Depression is a serious mental health issue affecting millions of people worldwide. It can be a challenging, terrifying, and exhausting journey, and avoiding certain things can help you cope with it better. In this article, we’ll outline 15 things you should avoid if you’re feeling depressed. Please don’t forget that help is available. There are free hotlines you can call to speak to someone. Remember, you’re not alone.
When you’re feeling depressed, it’s easy to withdraw from social situations. However, avoiding social contact can make you feel worse. Try to maintain some interaction with family and friends, even if it’s just a quick phone call or text message. These little connections will make you feel better and give you a bit of hope.
Eating a balanced diet is essential to maintain good physical health. Skipping meals can exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety. Try eating three nutritious meals daily and snack on healthy foods such as fruits and nuts. If you find you can’t prepare and/or eat a full meal, try to have at least a healthy snack (low in sugar) to get some nutrients in you.
While retail therapy definitely does some good, keep in mind it’s temporary gratification, and if you are using it to make you happy, it could get out of control. The end result? Your finances will take a hit, and your credit card could get maxed out before you know, causing you more stress, which, in turn, can add to your depression.
Drugs and Alcohol
While alcohol and drugs can provide temporary relief, they are not a long-term solution for depression. In fact, they can worsen your condition. If you’re struggling with addiction, reach out to healthcare providers or support groups for help. The last thing you want is to depend on drugs or alcohol to change your mood.
Negative self-talk can fuel depression and make it harder to recover. Try challenging your negative thoughts and shifting your focus to positive affirmations and self-care. Instead of saying, “My life sucks, and I hate it,” try saying, “I’m going through challenges right now, but I know they will make me a stronger and better person.” Use your imagination here.
Neglecting Physical Activity
Exercise can be an effective way to alleviate symptoms of depression. It releases endorphins and helps to reduce stress. Try engaging in physical activity such as a daily walk, yoga, or swimming. Even a short walk to the park to feed chipmunks and swans will do your mental health wonders.
Don’t Neglect Personal Hygiene
When you’re feeling depressed, it’s easy to let good hygiene practices slip. However, taking care of yourself and your appearance is instrumental in boosting your morale. Regular showers, brushing your teeth, and grooming routines are essential to maintaining good mental health.
Bottling Up Your Emotions
Keeping your feelings inside can cause stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try talking to someone you trust, such as a friend or mental health professional. Speaking your emotions aloud can help you process them better. If you’re not up to talking to anyone, try journaling your emotions. You might also want to try gratitude journaling. Write out all the things you are grateful for.
Social media can increase feelings of depression and inadequacy. Try to limit your social media use and avoid comparisons with others. Remember, social media only presents a highlight reel, not the entire picture. People often tend to portray their lives as glamorous and amazing while behind closed doors, it’s not all that pretty.
Reaching Out For Help
Depression is not something that you can overcome by merely “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” It’s essential to seek help from qualified mental health professionals, such as therapists and psychiatrists. It’s important to note that many helplines are available for free. Find one for your area. https://mentalhealthhotline.org/depression-hotline/
Don’t Neglect Sleep
Lack of sleep can worsen depression and cause mood swings. Try to establish a sleep routine that allows you to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you have a hard time sleeping at night, try taking mini naps or little power rests throughout the day if you can.
Procrastination can stress anyone out. Don’t put things off until tomorrow. Try tackling at least simple little things. This can enhance your sense of accomplishment and help you feel more in control. Make a small list of the things you need to do and check them off as you do them. It will make you feel better that you did it.
Negative relationships will cause serious damage to your mental health and fuel your depression. Try to surround yourself with supportive, understanding people who uplift you. If you have negative people in your life, limit your interaction with them until you start feeling better.
Constant exposure to negative news can impact your mental health negatively. Try to limit your exposure to news and information that causes feelings of anxiety or stress. If you need to watch something, search on Netflix or YouTube for some comedy or feel-good shows.
Comfort Food Eating
It’s so tempting and easy to grab cookies, chips, and other non-healthy foods to satisfy our emotions, but this is the worst thing you can do. Once you start this bad habit, it’s hard to stop, leading to weight gain, among other physical ailments. Try to reach for healthy snacks if you are an emotional eater.
In conclusion, depression can be a challenging and long-felt journey, and avoiding certain things can help you cope with it better. Avoiding isolation, negative self-talk, drugs and alcohol, social media, and procrastination can greatly improve your mental health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, seeking help from mental health professionals, practicing self-care, and surrounding yourself with supportive people is crucial to managing depression. Remember, depression is not a choice, and it’s essential to be kind to yourself and take things one day at a time.
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