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Depression is a serious mental illness that can make life seem unbearable. It can affect your family and friends and make them feel helpless, too. But there are things you can do to help yourself recover from depression and regain control of your life. The first step is to educate yourself about depression.
Educate yourself about depression.
- Recognize that depression is a serious medical condition.
- Understand the causes of depression and how it’s different from sadness or simple grief.
- Learn about the symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses, and know when to seek help if you feel you have them.
- Find out what treatments are available for your specific situation—and which might be most helpful to you—and make an appointment with your doctor or therapist as soon as possible.
Find a psychologist or psychotherapist that you can talk to.
- Find a psychologist or psychotherapist like this Sydney psychologist that you can talk to. Your GP may be able to recommend someone, or you could look up websites of local mental health services and find suitable names from there.
- Make sure that the person is available when you need them (e.g., at certain hours on certain days), and that they take your insurance if applicable. You should also make sure that they have the right training for your situation: if they’re not qualified in working with depression, then it will make things much harder than necessary!
- Finally, try to get an idea of what type of therapist makes sense for you before meeting them—for example, do they seem easygoing? Do they seem like they’re going to listen attentively rather than give advice?
Create a sleep routine and stick to it.
Sleep is important for your health, and it’s especially crucial for those who suffer from depression.
Sleep deprivation can lead to low energy levels, a weakened immune system, and even weight gain—which only makes the feelings of sadness and hopelessness associated with depression more intense.
A good night’s sleep can help you feel better physically and emotionally. But if you aren’t getting enough hours of restful sleep each night—or if you wake up tired after several short naps during the day—you may not be getting enough shut-eye to manage your symptoms effectively.
Create a healthy diet and eat regularly.
Depression can make it difficult to maintain a healthy diet, so it’s important to try your best. First and foremost, make sure you’re eating enough. You want to be sure you’re getting the energy required to keep your body functioning properly and combat depression.
Your diet should also be high in omega-3 fats and low in processed foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat. A good way to get this omega-3s is by eating fatty fish like salmon or tuna (these have been shown to help with depression), walnuts (they’re full of vitamin E), flaxseeds (good for fiber), chia seeds (which provide magnesium) and other leafy greens such as spinach or kale. If you don’t eat seafood, consider taking an omega-3 supplement instead of going all out on fatty fish because some people aren’t fans of seafood but still want those nutrients from their diets!
Seek support from family and friends.
Don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside. Talking to someone close to you can help you feel better because it can be difficult to cope with depression without support.
If you find it hard to open up about how you’re feeling, think about the last time someone close to you was going through something difficult. Did they come and talk to you? If so, what did they say? What was the result of their openness with others? Did it help them feel better? If that’s the case, then why don’t we all do this more often?
Take a step back from yourself and look at your situation from another perspective: that of one of your friends or family members who might be concerned for your well-being. Imagine what someone who cares about me would tell me if he/she saw me acting in a way that indicates I’m depressed (e.g., crying more than usual). Would she advise me to seek support from others right away or would she just let things take their course since “everyone feels down sometimes”?
Do regular exercise.
Exercise can help you sleep better, feel less anxious, and be more in control of your life. It will also help you feel less isolated, which is an important part of overcoming depression. As a result, regular exercise should be an essential part of your recovery plan.
Meditate before bedtime.
Meditation is a great way to relax and reduce stress before bedtime. It can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake up feeling more refreshed than usual.
In addition to helping you sleep better at night, meditation can reduce anxiety and stress during the day too.
You can recover from depression with patience, determination, and professional help.
Depression is a real illness, not a sign of weakness. You can recover from depression with patience, determination, and professional help. Don’t give up hope — you are not alone.
The biggest takeaway from this guide is that you don’t have to suffer silently. You can recover from depression and live a full life again. All it takes is the willingness to try new things, reach out for help and be patient with yourself.