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Are you struggling with depression? Here are a few ways to help overcome it on a daily basis:
Go for a walk every day! You don’t have to hike a long trail, just get out of the house and get your heart going for 15-20 minutes. If you don’t have to leave the house on a given day, just pull on some sweats or shorts and make yourself get out and enjoy the fresh air and the trees! Even walking around the block is effective if you do it three or more times per week. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, just go out the next time!
Don’t eat unless you are really hungry. If you feel like eating to fill a void, call a friend, read a book or get out and do something. Even drinking a tall glass of water will help to stave off false hunger. Together with walking, this will improve your health, appearance, and how your body feels. When you over-eat, you will feel bloated and uncomfortable as well as defeated. If you do eat something, try to make at least moderately healthy choices and avoid binging by finding something productive to do right away!
Don’t oversleep! If you wake up way too early, try to let yourself go back to sleep. If you cannot, do something calming like reading, journaling, or studying. Once you naturally wake up, and the hour is reasonable, stay up and have your walk or work on a project. Oversleeping creates a dulling of the senses, and if you wake up during your deep sleep cycle, you may stay groggy for while.
Find a hobby or activity outside of work to bring balance. Whether it be photography, hiking, fishing, writing, sports, visiting the mall, collecting something fun, or whatever, it should get you out of the house and off of the computer or TV for awhile. Going to the movies can be exciting, but try to have some activities that involve interacting with other people and getting out of the house. Often it is difficult to get out when you are depressed, but it is the very thing that often helps to beat depression.
Build and maintain important relationships. Attend special groups at your church that provide extra fellowship. Join a singles group or try a reliable dating service. If you are married, invite other couples for dinner. Write to friends who have moved away. Skype with relatives who are out of state or overseas. You don’t need to have a thousand friends, but a few good ones will be a great support, and you can encourage them as well!
Volunteer work is a great way to get out and meet people. If there is a local charity you feel is reliable, that does good work in your community, get involved and meet people you can help by donating your time and skills. You could help at a soup kitchen, join a committee, drive a vehicle, build a home, or tutor someone. These types of activities will build your self-confidence and self-esteem. This in turn will help defeat the depression that is troubling you.
Read positive books, listen to beautiful music, and watch encouraging movies. This will give you a positive outlook on life. Always follow the advice of your healthcare professionals and counselors, and take prescribed medications consistently. If prayer is part of your life, pray consistently and expectantly. When you find yourself making a poor choice that could bring you down, consider the outcome, and try to choose an achievable alternative that will keep you far from depression, or lead you on the road out of it!