When you’re suffering from depression, it often feels like you’re completely drained and nothing can make you feel better. It feels as if you’re stuck in a dark tunnel with no light. In addition, the symptoms of depression can discourage you from seeking treatment or completing daily tasks such as sleeping, eating, and working. And suddenly, the things you enjoy doing become a chore because you feel empty and fatigued.
The Centers for Disease Control ranks depression as the leading cause of disability among people aged between 15 and 44 years. It’s also interesting that almost half of the American adults will suffer from depression during their lifetimes.
For anyone experiencing depressive symptoms, it’s important to understand that depression doesn’t just go away on its own. Besides seeing a licensed counselor, you need to take small steps that will help improve your mental health and overall sense of well-being. Here are five unique and creative things you can do to feel more in control and alleviate the symptoms of depression.
There’s growing evidence that gardening is beneficial to both physical and mental health. Spending time outside in green spaces and around plants helps induce relaxation, thereby reducing stress and anxiety, according to a recent survey. Another research study found that gardening can improve your mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you don’t have a garden of your own, now is a great time to start one. You really don’t need to figure everything before you can start. Start slow and small without overdoing it. Something as simple as growing a few plants in 2 or 3 containers would be a great start. You can then gradually add to your garden with time. Consider growing vegetables or fruits that grow quickly and are easy to cultivate. Remember to also choose plants that you like.
Taking time to focus on your little seedlings each day and seeing your plants blossom over time will have a positive impact on your mental health. Moreover, your daily efforts will give you a real sense of achievement, thereby boosting your self-esteem and confidence.
It’s not uncommon for people experiencing symptoms of depression to suppress their emotions and feelings as a way of coping with the condition. The truth is that this technique is unhealthy and can cause more problems. It’s important that you let yourself experience and feel the emotions whenever you’re having a down day. However, you don’t have to stay there. Go ahead and write in a journal the negative emotions, feelings, or thoughts you’re having.
Journaling is one of the most effective ways to deal with overwhelming thoughts or emotions as it allows you to express yourself and become more aware of what you’re experiencing. Start by writing in a journal at least ten different things you’re grateful for at the end of each day. And when you’re feeling negative emotions, express thoughts in writing, detailing everything you’re feeling and why you think you’re feeling that way.
Overall, journaling will improve your self-awareness and memory power, diminish your post-traumatic symptoms, reduce symptoms of depression, boost your mood, and enhance your sense of well-being.
Join a Support Group
Support groups provide an opportunity for people who have gone through or are going through similar health-related conditions to share their personal experiences and coping strategies. If you’re depressed, a support group can provide you with the emotional support you need to deal with your depression symptoms.
There are local depression support groups you can join and find the assurance that “someone else has been through what you’re experiencing and understands your struggles.” Members in these groups often share their struggles as well as coping suggestions that you may find useful. If you can’t find a local support group, consider an online depression support forum or group. The bottom line is that these groups can help you feel and realize there are others dealing with depression symptoms and even gain confidence from the support you get as you learn to manage the condition.
Did you know that the anesthetic drug ketamine can help combat depression? According to recent studies, ketamine can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety within hours after administration. The drug has also been shown to be rapidly effective on treatment-resistant depression (TRD). So, if you’ve been battling depression unsuccessfully for years, you might want to consider ketamine treatment for depression. However, it’s important that you discuss this with your therapist and/or primary care physician before going to this option.
If you’ve ever traveled to a new, beautiful destination, you know that compared to the daily routine of waking up and being stuck at work for hours, there’s always something about travel that stimulates happiness, making you feel better. Everyday routines can make life difficult and depressing creating feelings of unhappiness, discontent, and emptiness.
However, taking a long or short trip to a new place allows you to enjoy a different environment, meet new people, and encounter new possibilities. Additionally, you get to connect with nature which is a known antidepressant. A study by the U. S Travel Association found that 86 percent of people who travel frequently are satisfied and happy with their outlook on life. So if you’re feeling depressed, now might be a great time to book that trip.