Depression treatment goes well beyond the therapist’s office. While you can work through your depression in therapy, you can also benefit from some simple lifestyle changes. These will take minimal effort on your part, but they will drastically change the way you feel throughout the day. Here are some lifestyle changes to fight depression, courtesy of Mental Health Resources in Memphis, TN.
Limit Your Social Media Usage
Social media can make depression symptoms worse. There are several reasons for this. To start, social media exposes you to a filtered version of the world. You can see the happy, perfect lives that people portray online, even if it’s not indicative of reality. This creates comparisons in your mind, which lead to self-doubt and low self-esteem. The cycle continues from there.
Another issue with social media is that it is an addictive substance. Every time you get a notification on your phone, your brain releases a small dose of dopamine. This is the same chemical that releases when someone smokes a cigarette. Social media is not harmful in small quantities, but you can become addicted to it over time. This addiction, along with others you may develop along the way, will only fuel your depression.
Limit your social media access to a specific device, or only allow yourself to be on during certain times of the day. The less access you have, the more you will be able to focus on your self-improvement.
Improve Your Sleep Routine
Sleep is a crucial part of depression treatment, and it is something that many depression sufferers struggle to obtain. Your brain uses your sleep time to sort through your thoughts from the day. If you do not get ample sleep, you wake up groggy, confused, or exhausted before the day ever starts. This once again intensifies feelings of depression.
Establish a sleep routine. Try to go to bed around the same time every night, allowing plenty of time to sleep and wake up in the morning. Avoid screens 30 minutes before bed, and avoid eating or drinking for at least an hour before bed. Use a relaxing activity like a bath or reading to calm your body and mind. Even if you lie awake for hours, the peaceful routine will let your body rest. You will soon feel more refreshed in the morning and ready to conquer the day.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
When you’re depressed, the last thing you want to think about is “healthy” food. Chocolate, chips, junk food – that’s what sounds good at the time. Those foods only temporarily fix the problem though. They stifle your energy and do nothing for your mental health. Maintain a healthy diet as often as possible, filled with fruits, vegetables and plenty of protein. Drink water throughout the day, and avoid sugary drinks like soda and tea. Also avoid caffeine as it could inhibit your sleep schedule in the evening. After about a week of healthy eating, you will feel a natural energy that practically eliminates the need for caffeinated beverages.
Work through Your Personal Struggles with Depression Treatment
Your unique experience dictate which depression treatments work best for you. The tips above provide a general guideline for you to follow, but you can get an exact plan for treatment when you speak to a depression therapist. Your counselor will have the tools and expertise necessary to guide you toward a better quality of life. We offer affordable and effective depression treatment in Memphis, TN, and we have a number of specialists who can assist you. Contact Mental Health Resources to get matched with the best therapist for your needs.