Feeling low now and then is okay, but if emotions like despair and helplessness just do not seem to go away, then you may be suffering from depression. However, no matter how helpless you may feel, there are a few steps you can take to feel better. But before we discover these steps, let us get to learn about the symptoms of depression.
Common Symptoms of Depression:
- Hopelessness and irritability – you always look at things negatively and feel that there is nothing good, and nothing will ever be better. You feel nothing can help improve your condition. You also always feel restless, agitated, and violent. You have low tolerance levels, a short temper, and things very easily get on your nerves.
- Lack of interest and low energy – you do not have any interest in those activities that you earlier enjoyed, be it social activities, your favorite pastimes, or even sex. You just do not enjoy pleasure or feel joyful. You almost always feel physically drained and fatigued. Your body may seem to feel heavy and even doing small tasks makes you exhausted.
- Change in weight and sleep patterns- you start losing or gaining noticeable weight each month, more than 5% body weight changes every month is a cause for concern. Your sleeping pattern is also disturbed. Either you end up oversleeping or you find it difficult to fall asleep, and wake up very easily in the morning.
Steps to take:
You may be suffering from these or other symptoms but there is no need for you to worry. There are quite a few things you can do to lift your mood and feel better, about which we shall learn now.
1. Reach out to others
If you are isolated you are more likely to feel depressed. Thus it will be best to reach out to others – your family, friends, and colleagues. Even if you feel you do not want to be a burden to anyone or just want to be alone, yet you must reach out to others. If you simply share how you feel with someone, that itself will prove to be of great help. The person you discuss your problem with may not be able to give a solution, but only if he/she is a good listener that is enough.
2. Eat the right food
There are many foods that can affect your already bad behavior in a worse way and thus you need to stay away from them. Such foods that you must avoid include sugar, trans fats, alcohol, refined carbs, and caffeine. Instead have healthy food, particularly those that can improve your mood like Omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Start exercising
If you are feeling depressed you may find it difficult to even get out of your bed, exercising seems out of question. However, if you exercise regularly it can prove to be as helpful as any antidepressants and can help combat the symptoms of depression. You may simply go for a walk, join a dance class, a yoga class, or the gym, whatever you like.
4. Try to connect with the world again
You may have stayed aloof so long, now you have to start engaging yourself again. If you have been a nature lover, spend some time amidst nature, or volunteer, start some new hobby that you earlier enjoyed. Though you may not enjoy all this initially, once you start connecting with the world again, gradually, you will start feeling better.
So, these are a few things you can do to feel better. However, if these lifestyle changes do not help you then you need medical attention. Certain medications are available but they may invite some side-effects and are not a long-term solution. You should instead consult a therapist who will offer tools to cure depression from many angles and will also motivate you to take the right actions. Therapy may also provide you the insight and skills that will prevent you suffering from depression ever again.