4 Different Ways to Fight Depression - Road to Recovery

Have you lost the pleasure in the things you once loved? Finding yourself withdrawing from going out with friends or having a hopeless outlook on life? These are some of the many symptoms of a mood disorder called depression. You shouldn't have to live your life in constant guilt or find it extremely challenging to do normal tasks like socializing with friends or even getting out of bed. 

You may be stuck asking yourself why is dealing with depression so difficult? Depression drains every bit of energy, drive, and hope you have, making it difficult to take the next steps that will help you. Taking the first step will always be the hardest, but by following small positive steps day by day, you'll soon lift that heavy weight of depression off your chest and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again. 

Here are 5 different ways to help you fight off your depression, leading you on the road to recovery:
1. Stay connected

While you may feel guilty for neglecting certain relationships in your life, staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out doesn't have to mean a sign of weakness, your loved ones care about you and want to be there to support!

  • Look for support from those who make you feel safe and cared for. Don't look for someone to be able to fix you, sometimes the best thing for you is a great listener. Someone who is willing to listen without judging you.
  • Find ways to support others. While receiving support may feel nice, research shows you feel more rewarded from providing support yourself. Volunteer to be a good listener for a friend, or do something nice for someone. 

2. Do things that make you feel good

Taking part in relaxing and energizing activities will help you overcome your depression. While you can't force yourself, you can motivate yourself to take part in things you enjoy (or used to). Try to develop a “wellness toolbox” to help deal with your depression. Come up with a list of things you can do for a quick mood boost. The more “tools” you have the better. 

3. Create a healthy lifestyle. 

Whether that involves you staying active to creating a healthy diet, these are both crucial steps to overcoming your depression. Exercise is known to be a powerful depression fighter. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms! Not to mention what you eat can also have a direct impact on how you feel. 

  • Find exercises that are rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercise such as walking, weight training, dancing, anything where you move both your arms and legs. 
  • Don't skip meals. Going too long in between your meals can have a negative effect on your mood, making you feel irritable and tired. Aim for at least three meals every three hours. 
  • Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in vitamin B such as B-12 can trigger depression. To get more take a b-complex vitamin or each more leafy greens, beans, and chicken. 

4. Challenge negative thinking

Feeling powerless and hopeless is a common symptom of depression. It can change the way you see yourself and your future. When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, it's important to remember that it's only a symptom of your depression and these irrational attitudes (known as cognitive distortions) aren't realistic. Create a lifelong pattern of thinking so that it becomes automatic even when you're not completely aware of it. Identify the destructive thoughts and challenge them with questions such as “what's the evidence that this is true? Not true?”, or “ What would I tell a friend who had this though?”

Here are some negative, unrealistic ways of thinking that fuel depression.
  • Overgeneralization. “I had a bad date, I'll never find anyone.”
  • Diminishing the positive. “She said she had a good time on our date, but i think she was just trying to be nice.”
  • Jumping to conclusions. “ I'll be stuck in this dead-end job forever.”
  • Emotional reasoning. “I feel like such a failure. Everyone must be laughing at me.”

When to get professional help

If you have tried these steps and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing professional help doesn't mean you're weak. Depression can be treated. Help get yourself on the right track to improve your mood and overall well being. 

Book a call with our Wellness Coordinator to learn more