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Dealing with depression

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Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. But while overcoming depression isn’t quick or easy, it’s far from impossible. Try these tips:

•Turn to trusted friends and family members. Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the help and support you need.

•Try to keep up with social activities, even if you don’t feel like it. Often, when you’re depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.

•Aim for eight hours of sleep. Depression typically involves sleep problems. Whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.

•Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day. Lack of sunlight can make depression worse. Take a short walk outdoors or sit out in the garden. Aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day to boost your mood.

•Keep stress in check. Not only does stress prolong and worsen depression, but it can also trigger it. Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out such as work overload, unsupportive relationships, taking on too much, or health problems. Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can make a plan to avoid them or minimise their impact.

•Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being.

•Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed — both powerful antidotes to depression.

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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Health

 

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