Depression is one of the leading mental health issues for women, second only to anxiety in modern prevenlence. Fortunately, thanks to modern medicine and research, women no longer need to suffer in silence. Although your first trip should be to your primary care physician, in some cases that’s not enough. Whether or not you are prescribed antidepressents or other medical treatments, there also are simple steps you can take to treat your depression by changing your lifestyle. Here are 5 practical ways to keep depression from controlling your life.
Stay Physically Active
Multiple studies have definitively proven that physical activity can help fight the symptoms of depression. You don’t have to hit the gym for hours to see results, either. A simple walk, run, or swim can make a dramatic difference in your mood, both in the short and long term.
Turn to Friends for Help
Having a strong social network is incredibly helpful for anyone dealing with depression. If you already have one, lean on it in your times of difficulty. If you dont, look into a local womens support group, like the ones provided by Courageous Women Ministries. These groups can help you mentally and emotionally, no matter what you are going through.
Like physical exercise and social support, spending time outside has been proven to have an instant impact on feelings of depression. Spending some time in the sun is ideal, but even time spent outdoors in cloudy weather is good for you. Breathing fresh air will clear your head, and time spent in nature will lower your blood pressure and calm you down. Plus, it will help to distract you from whatever unpleasant thoughts may be spinning in your head.
Do Something You Love
Whether it’s a hobby, a sport, or a craft, try to spend time engaging in an activity that still gives you pleasure. It doesn’t have to be productive or helpful, just a reminder that your life is still full of potential joy and creativity. Even better, find an activity that can help others, such as crocheting blankets for the homeless or reading to the blind.
Don’t Give Up
Depression doesn’t have to be a lifetime illness. With proper treatment and perserverence, you too can overcome it. Your family and friends depend on you, so don’t give. Keep fighting and you’ll win.