Ways To Instantly Improve Depression
By Claire ( The Millennial Londoner) Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This blog is purely for informational purposes compiled from personal experience and reputable sources. If you require any health advice please speak to a medical specialist. Ways To Instantly Improve Depression Depression can be an extremely debilitating disease that can impact every part of your life from your work, relationships, motivation and physical health. It can make you isolate yourself and destroy your happiness and fulfilment in life. Depression doesn't care about your social status, wealth, ethnicity, or age it can affect almost anyone. While there is no cure for depression there are ways to improve it and make it more manageable here are some tips I've used myself to get out of that slump. 1. Exercise Exercise is the most important and fastest way to improve your depression. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts it can improve your mental health as a whole, not just depression. The thought of exercise can be daunting but you don't have to run or do strenuous exercise, you can go for a brisk walk and that'll do the trick. 2. Vitamin B The vitamin B complex is vital for cognitive functioning and overall mental wellbeing. Studies show that incorporating the vitamin B complex into your daily life can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms so next time you feel anxiety and depression creeping in make sure you boost your vitamin b intake. The vitamins in the B complex you should prioritise are B6, B12 and Folate, these play an integral part in cognitive function and overall mood regulation. 3. Happy/Feel Good Music This one is a given but listening to music that makes you feel good is so underrated. Music can have a HUGE impact on the way we feel and can alter our outlook on life. The beauty of listening to music is it releases dopamine (the feel-good chemical) so it literally lifts your mood. I find listening to uplifting and happy music is better for my mood rather than sad music that only makes it worse but it completely depends on your music taste. 4. Comedy Shows/ Movies There's nothing like sitting down relaxing watching your favourite tv shows and movies especially if you're feeling depressed. Watching things that make you laugh can alter your neurotransmitters in your brain and ultimately boost your mood. They say laughter is the best medicine so I had to add it to the list because I DEFINITELY find this method useful in combating depression. 5. Hang Out With Friends (Virtually Due To COVID) Spending time with friends can help depression massively and you can talk to them about what is making you feel so low. Having supportive friends can help you feel more understood and less alone. When you’re depressed it is so important to NOT spend so much time alone, it can give your brain plenty of time to think negative thoughts. As the global pandemic is still spreading rapidly it's important to protect yourself, loved ones and others around you so virtual hangout sesh's are the best option right now. 6. Make Bed Everyday This one might sound a little strange but doing simple tasks like making your bed can improve your mood. Making your bed before you start your day can motivate you to carry on being productive throughout the rest of the day. Not to mention it’s nice to come back into a freshly made bed. But this alone won't help improve your depression so let's move on to the next step! 7. Make Small Achievable Goals Tying into the previous point if you give yourself small tasks to complete throughout the day (preferably in the morning) can improve your mood as you feel much more productive and it breaks down a list of chores into small manageable tasks. 8. Start Day Earlier And Do Hard Tasks Early In The Morning Simply starting your day earlier can be a HUGE help in fighting depression because you can get so much more done during the day and feel super productive having so much of the day left to do what you want. You're most productive during the morning than in the afternoon so getting hard tasks out of the way in the morning allows you to leave the afternoon to relax or complete smaller tasks i.e cleaning, getting groceries etc. 9. Pinpoint What Is Fueling Your Depression Even More And Work On Improving It Taking some time to do some self-reflection and determining what is fuelling your depression further. Maybe you’re not where you want to be, critical of your appearance or look at social media only to fall into the ‘compare and despair’ cycle. Pinpoint what parts of your life you are unhappy with and start making small steps to improve it. When my anxiety was at its worst I decided to make a pact with myself to leave the house every single day. Since then I have noticed an improvement in my mental health and highly recommend taking small steps (literally) to improve your quality of life. 10. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones Talking kindly to yourself in your mind goes a long way especially when you’re depressed, it can quite literally be life and death. Being able to counteract your negative thoughts with positive ones can change your outlook on life. It’s important to remind yourself that it’s a chemical imbalance and that the depression will pass. Positive reinforcement when you are going through depression can make a big difference. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to do better and be supportive when you're struggling. Perspective is everything when you are feeling bad about yourself or your life because you rationalise your negative thoughts and diminish their power. 11. Journal Journaling can be really beneficial for you even if you don’t suffer from anxiety or depression. It can help you organise your thoughts and recognise any discrepancies in your thought patterns. Taking time out of your day to write down your thoughts can help clear your mind of the negativity, it sounds pointless but there is something really therapeutic about writing your thoughts down on paper or saying them aloud. 12. Limit social media time/ limit certain social media app usage Social media can be amazing for many reasons but it can also be really toxic and negative. Getting likes and comments can release dopamine in your brain and can have the same effects as addictions, which can make social media even more appealing and addictive. I find my depression gets worse when I spend too much time-consuming content and comparing myself to others. Being able to put your phone down and go do something that fulfils you rather than drains you will help your depression greatly. The compare and despair mentality that comes along with social media can wreak havoc on your brain and cause you to feel like you're not pretty enough, living life as you should be or even feel like a failure. 13. Form a schedule Having a daily schedule is another way you can improve your depression. It's easy to isolate yourself away from the world with depression but having a daily routine gives you a reason to get up and leave your house. 14. Improve Diet And Sleep Hygiene There are ways of improving your mental health simply by incorporating certain foods into your diet. Adding plenty of omega 3,6 and 9 can have a profound effect on your mental health. Making sure you get enough sleep is also super important for your health but when you have depression it is easy to spend too much time sleeping. If you spend all your day sleeping you might find yourself feeling; Dehydrated Fatigued Weak FOMO (fear of missing out) Unmotivated Headaches or migraines Self Hatred from not being productive Depression can be fuelled by having a poor diet and bad sleep hygiene so getting enough sleep but not TOO much sleep is so important and make sure you’re giving yourself the nutrition your body needs. Conclusion Depression can be really tricky to navigate through especially when you're not sure how to make it more manageable. I know it can be really hard to find motivation but I promise you it will help you immensely! Let me know if there are any more tips you find useful or if you tried these and found them helpful.