Yoga wellness educator. Certified to teach Hatha yoga, meditation, pilates, and Reiki. Oracle card reader. Yoga Therapy Foundations program.
Lately, a few people have confided in me that they feel depressed. This was not a shock considering the current state of the world with an epidemic, pandemic, and the threat of a big war. But this is not an excuse to passively accept feelings of loneliness or depression and endure a state of unhappiness.
Do you feel burdened with feelings of loneliness? Feeling lonely at times is part of our ordinary lives, and so many of us have been there. But if you feel depressed, you must realize that depression is more than just sadness.
According to the American Psychological Association, depression is a common mental disorder. People with depression may suffer physical, cognitive, and social changes. These changes could include worsening eating or sleeping habits, a lack of vitality or motivation, trouble focusing or making decisions, and retreating from social activities
Depression can be more devastating than feelings of loneliness. We may get depressed when we fail to pass our exams, or when a loved one rebuffs us or passes away. The lasting consequences of depression could wreck your self-image, health, and well-being. Some people find it difficult to manage their depression, which at times can get the best of them.
Here are some suggestions to help you, or someone you know who suffers from depression, overcome the gloomy mood and enjoy your daily activities.
Tip #1. Get a Great Deal of Light and Sunshine
Did you know that not exposing your body to sunlight is responsible for the discharge of the hormone called Melatonin, which may cause a dejected mood and/or a listless condition? Melatonin is produced in the dark and is responsible for lowering body temperature and making you feel sluggish.
So, if you are confined all the time in your room, especially if you keep the curtains closed, it would be hard to get yourself out of bed. This is the reason many people feel more depressed in winter when the nights are longer than in any other season.
If you cannot afford to get some sunshine, lighten up your room with brighter lights to help make up for the darkness.
Have lunch outside the office for a change and take frequent walks instead of driving your car over short distances.
You have lots of choices. It is really up to you.
Tip #2. Keep Busy and Get Inspired
You will be more apt to overcome any feeling of depression if you keep your mind busy doing the activities you enjoy the most. Do the things you love.
If you do not have enough cash, engage in simple activities like taking a leisurely walk in the park, exercising, reading books, or engaging in interests and hobbies.
Also, set yourself meaningful and attainable goals that would stretch your capabilities but are still possible.
Even though life can be tough or disheartening, remain resolute and believe that you can do what you want and act in a way to make your dreams come true.
With a sunny outlook, you will have a joyful temperament that will support your efforts to overcome a blue mood or any tendency to be depressed.
Tip #3. Take a Break. Sit Back and Relax
Listen to your best-loved comforting music. Soak in a nice warm bath. Take a break from your hectic workload and spend a day doing something that brings you joy.
Enjoy life. Life is too short as it is.
Tip #4. Follow a Healthy Diet and Stay Fit
Avoid food with lots of sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. Sugar and caffeine may give you a fleeting moment of energy, but soon after they bring about anxiety, tension, and inner problems.
Alcohol is a nuisance. Many people think that drinking alcohol would help them to forget their problems. In fact, drinking alcohol aggravates problems and conditions.
Also, did you know that exercising regularly is a vital depression buster? Exercise helps your body to make more endorphins than usual. Endorphins are sometimes called "the happy chemicals" due to their properties that help reduce feelings of stress and stimulate feelings of happiness.
Tip #5. Get a Social Life Outside of Work
No one is an island. Your inner circle of friends is there to give you moral support. Spending time and engaging in meaningful activities with them could give you a gratifying feeling. Nothing feels better than having group support, especially the power of their touch.
Give a hug to someone. Keep close ties with trusted family members and friends. The love and care of others could remarkably improve your immune system and keep off illnesses.
10 Common Symptoms of Depression
Worldwide, five percent of adults suffer from depression according to the World Health Organization.
Depression is a mental disorder. This dire illness affects day-to-day life and destroys families. It controls the functions of the mind, which causes loss of appetite, insomnia, mood swings, and a profound sense of hopelessness.
The warning signs of depression fluctuate, and its significance changes with time. Experts believe that depression can be a hereditary disorder or can be caused by life-threatening illnesses or stress. Other causes of depression are a number of diseases, medicines, drugs, alcohol, or mental illnesses.
Women are more prone to experience depression than men. This is attributed to hormonal swings, menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, perimenopause, and post-menopause.
Some of the common warning signs are:
- Persevering sadness, feelings of anxiety, or a sense of meaninglessness.
- Overwhelming hopelessness along with negative feelings.
- Excessive feelings of guilt and no sense of self-worth.
- Loss of energy, a slowing down of metabolism and activity levels.
- Suffering from constant fatigue.
- A sense of helplessness, an increased inability to focus, and indecision.
- Loss of good sleep or extreme insomnia.
- Weight loss or weight gain, which is caused by loss of appetite or eating splurges.
- Suicidal tendencies.
- Irritability and restlessness.
- Physical disorders like headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain for no specific reason.
If you feel one or more of the above symptoms and a noticeable change in behavior, seek advice from your medical doctor without delay. Have a comprehensive examination done to exclude physical causes for depression and any underlying medical problems. Then if necessary, seek help from a psychologist or a psychological counselor.
Do not wait for other people to do something to erase negativity from your mind. Take charge. Set yourself meaningful and reachable goals. Let yourself relax. Meditate. Enjoy music. Start new activities or interests that take up your time. Meet new people and take part in group activities. Avoid negative people. Make time to enjoy a movie, game, family getaway, picnic, or a walk. Be positive, self-assured, and believe in yourself. Faith is a fantastic healer. Choose to change your life for the better. All this while following the recommendations of your medical doctor, especially when it comes to making a lifestyle change.
Do not hesitate to ask for help if your feelings of depression worsen or if you have suicidal tendencies. Ask someone to talk you through the crisis, be it your family physician or health care provider, a local health department, a community mental health center, or a hospital or clinic. Trusted friends are the best support you can have.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Liliane Najm