Depression is hard to comprehend if you don’t suffer from this illness, it’s hard to describe to others and it’s hard to explain ‘why you have it’, like it's an illness you can easily get rid of.
Some days you can be happy, other days you feel like you physically can’t get out of bed, you feel numb and want to hide from the whole world.
The definition of depression is a low mood that can lasts for weeks, months or years and it can affect your daily life. Depression can be much more complex than just a chemical imbalance in your brain, and it can be caused by numerous factors however, there is not just one simple explanation, trigger or reason and if you suffer from depression.
Suffering from Depression daily is exhausting, there are many side effects to your physical and mental wellbeing such as: Sadness, negativity, anxiety, no motivation or desire to do anything or see anyone, feeling flat, no energy, problems concentrating and sleeping, headaches, fatigue and an overall numb feeling to name a few.
Unfortunately, with depression it can occur at any time and to anyone, there are different factors that can cause it from a chemical imbalance, family history to stress and so on. Coping with depression is a daily struggle for the individual and unfortunately, that person needs to take each day as it comes. Depression can be managed just like other illness, or it may one day disappear dependent on why the depression appeared in the first place.
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Some ways to look after yourself if you are feeling depressed
There are many coping mechanisms and strategies that can help an individual, underneath are a few examples:
Have a support network; even if you’re having a bad day where you want to hide from the world, remember to speak to someone when you’re feeling like this, whether it is a stranger, a friend, a colleague, your manager or a family member.
Have a daily routine, doing small things such as making your bed or simply having a shower, although this may not sound like much, doing small activities like that help you to get out of bed and get your body moving.
- Reduce stress; if something causes you stress, or if you have simply taken on too much, reduce your ‘to do list’, ask for help if needed. The more stress you have, the more your depression has something to cling on to.
- Journaling: with depression many individuals close themselves off and keep what they are feeling bottled in whether it’s because they feel like a burden or because they feel no one understands. With a journal, you can let it all out. Speak about the things you feel are a ‘burden’ or things you may be embarrassed about, let it all out because they only person who is reading this is you. Your journal can be your best friend.
- Nature can help generate a load of positive emotions such as calmness and helps lower stress and negativity, there are many studies that have proven nature can help depression, but you yourself know how you feel when your outside. Personally, I love nature, I prefer spending my time outdoors because my anxiety and stress seems to just melt away and a sense of calmness tends to wash over me.
- Exercise; as many of you are aware, exercise releases feel-good endorphins which helps ease depression, and it makes you feel good physically and mentally.
- Yoga and mindfulness, both are made to improve your mood and help you relax. However, if you’re like me and your mind goes a thousand miles an hour it can be extremely difficult to calm your mind and ease your thoughts, but persistence is key.
As mentioned before, depression can affect every aspect of your life including your family and friends. People can underestimate depression, but the truth is depression drains you, your energy, your drive and the road to recovery.
In order to recover from depression, seek help and treatment, don’t hide away.
When you first start to realise there is something wrong and that you’re struggling with depression seek help, the sooner the better. Once you have, keep going, keep persevering, keep trying. Although it’s difficult and may even be a slow process, keep going.
In recovery, self-care is important. Take care of yourself first before anyone else, work out what works best for you, what causes you stress and what brings you joy. Prioritise things that are important to you.