A Personal (Non-Scientific) Guide To Dealing With Depression
Depression is scary. Most of the time it's invisible and if it isn’t, people try their best to keep it hidden. It’s estimated that roughly 1 in 5 adults in the US have a mental health condition. If it isn’t you, then likely a family member or friend can be dealing with depression and fighting the battle alone.
Like many others, I have experienced depression. However, instead of hiding it from the world, I’m going to do the opposite. I want to bring attention to the topic and figure out what advice people have for one another. Of course, there are different types of depression and each person has a unique reason for their condition (maybe a close friend passed away, a relationship failed or the person lost their job), but I’d like to share what has worked for me and learn what others know.
I believe this is the part where I state for the record that I’m neither a doctor nor a mental health expert and if you are in the deep end then please call a depression hotline or seek professional help.
The advice below is simply my personal (non-scientific) guide to dealing with depression. I hope that you can find at least one piece of advice here that will make your life better.
Have a consistent sleep schedule
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day
- Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep
- Too much sleep makes you lazy and too little is unhealthy
- If you have trouble waking up, find ways to get more natural light into your room (slightly open blinds/curtains before bed)
Shower and change into proper clothes
- Showering in the morning forces you to get out of bed
- Also gets you out of your pajamas and you'll feel more clean/fresh
- More likely to do something positive once you’re in a decent pair of clothes
Eat fruits and healthy fats for breakfast
- Avoid fruit juices (loaded with sugar) instead have real fruits
- Eat eggs, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef (all are good sources of healthy protein and fats)
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated (Think 3-5 cups of water daily)
Avoid sugar and processed foods
- Processed foods and fast foods are linked to depression
- White sugar and commercial baked goods are also linked to depression
- We all know too much sugar and fake food isn't good for us, try your best to avoid it
Avoid Using Your Phone In The Morning
- Specifically avoid using social media apps, you don't want to compare someone's highlight reel to your life, especially when you're going through a rough time
- Avoid dating apps, you don't need to be reminded you're single
- Avoid email, 95% of emails are likely ads, spam, or other unimportant messages
Go outside during the day
- Something about being in the sun makes people happy
- Being outside you see how awesome life is (birds in the trees, plants all around, fascinating inventions like cars, people watching is also fun)
- Look at the sky and realize how small our problems actually are compared to the world and how lucky we are to be alive
Get some form of exercise
- There are tons of books and studies that talk about the wide-range of benefits of exercising
- Go for a walk, jog, lift weights, swim, buy an iron gym and workout at home, or just even 10 pushups to get your blood flowing
Have a TD&T NotebooK
- TD stands for To-Do (write down 3 things you want to accomplish that day)
- &T stands for And Thankfulness (write down 3 things you’re thankful for)
- It’s fine to start small in both areas (ex: Hit the gym today, Thankful for a sunny day)
Listen to Music and Do Some Chores
- There’s something special about music
- It can lift a person’s mood and inspire people to great things
- I enjoy listening to music while doing chores becomes it makes an unpleasant task (doing the dishes, dusting the apartment) into less work and more fun
Read a Book
- There are books on every topic imaginable
- If you’re depressed because you’ve lost a job, there are books that teach how to prepare a resume, ace interviews, use your network, etc.
- People have been around for millions of years and have been writing books for the past thousand years or so, it’s likely that at least one person in the past has experienced a similar situation to yours and wrote a book about how people can overcome that obstacle and at least provide some kind of helpful knowledge
I don’t want to list a million pieces of advice because it may seem overwhelming, plus I’m not sure if anyone will actually read this, but start small and take it day-by-day. Take one piece of advice here and apply it today. Then apply it every day for a week. Then once it becomes a part of your life, add another piece of advice.
Your goal should be to make yourself a little bit stronger each day and by doing so, you’ll be able to win the battle against depression. If you fall down, that’s fine. Dust yourself off, focus back on the fundamentals, and continue to get better. Best of luck everyone!
P.S. If you have any advice that worked for you, please comment below so that others may benefit.
If you're looking for a new book to read, check out my list of recommended books!