There’s a lot that you can do on your own to ease the symptoms of depression. Changing your lifestyle can greatly affect your mood when planning for recovery from depression. At West Houston Internal Medicine Katy, our physician integrates these personalized recovery plans with appropriate medical interventions to ensure a comprehensive approach to depression recovery. However, it’s not always easy to change our ways. It’s one thing to say that you’ll exercise five days a week, sleep at least eight hours a night, and eat three healthy meals and two snacks a day. But it’s not that easy to do. It’s especially difficult when you’re depressed. The key is to try not to get overwhelmed by the idea of changing your behavior. You also shouldn’t try to kick all your bad habits and reform totally overnight. That won’t work. Instead, start by making a few small changes to your life. As you start feeling better, make some more changes. Gradually ease yourself into a healthy lifestyle.
Lifestyle Tips That Aid in Depression Treatment
- Get some exercise. Studies show that regular exercise can improve your mood and help you sleep better. For instance, one study found that three sessions of aerobic activity each week worked as well as antidepressants in treating nearly two-thirds of mild-to-moderately depressed adults. And after 10 months of regular exercise, only 33% of the people who exercised were depressed, compared to 52% of the people who took antidepressants. The results were published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 2000.When you start an exercise program, take it slowly at first. You could begin with walks around the neighborhood with a friend. Gradually work up to exercising on most days of the week. Try out different activities to find ones that you really enjoy. Doing things you like to do and having other people involved may help you stick with a regular exercise routine.
- Sleep well. Depression, and sometimes antidepressants and other medications, can interfere with your sleep. Some people with depression sleep too much. Others can’t fall asleep or wake up too early. So try to incorporate healthy sleep habits into your life. This will help in recovering from depression. Get on a regular schedule: go to bed and get up simultaneously each day. Avoid naps. Before bed, unwind with a good book or soothing music, but not in the bedroom. It might help to reserve the bedroom only for sleep and sex.
- Eat a healthy diet. There’s no diet that will cure or prevent depression. But a sensible eating plan will keep you feeling healthy and give you the nutrients you need. Don’t rely on popular diets that cut out food groups and sharply restrict what you can eat. Just focus on the basics: watch your calories, eat lots of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits, and limit fat and sugar. Since caffeine can make you anxious, cut back on soda, coffee, tea, and chocolate. Ask your health care provider if seeing a nutritionist would be a good idea.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs can add to your depression and make it worse. Depression and substance abuse often go together. In addition, alcohol and drugs can prevent your antidepressants from working as well as they should. If you have a substance abuse problem, you need to get help now. Addiction or abuse can prevent you from fully recovering from depression.
- Get some sunlight. Some people find that they get depressed at certain times of the year, most often during the winter when the days are short and the nights are long. This form of depression is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you have SAD, ask your doctor whether light therapy — exposure to artificial sunlight with a special lamp — might help for recovering from depression.
- Stay connected and involved. Depression can rob you of your energy. You may feel like you can barely get across the room, let alone go out to dinner and a movie. But push yourself a little. Set aside time to do things that you used to enjoy doing. Get out with your family or friends. Or take up a hobby that used to give you pleasure. Staying active — and connected with the people in your life — may help you feel better.
- Take ‘TIME OUT” for yourself regularly, even as little as 15 minutes per day, may be very helpful. Use that time for relaxation, to meet personal needs, or anything that will “recharge your mental battery”.
If you have treatment-resistant depression, you may have already tried one or more of these options. Don’t give up on them. Lifestyle changes remain important as you and your doctor determine your appropriate treatment options for recovering from depression. You can also make an appointment with our physician at West Houston Internal Medicine Katy TX for tips on recovering from depression.
How to restart your life after depression
Overcoming depression and rebuilding your life can be both challenging and rewarding. It’s crucial to take one step at a time, focusing on small, attainable goals. Here are some suggestions for restarting your life after depression:
Seek professional help: Keep working with a mental health professional to track your progress and develop coping strategies for managing stress and preventing relapse.
Set realistic goals: Create achievable short-term and long-term goals for yourself in your personal and professional life. Break them into smaller tasks and celebrate your progress.
Establish a routine: Create a daily routine with a consistent sleep schedule, regular mealtimes, and designated time for work or other responsibilities. Routines offer structure and help maintain control over your life.
Prioritize self-care: Focus on caring for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Exercise regularly, eat healthily, practice good sleep habits, and engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation.
Stay connected: Rebuild and maintain relationships with supportive friends and family members. Share your experiences with them and ask for help when needed.
Be patient with yourself: Recovering from depression takes time, and setbacks are normal. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed or discouraged sometimes.
Learn from your experience: Reflect on your journey and consider what you’ve learned about yourself, your strengths, and your coping strategies. Use this knowledge to guide your future choices and actions.
Pursue new interests: Explore new hobbies or activities to develop a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Trying new things can help you form new connections and expand your social circle.
Build resilience: Develop coping strategies for handling stress and adversity, such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, or journaling. Building resilience can help you manage future challenges better.
Stay proactive: Keep a close eye on your mental health and address any warning signs of relapse. Contact your mental health professional if you notice concerning changes in your mood or behavior.
Remember, restarting your life after depression is a gradual process. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your achievements, and seek support when needed. Make appointment with us for consultation. We are located at 21238 Kingsland Blvd, Katy, Texas 77459 and regularly seeing patients from Katy, Greater Houston, Fulshear and near by areas.