only changes the way your mind works, by making everything flow better, settle down and clear up, but also make your body healthier and more prepared to experience whatever emotions you are dealing with.
Find Comfort In Your Friends
There will be many people who will not understand what you are dealing with. This might make you feel more alone than ever. It might also determine you to stay away from people. Don’t. It is crucial to have a support network in these times. Just keep in mind that even though some people cannot understand you, it does not mean that they will disappear from your life. Don’t isolate yourself from them. Keep interacting and reach out to them whenever you feel like you need it.
The Power Of Sleep
I would put this at the same level of importance as meditation. Proper sleep is key in dealing with anything. Try to sleep for eight hours a night. To manage this goal, you must practice good sleep hygiene. This means no caffeine or smoking before sleep, not late or heavy dinners, no phone, tablet time at least one hour before bedtime.
Fighting depression can seem like a pointless thing to do at times, but remember, it does get better. Reach out to friends and family and get specialized help. The light suggestions presented above are only a small part of the journey towards getting better. Keep in mind that suicide is never an alternative. Ask for help if you ever feel like you need it. Enjoy and be proud of your little victories on your road to freedom.