5 things that will help with your depression
If you’re feeling low or think you might be depressed, doing just one or two of these suggestions may help. It’s not easy, so start small.
- Exercise Recent research provided strong evidence that exercise can help elevate your mood. This doesn’t have to be a spin class or a high intensity workout. It could be as simple as walking to the shops every day. If you don’t feel motivated to exercise start small; walk round the block, go and pick up some milk from the corner shop, spend 20 minutes in your local park or do some window shopping in town. I know that some days you might struggle to get out of bed but doing just a little might make it easier to do that tomorrow. If you are feeling motivated you should also start small. There are plenty of apps like couch to 5k or get running designed for beginners, which involve alternately running and walking and build up over a couple of months from mostly walking to running 5k. It needn’t be expensive, you don’t need a gym membership to run, decent running shoes can sometime be found at low cost from Aldi or Lidl or somewhere like Decathlon
- Eat a healthier diet This can be quite tough, especially on a budget but help is at hand with Jack Monroe’s blog. She has blogged and written cook books on eating healthily on a budget for ages. Her recipes are good, very low cost and healthy. There’s no excuse now you’ve found the ideal resource. Ready meals and highly processed food, especially the cheaper options, may be convenient and quick to prepare but they are high in salt and sugar and low in actual nutrition compared to a similar meal made from scratch. Small changes in diet can make a huge difference to your motivation and levels of tiredness and combined with exercise and a regular sleep pattern will make a big difference to your mood. Again small changes at a time will make it easier to get into better eating habits.
- Develop a sleeping pattern you may find your sleep is disturbed either because you wake up very early and can’t get back to sleep, you might be waking up frequently during the night or you may find you can’t fall asleep when you go to bed. Getting into a regular sleep pattern can be difficult, especially if you work shifts. Going to bed at the same time each night is a good step to take. Not watching TV or looking at your phone for 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed is also helpful as this can affect your ability to get to sleep. Reading a book or listening to quiet music, talk radio or a podcast is a better alternative. You could try a meditation app to help you relax as you lie in bed. If you do wake up and can’t get back to sleep after 30 minutes, get up and do something in another room, like reading or something similar until you feel tired again. You’ll find some other help here with further links to follow.
- Go to you GP they will be able to help and may suggest medication. Antidepressants are effective and more so when combined with talking therapies. Finding the right one for you is something your GP will be able to help with. They may also suggest counselling and may even have a counsellor within the practice that you can see or they may be able to refer you to a specialist service. They will also be able to advise on getting a decent night’s sleep, healthy eating and exercise.
- Make an appointment with a counsellor Well of course I’m going to suggest this because counselling and psychotherapy are very effective for depression. However, this can be an unaffordable expense. There are alternatives to seeing someone privately; in Glasgow the Tom Allan Centre provides donation based counselling as does the Pastoral Foundation in Edinburgh. In Aberdeen you could get in touch with Hope Counselling and in Dundee Insight Counselling provides a donation service. Most towns and cities have a service which offer low, no cost or donation based services. Some are limited to a fixed number of sessions if demand is high. If you’d like to talk to me, please feel free to give me a call or contact me via the links on this page here. You can also book a session directly on this page in a few short steps. I do offer concessions, the price on the home page is for those in full time employment.
Following just one or two of these suggestions is likely to make a difference and once you’ve started one of them, it may be easier to do more of them. Starting in a small way will make it easier and your motivation will grow as you do more so it will get easier as you go along. Making changes with your partner or a friend will also help with motivation and you can support each other in developing a healthier lifestyle.