Guest Post by Steve Johnson
Many people with depression become overwhelmed with the hopeless feelings and fatigue their condition causes. It can leave some feeling as though they’re stuck in a rut, unable to get past the symptoms of the disorder. It can feel a lot like you’re not able to live your own life. If depression has you feeling stuck, here are some coping tips to help you bounce back.
Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin D
Did you know that sunshine really can brighten your mood? Sunlight is a significant source of your body’s Vitamin D, and studies have shown that optimizing Vitamin D levels may improve a person’s psychological well-being.
You can also boost your daily dose through certain foods and supplements. Getting more Vitamin D through your diet can be challenging, because very few foods actually have Vitamin D naturally – but for some such as milk, it’s an added nutrient. That’s why Vitamin D supplements can be helpful if a deficiency may be contributing to your symptoms.
Make an Effort to Participate in Social Situations
People who suffer from depression often withdraw into isolation when their symptoms are severe. But isolating yourself can actually increase your feelings of sadness and lethargy. Sometimes, suggests Oz Garcia, Ph.D. in an article for the Huffington Post, you need to make a concerted effort to engage in the social scene.
“Being around people you enjoy is a way to get laughing and elevate your mood, which will also release endorphins and make you a happier, healthier person. After all, laughter is the best medicine,” Garcia explains.
Find a Form of Exercise You Enjoy
If you gravitate toward comfort foods and have put on a bit of extra weight, you might be feeling even more fatigued than usual. It’s a vicious cycle that can be broken if you find a form of exercise that you truly enjoy.
It’s difficult to force yourself out of bed for a heavy sweat session when all you want to do is sleep, but after you find something you love – be it yoga, Pilates, hiking, HIIT workouts, biking, or swimming (great for the calming, meditative state it creates!) – you’ll find that you’re much more motivated to get your daily workout in. And it doesn’t have to be traditional exercise: taking your pup for a romp in the dog park will provide good physical activity, and the best part is it’ll feel more like fun than a workout. In turn, exercise will help you feel more energized and can even release endorphins that boost your mood.
Make a Change
Depression often leaves you feeling unmotivated and pessimistic about the future. For some sufferers, an increase in symptoms can signify an underlying need for change. If you’ve been thinking about making a life change, whether a major change like moving across the country to pursue your dream job or a minor change like cooking more healthy meals at home instead of indulging in fast food, now might be the time to make the leap.
And don’t hesitate to ask for help. Especially if you’re turning to alcohol or other self-destructive tendencies to feel better, reach out to a therapist, friend, or trusted family member to let them know you need help. If you’re depressed it may be difficult to figure out all of the steps to take in order to get on the path to recovery, but having someone by your side offering guidance will make a big difference.
Your depression may have you feeling stuck in a rut right now, but that doesn’t mean that it will win. Instead, try these methods for getting unstuck and regain control of your body, mind, and spirit.
Steve Johnson co-created PublicHealthLibrary.org with a fellow pre-med student. The availability of accurate health facts, advice, and general answers is something Steve wants for all people, not just those in the health and medical field. He continues to spread trustworthy information and resources through the website, but also enjoys tennis and adding to his record collection in his spare time.