5 Recommendations on how to cope with depression and mental illness

Young woman supporting her girlfriend in depression
Young woman supporting her girlfriend in depression
  1. Talk To Someone

First things first, please know that you don’t have to suffer alone. Sharing your worries and concerns with someone else can bring a relief to your mind. In those cases, a friend or family member can provide a wonderful support system.

There are also resources available to connect you with someone that can help. A professional, like a psychologist, is trained to help you to get on the right path.

  1. Physical Fitness

When you’re feeling low, the last thing you may want to do is get up and exercise. Leaving the house can be a hassle and going to the gym may not be an option.

However, the good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym to work out! You don’t even have to leave the house. There are simple fitness exercises that can be done from the comfort of your own bedroom. If you don’t know any, YouTube is a good resource for easy exercises.

Engaging in physical fitness is not just about improving your appearance. Research suggests that being active improves your mental state. More information and suggestions can be found at WebMD.

If you’re feeling up to it, leaving the house can also be really beneficial. Not only will you gain a change of scenery, you’ll also be able to enjoy fresh air and some exposure to sunlight. Taking a walk outdoors does count as exercise. Walking outside can also help you to redirect your thoughts to something more positive and uplifting.

  1. Eat Healthy

When you are feeling depressed, there is not much motivation to cook healthy meals. However, healthy food has been proven to do good things for your mind, body, and spirit.

During depressed moments, fast food, quick meals, and TV dinners mark the diets of many people. Thanks to the high amounts of sugar and sodium, these foods taste good and may make you feel good for a little while. As the body processes these substances, the feel-good feelings are likely to cause a crash later on. This crash can leave you feeling worse than you did in the beginning. So, what can you do to avoid this?

Eating healthy is a simple way that you can bring a big change to your body and mind. It may seem too good to be true but in there is proof that this is real.

The hardest part about this may be gathering the energy to prepare fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Luckily, there are plenty of options in the produce section that makes this part easier.

Most fruits can be eaten raw – just rinse and/or wipe them off. More complicated fruits, like watermelon or pineapple, can be found already chopped and packaged. Those will be in the refrigerated produce section.

The easiest vegetables to consume are usually going to be frozen. Those are washed and ready to be used – often frozen when they are the most fresh.

Lots of frozen vegetables are sold in bags that can be microwaved. Look for packages that say “steamable” on the package.

It is also important to limit your intake of sugary fruit drinks and soda. These are often full of refined sugar, food coloring, and syrups that will cause a crash later on. They can also contribute to dehydration. Drinking enough water is very important when it comes to feeling your best.

Additionally, there are many other suggestions when it comes to the connection of eating and how you feel. 

  1. Think Positive

One of the trademark symptoms of depression is having thoughts that are negative or dark. Thinking this way contributes to the feeling of hopelessness and despair that many go through Obviously, it does not feel good.

Looking on the bright side is an ability that anyone can channel. It may not feel natural at first but you owe it to yourself to try to be optimistic.

At times, depression may be triggered by outside events that are out of your control. In those instances, it can be helpful to redirect your thoughts to what you are thankful for.

Keeping a gratitude journal can help you to keep perspective on the positive things in your life. There is nothing too small to be thankful for. Some examples include having a bed to sleep in, having access to running water, having internet access, and/or having a job. Write in your gratitude journal every day and count your blessings.

  1. Creative Outlets

Throughout history, many of the great artists that we appreciate today have a history of depression and/or mental illness. Whatever horrors they had to endure in their personal lives did not prevent them from expressing themselves creatively. In all actuality, their creativity was probably an outlet for them. If it worked for them then it can work for you, too!

The creative options that exist in this world are only limited by your imagination. Being talented at something does not matter here, it’s all about the experience. You can try anything that you put your mind to. Every experience will not resonate with you so stick with the ones that make you feel good.

What’s important is that you’re stimulating your senses and giving yourself a chance to enjoy an experience.

As you can see, there are things that you can do that have been proven to help ease the burden of depression and mental illness. The first step is to choose to try and live a better life. Believe in yourself and you can do it!

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