“Tips for Managing Depression”-J. Adam Snyder
As someone who struggles with depression, I understand how it can be harder to manage during the winter months, especially here in the Pacific Northwest which is infamous for being gloomy and wet.
Fortunately, I have found ways to manage and improve my mental illness. The following may or may not work for you because we’re all different, but I would suggest giving it a try and see if it does:
– Exercise! It doesn’t have to be anything too much, just a quick walk, but it gets you out and physical activity releases natural chemicals that make you feel better.
– Avoid toxic environments and people. We all know of certain places or people that seem to feed on drama and stress, stress will worsen your depression and bring about bad episodes. The best way to handle this is to keep as much distance from these toxic things as you can.
– Have a safe place. This can be anything from your home, a friend’s house, library, church, synagogue shopping mall, it doesn’t matter. When you have a depressive breakdown you need to escape to a place where you feel safe and comfortable, a place where you can “reset” so to speak. Otherwise your mind won’t be able to function rationally which increases the chance of something truly bad occurring.
– Reach out and surround yourself with loved ones. Being alone with depression is not healthy, therefore I’ve found it best to have certain family members and friends on standby who understand your condition that are willing to go the extra mile to care for you. If you feel you don’t have anyone, as depressed people often believe, keep in mind that such a thought is a lie and that there are many who do, including strangers, and you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out for help.
-Have (safe) sex or masturbate. Might sound odd to some, but sex releases healthy chemicals throughout the body, giving yourself a natural “high.” It can be done with a partner or alone, no shame in doing so, it’s good for physical, mental, and spiritual health and releases stress and restores the brain to a healthier state.
-Find a healthy outlet. For me, it’s writing, for others it might be something different. It doesn’t matter as long as it makes you feel better and you can release negative energies in a safe and fun way.
-Help others. I help teach younger children how to read at a local elementary school, this gets me outside of myself and allows me to be a blessing to somebody else, giving me a purpose and being a source of happiness to someone else who needs it.
-Take a nature walk. Leave the city and just get lost in the majesty of the world, reconnect with the living painting surrounding you. It does wonders for your happiness.
-Invest in a light therapy box. Living in the Pacific Northwest, the gloomy weather gets to me, but having a box that produces vitamin D and mimics a sunny day helps tremendously.
-Take vitamin D and don’t fear medication. I take vitamin D supplements every day to keep my mood stable, I also take Zoloft which has been helpful. Some people may be afraid to take medication, but if you talk with your doctor you can find one that can help you. Also don’t be afraid to speak to a psychologist, I have one and visit every week.
-Get a pet! They help in surprising ways.
As stated before, this may or may not work for you, but it does for me and I would recommend giving it a try. The important thing to remember about depression is that in most cases it can be cured overtime, but requires a combination of medicinal and lifestyle changes. There is no overnight fix.
Do not fall into the depression pit. You must not give up on yourself, because if you do it becomes harder to recover and you spiral further into it. Being active is key.
©-J. Adam Snyder