It can happen to anyone. You hear about it all the time. Unfortunately, depression is on the rise. If you suffer from depression, you aren't alone. Like many people you're calendar is probably packed, and you don't feel like you can set aside time for yourself.
You need to take care of the kids, clean the house, cook dinner, finish that last minute project at work and so on. When will it end? Is what you're thinking. This doesn't give your mind a chance to rest.
After a while, you begin to feel down. You may feel like you aren't appreciated. If you don't get help for this, it can lead to intrusive thoughts. Such as, 'I don't fit in or I'm simply not good enough. This is when your mind begins to lie to you, and you don't want to believe it.
Start to tell yourself, it's okay to take care of yourself.
It is not selfish to take care of yourself. If you don't, you will eventually crash.
Here are 5 tips for taking care of yourself when you are feeling depressed:
- Start by taking care of the basics. You need at least 8 hours of sleep every night. You need to drink plenty of water, and eat nutrient rich foods. Make exercise a habit in your life. Make sure you get some natural light, if possible. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s easy to overlook. I know it’s more convenient to stop at the drive thru on the way home from work, but there aren’t very many nutrient rich foods there. These really are important, make sure you don’t overlook them.
- Stay away from negative people. It’s true they will only bring you down. This also means limit the amount of time that you watch the news. There is never good news on the news. This can easily bring you down, and make you feel like the world is horrible. Stay around positive people. Start to notice the good that is happening in the world.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle. This doesn’t mean that you are quitter. Take a good hard look at your life. What can you trim? How many marathons do you really need to run in? How many organizations do you really need to volunteer for? How many extra work projects can you take on at the office? Do you really need to remodel your entire house right now? Learn to say no, you will feel much better in the long run.
- Make sure you are having fun. It’s easy to get caught up in work, the house and the family. Your life may feel like a to do list. When was the last time you put having fun on your to do list? This is one of those things that makes it way to the bottom of the list, or it may not even be on the list at all. Watch a comedy, spend time with friends that make you laugh, or get outside and go on a hike.
- Don’t feel ashamed about asking for help. Many people feel embarrassed about feeling depressed. There is no reason to feel this way. The best thing you can do is talk to someone about it. You can’t keep everything in. It will eventually come out as a headache, stomach ache or feeling depressed.
If you've made it to this point in reading this article, then I am proud of you for carving out a couple of minutes for you. Start with just one of these tips today. It's true, small steps do lead to big steps.
The brain is a muscle. By using these tips you are rewiring the brain. You will start to see positive changes in your life. This will help you start to feel better about yourself. Depression is nothing to take lightly. If you find that this doesn't help, then seek professional help immediately.
If you liked this article, there is more in Taking Care of Yourself. You will learn how to take care of yourself, and feel good about it.
Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.