3 Tips For Dealing With Depression

Depression can rob you of your energy, self-esteem and interest in the things you once enjoyed. This debilitating illness can impact on your work and social life, but there are positive steps you can take to get out from under its grip. Here are three tips for dealing with depression.

Commit to Daily Exercise

Exercising may be the last thing you feel like doing, but you don't have to start running marathons. Committing to getting out for a walk each day can be enough to boost your mood, and according to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, hormones that can give you a natural high, which begin to make long-term alterations to your mood when activated regularly.

Don't put pressure on yourself to do more than you feel capable of, but commit to doing at least 30 minutes each day of any type of exercise you enjoy or used to enjoy such as walking, swimming or doing a fitness DVD.

Use Your Diet to Support Your Mental Health

Consuming a diet rich in folic acid, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids can improve the symptoms of depression and alter your mood. To boost your folic acid intake opt for lentils, brown rice and avocado. Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, dairy products and beef, while omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, walnuts and avocado.

Try making a daily smoothie with ½ an avocado, a banana, a teaspoon of cocoa powder, and a small pot of yogurt, enjoy teriyaki beef and brown rice for dinner, or stir walnuts into oatmeal drizzled with honey.

Seek Counselling Support

Getting some professional support from a counsellor can help you recover from depression by providing you with a safe and confidential space to explore your feelings and the reasons why you think you may have developed depression. As counselling is a talking therapy, your counsellor will listen to you and explore your thoughts with you during each session. They will work with you to identify behaviours or triggers that contribute to you feeling depressed and support you as you explore ways to make positive changes and overcome this illness.

Your counsellor may set you small tasks to complete between each session that will help you move closer to your goal of breaking free from depression such as leaving the house three times that week or meeting someone for a cup of coffee and a chat. The tasks will be tailored toward your own current life situation and your counsellor will explore how you felt when completing the tasks as a way measuring your progress.

You can expect to see your counsellor on a weekly basis at first, but the sessions will decrease as you get closer to your goal.

Depression can be lonely and isolating, but you don't have to keep struggling on in silence. Contact your GP, Lifeline or resources like Helen N. Norman if you need to talk to someone or feel at risk of harming yourself.