While medical intervention may be needed in some cases, it helps to arm yourself with an arsenal of healthy lifestyle habits to keep depression at bay.
Make a routine
When you have depression, it is difficult to go about their daily lives when you do not have something planned. It gets the overthinking gears moving and you feel as if you do not have a purpose. Following a routine gives you a look into a future, and it develops a consistent circadian rhythm (body clock) which helps you to fall into a schedule for daily activities and sleep.
Having a routine will also let you know what you are doing and what to expect next, reducing uncertainty and anxiety.
Try new things
While it’s good to stick with a schedule, it is also important to try new things such as learning a new skill. It will give you a sense of pride as you widen your life’s experiences. When you’re stuck in a rut, changing up your routine may also shift your perspective.
Also, by taking on and overcoming new challenges at work, you will feel good about yourself.
(Also read: 10 Mindfulness Workshops to Check Out in Singapore)
Challenge negative thoughts
This may be easier said than done, but try this handy tip: when the blues strike, give them a greeting like, “Hi there sadness, I know you’re here but I’m too busy for you, sorry.” Acknowledging negative thoughts (and giving them the boot) is infinitely more helpful than pretending they are not there.
Looking at the brighter side of life also has physical benefits. It can lead to a longer life span, reduce your risk of heart attacks and lower blood pressure.
(Also read: Can Someone Just ‘Snap Out’ of Depression?)
Have sufficient sleep
Sleep deprivation is a one-ingredient recipe for a bad mood. It also makes your body sluggish and blurs your mind the next day. If you are suffering from insomnia, try going to bed earlier so you have more time to wind down. Also, keep your mobile phone and other electronic devices out of the bedroom.
(Also read: Helping a Loved One Who Has Depression)
Eat the right food
A huge part of your mental health is affected by what you eat. For instance, studies have shown that the risk of depression in teens who eat low quality food is 80 percent more than those who eat more whole foods. The risk of attention-deficit disorder also doubles.
Choose “good carbs” such as whole grains to avoid energy crashes in the middle of the day. To increase alertness, load up with healthy proteins such as lean meats, beans, soya products and low-sugar yoghurt.
(Also read: Reduce Your Risk Of Depression With This Exact Diet)
Be active outdoors
Being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress, while increasing happiness. Plus, it helps to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension.
To blow off steam and enjoy and energy boost, try a brisk walk, jog or run. Many studies advise that you should deal with depression by exercising as it distracts you from worries and if you do it outdoors, you get all the added benefits mentioned above.
Talk to someone
Find some friends or family members that you trust and have an honest chat – chances are, they want to help but don’t know how. Or you can go a step further and seek professional help from counsellors or psychiatrists who will help get to the root of your problem. They may also prescribe lifestyle changes and medications if needed.
(Also read: 7 Signs You Could Be Having Depression)