Mild Depression – Self Help

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Many of us face depression at some time or another

I have written about what depression is and the causes at great length here

What not to do:

The worst things you can do for depression is self-destructive behavior

  • do not punish yourself
  • do not eat a diet full of empty nutrients, fast food, snacks
  • do not engage in addictive behavior
  • Stay away from Alcohol, drugs, junk food

Things you can do to Help Yourself fight Mild Depression

  • Talk about it with someone you trust, a friend, family member, colleague, your family doctor
  • Get yourself up out of bed, every single day, even if it’s just for 1/2 hour or an hour, take a shower or run a hot bath, change your clothes, brush your hair and clean your teeth, if you need to, change the bedsheets, just get up and do something
  • Remember that nothing will change if you keep doing the same thing
when you keep repeating the same behavior, 
you will keep getting the same results
  • Give yourself time to heal

We don’t all of a sudden just get depressed in one day or in five minutes for no good reason, it is a gradual process caused by trauma, so it only makes sense that healing will take some time too

  • Stop beating yourself up internally, changing your internal dialogue is imperative to healing

You are not a loser, less than, worthless or stupid.  There is nothing wrong with you for having the feelings and thoughts you are having. Part of healing is acknowledging those feelings, thoughts & dialogue so you can do something about it

if you don't acknowledge the problem, you can't fix it
  • remember that you are not alone

15 million Americans will face depression each year

I have my own theories on why this may be. Americans are constantly experiencing tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding events, terrorist threats, sending troops off to war-torn corners of the world, mass shootings, carnage, pain and suffering on a large scale several times a year.

We hear about it on the news 24/7, we go through more severe weather events than for example somewhere like Australia or England, couple that together with poorer diets, lower wages, skyrocketing unemployment, those living below the poverty line & homelessness, you have a growing epidemic of people and a higher population, experiencing trauma on a regular basis and often on a large scale

What can be done about it?

Higher wages, more jobs, affordable housing, better health care, better mental health support, support for veteran’s to name a few…. but most of those are out of our reach and we have zero control over them

What can I personally do?

We need to stop worrying about things we don’t have any control over and fix the things we can control and can manage on a daily basis

  • Eat a Healthy, Nutritious Diet that includes foods that are high in folates, vitamin D
  • Serotonin-producing foods, foods high in Vitamin B12, omega 3 healthy fats, selenium, & beta-carotene

Where do I find these?

Green leafy salad vegetables, asparagus, milk, mushrooms, herring, tuna, salmon, clams, mussels, turkey, carrots, Brown rice, lean beef, sunflower seeds, fish, chicken, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe

I don’t know where to start

  • Start slow, one thing, one step at a time
  • Exercise: start walking, doing yoga or running, 30 min a day is optimal,

10 min is better than 0, start slow 10 min, (walk around the block, go to the park, a couple of laps around the shops), then work up to 15,20,30

Believe me, I know it’s easier said than done

  • Take care of your Personal Hygiene, make sure you bathe or shower every day
  • Get enough Sleep, 6-8 hours a day
  • Meditation or finding some way to self-comfort that doesn’t involve addictive behaviors (smoking, drugs, alcohol, overeating,  gambling etc), reading books, watching comedy are a good mood booster
  • Get enough sunlight, 30 min a day, direct or indirect, open the blinds, go for a walk, do not sit home in the dark all day and night, your body needs light to heal
  • Self-care (you can’t help others swim if you yourself are drowning), especially important for all the caregivers & parents out there, start taking care of yourself above the needs of others
  • Start doing things you used to enjoy
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, from friends, family, colleagues, health care workers
  • Each day do one more thing than you did yesterday
  • If all you can manage today is to have a shower, then tomorrow have a shower and go for a walk. The next day, shower, meditate and go sit outside in the sun for 1/2 hour
  • Go to a funny movie, laughter is sometimes the best medicine
  • allow yourself to laugh again, give yourself permission to feel happiness or enjoyment, sometimes if maybe a loved one has died, we feel guilty if we are laughing, or having a good time, it’s ok
  • walk around the shops if that is something you enjoy doing that you haven’t done in a while
  • Take yourself out for lunch, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, you can take a sandwich to the park, go have a cup of coffee
  • visit a friend or relative
  • phone someone and just chat with them
  • I often find just getting out of the house is the first step towards healing, puting the pieces back together and regaining control of your life again

If your depression is severe (has lasted more than two weeks a month) or doesn’t seem to get any better after you have tried these things, please see your local GP and tell him/her how you are feeling


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