Depression and anxiety are more than just moments of sadness or stress. They can turn the world as you once knew it upside down and make life seem less of a life and more like a burden. They suck the joy out of every mundane task and make going through each day a chore. Every day can seem like a fight for survival instead of an opportunity to conquer another day.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 17.3 million American adults get affected by a major depressive disorder in a given year. While the statistics may seem harrowing, there are still many ways through which you can avoid your depression and anxiety. Find some of these ways below.
1. Choose a treatment plan and keep up with it
All those suffering from depression and anxiety need all the help they can get to fight against it for the life they hope to live. And that help often comes in many forms of treatment options. Frequent depressive episodes will continue to take a toll on your mental and physical health unless you seek proper treatment for your disorder. Although choosing a treatment plan will not magically cure your depression and anxiety, it will significantly support your recovery.
Treatments for mood disorders are not a “one shoe fits all:” what works for others may not work for you, and finding a treatment plan that helps is often a work in progress. Luckily enough, there are many other promising treatment options that you can choose from if one proves futile. For instance, there have been favoring developments in using the Myer cocktail IV for treating depression. MD Infusions, one of the leading providers of this treatment, provide a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can help to improve your overall mental health and well-being. While antidepressants take a while to work, IV therapy has an almost immediate effect on keeping the patient’s mood in balance and reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If you already have a treatment plan, make yourself stick to it. Continue taking your prescribed medications without delay, and keep visiting your therapist. Also, don’t stop observing the strategies and coping mechanisms that seem to work.
2. Exercise Regularly
Your physical and mental health affect each other in more ways than one. A healthy body makes a healthy mind, and vice versa. To keep yourself physically healthy and fit, take up exercising. You don’t need to make yourself go through a strenuous one-hour workout session every day; at least thirty minutes of physical activity three days a week may still be effective in treating depression.
Regular exercise can help you avoid depression and anxiety in many ways. First, physical activities, such as exercising or jogging, release feel-good chemicals called endorphins which help improve your mood. Furthermore, exercising releases the proteins that support nerve cell growth in the hippocampus in the brain- the part that helps regulate mood.
If you are not used to exercising, try fun physical activities to keep your body moving. For example, join a swimming club, cycle with friends around the block, or sign up for dance classes. Once you can feel your stamina building, take up high-intensity workout sessions too.
3. Build a strong support network
Being around people that love and support you can do wonders in treating your depression and anxiety. Knowing that there are people who are with you makes you feel less only in your struggles, which helps improve your mental well-being.
The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Human beings are social animals.” We need the human connection, the intimacy, to feel better. The love we receive from other people comforts us and keeps us going. Building and maintaining healthy relationships can go a long way in keeping your mental health in check.
4. Don’t compromise on rest and sleep
A messed up sleep schedule is not healthy for any individual, but those suffering from depression and anxiety should take extra care of how much they sleep. Proper sleep can go a long way to keeping your physical and mental health in check. By positively impacting your lungs, kidneys, metabolism, and weight control, it helps improve your physical health, makes you feel well-rested, and energizes your body. The positive health effects of sleep, in turn, help reduce stress and improve your mood.
Sometimes, even if you try to sleep more, you may feel restless in bed. Depression and anxiety can keep your mental cogs running and make falling asleep look like a chore. If you are having trouble sleeping, try keeping the room dark and quiet and put aside any electronic devices to avoid distractions.
5. Limit social media use
Social media has become such an essential element of life that extricating yourself from it may feel unnatural. However, excessive use of social media is known to cause depression and anxiety. Aimlessly scrolling through your social media feeds may contribute to low self-esteem, which is one of the symptoms of depression.
You don’t have to avoid social media completely- you don’t need to lose your way of connecting with your friends and keeping up with their lives. However, try not to use it when you don’t have to. If you have nothing else to do, pick up a hobby instead of your phone.
6. Try to reduce stress
Feeling stressed every once in a while is a part of life. After all, a happening life can bring many stressors, and avoiding all of them may not be possible. From approaching deadlines to the ups and downs of life, there are many reasons for one to feel stressed. However, when the stress persists for a long time, it becomes a cause of concern. Chronic stress raises the risk of depression and anxiety, and learning to cope with it will help keep persistent low moods at bay.
To reduce stress, try meditating regularly. Meditation involves building a block against intrusive thoughts and focusing on the present moment. By calming your nerves and helping you feel centered, meditation can relieve anxiety and emotional distress to a great extent.
Another you can reduce stress is through acceptance: accept that you can’t control everything. Don’t be too hard on yourself for the things you can’t change.
Looking after your mental health is necessary to live a quality life. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body for your overall well-being. If you feel the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety creeping, seek help immediately. Consult a therapist for the best ways to improve your mental health. Also, keep your close friends and family in the loop and talk to them about your feelings- keeping your distress bottles up inside may deteriorate your mental health further. Having the support of other people during turbulent times can help you overcome your lows.