5 ways to battle depression

Is it an emotional struggle to get out of bed in the mornings? Do you sleep more than usual? Do you feel saddened and helpless? Do you have trouble concentrating on your work? Do you think of hurting yourself?

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  • Is it an emotional struggle to get out of bed in the mornings? Do you sleep more than usual? Do you feel saddened and helpless? Do you have trouble concentrating on your work? Do you think of hurting yourself? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you very likely suffer from depression. According to www.PBS.org report on depression, “depression affects mood, cognition, and physical health. Depression can leave you feeling hopeless, helpless, and chronically overwhelmed. You may have trouble completing everyday tasks. Exhaustion can prevent you from participating in activities that used to be fun. Social and emotional withdrawal from family and friends is common. Irritability is another sign of depression. Depression can also lead to thoughts of death or suicide.”

  • Most of us suffer some level of depression — from the most minimal symptoms to the most severe (depending on what is going on in our lives). Maybe you are going through a painful divorce, suffering from a death in the family, loss of employment or risk of losing your home.

  • When you deal with depression, you are not the only person that is burdened by its effects. Children suffer greatly when a parent is depressed. Your kids are unable to fully understand what is going on with you when you are in depressive state. As a result, you are unable to provide your full parental attention.

  • When I divorced my first husband over 10 years ago, I suffered from depression. I was faced with a cruel reality of a failing marriage and my job was in jeopardy. The idea of having to go back home to mom and start all over again set me back emotionally, physically and mentally. All I desired was to sleep all day and socially detach myself from people. I wanted to be left alone. I ate mostly junk food and only picked at the healthy foods. I lacked concentration at work and pushed close family members away. I knew this was not the type of person I was so I decided to see a therapist for a few sessions. During those sessions, she suggested a few techniques she believed would help me cope with my depression.

  • Here are five ways to battle depression without medicine:

  • Eat healthy

  • Do not indulge in junk food simply to satisfy your weakness or sweet tooth. Even though junk food is okay once in a while, it should not be your every meal. Eating junk food is the easy way out. Eating healthy salads, fruits or fish rejuvenates the body. You will feel the difference.

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  • Find happiness within yourself

  • Make a list of all the things that make you happy. Always look forward to those things (as little as they may be) that put a smile on your face or brings joy to your life. Even though you may be in a dark place, there is a tiny light glowing at the end of the tunnel. That tiny light glowing is one of the things on your happy list.

  • Participate in outdoor activities

  • Enjoy the day by attending a street festival, poetry night in the park, or a softball game. Go alone or bring someone you trust and who understands what you are going through. Appreciate the beauty of the day and of the activities you are able to experience.

  • Engage in yoga or in a few minutes of meditation

  • During your lunch break or before going to bed, take a few minutes to meditate. Meditation helps you connect with your inner peace. Practice yoga, which helps reduce the stress within you. Yoga is a great way to help you cope with your fears, anger and anxiety. It can help you face the world instead of hiding from it.

  • Speak to a trusting person or a therapist

  • Discuss your issues with someone you trust such as a family member, a close friend or a therapist. Express how sad, lonely and confused you feel. Lay your feelings out on the table. The less you keep your pain in and begin to share your true feelings, the better you will feel. Sometimes you need to just let it all out.

  • Depression is an illness that will come and go depending on what is going on in your life. It is based on situations you feel you have no control over. If you practice one or more of the five suggestions, you will probably feel a boost of energy and confidence. Chances are you will see life in a positive light. However, if you feel severe symptoms such as suicide, please contact your doctor. The thought of hurting yourself must be attended to immediately.

  • You have people in your life who love and depend on you. You owe it to them to make an effort to effectively deal with your depression.

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Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.

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