How to take care of yourself when depressed? It is important to take care of yourself when feeling depressed. If you’ve ever experienced depression, you’ll know how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning or even get dressed. For this reason, many people with depression turn to self-care strategies to manage their moods.
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How to take care of yourself when depressed: 10 Self-Care Strategies
I’ve learned over the years that self-care is not about indulging yourself or taking a break from your responsibilities. Self-care is about doing things for yourself that help you feel better and live more fully.
Those with depression need to find strategies that work best for them. What might help one person might not be the same for another. It’s important to know your pain points and make a plan accordingly.
- Identifying what activities you enjoy most can be a great way to start self-care.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
I have enlisted ten strategies I have found helpful in my own journey with depression, anxiety, and stress.
1. Get enough sleep:
Sleeping is essential to maintaining physical health, and it also affects your mental state and mood profoundly. In fact, many people with mental health problems report that their symptoms worsen when they don’t get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep raises cortisol levels, the stress hormone, making you feel more anxious. Sleep deprivation also impairs cognitive functioning and can make it harder for you to think clearly or make decisions. So have proper sleep at night and get rid of these problems.
2. Exercise regularly:
A 2014 study found that people who were depressed were less likely to exercise than people who were not depressed. Regular exercise can have an insightful effect on your mood. It can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, boost your happiness, and increase your energy levels. Therefore, being physically active throughout the weekdays can reduce your stress levels.
Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes daily (even if it’s just walking). Regular exercise can help to improve your moods and reduce feelings of fatigue and stress (20). There are many different types of exercises that you could try, including running, biking, swimming, or dancing. You could even try going to the gym three times per week if you like working out with other people there – this can be very social and feel good afterward!
3. Eat right:
A 2012 study found that people with depression were less likely to eat healthy foods or take nutritional supplements than people without depression. Eating a healthy diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources (such as fish and poultry), nuts, seeds, soy products, and healthy fats (such as olive oil) may help to improve your moods by reducing feelings of fatigue and improving your sleep quality. Consequently, less anxiety and a lower depression rate.
4. Get enough sunlight:
As the days get shorter in the fall, we often turn to our computers or phones for light instead of going outside for a walk or doing some yard work. This is bad for our health and our mental health because sunlight exposure activates the production of serotonin in the brain, which is important in regulating mood and improving sleep quality.
The early rise can be a big solution to this problem and make you feel fresh for the whole day. Studies have shown that getting up early in the morning can help improve your moods and reduce feelings of fatigue and stress. You could try waking up 5-10 minutes earlier each day until, eventually, you make it your new morning routine.
5. Join exercise classes or yoga:
Even if you can only do a few minutes of exercise, it can help improve your mood and help you feel better. Sometimes doing it alone becomes itself a challenge. Specific routines, environments, and the same goal seekers will help you achieve your plans. As a result, you will have a good time with better health.
6. Get some fresh air:
Fresh air is good for your mood and reduces symptoms of depression. Fresh air is also important for the production of serotonin in the brain, which helps regulate mood and sleep quality. A 2014 study found that people with depression who spent more time outside had fewer depression symptoms than people who spent less time outside. Make sure to spend time in nature every day – whether it is taking a walk in the park, going for a bike ride, or spending some time at the beach.
7. Take a warm bath or shower every day:
As many as half of all Americans don’t take baths or showers daily anymore, which is bad for their mental health because it increases feelings of fatigue and stress. A warm bath or shower can also help increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can help to improve sleep quality and reduce feelings of depression.
8. Get a massage:
A massage is very effective for relieving symptoms of depression. It also helps increase serotonin production in the brain, which helps regulate mood and improve sleep quality. So, if you are up for relief from some stress, you can just go to massage centers and have some quality rest.
9. Find a hobby you enjoy:
Like exercise, hobbies can help reduce fatigue and stress and improve your moods. Try volunteering at a local animal shelter, joining an art group, or going on weekly walks with a friend. There are many different types of hobbies that you could try including knitting, singing, playing an instrument, or gardening. You could also try joining a local recreational sports team, volunteering at a charity, or taking up painting or photography as a hobby.
10. Stay active throughout the day:
Even 10-15 minutes of activity each day can make a big difference in improving your moods and reducing feelings of fatigue and stress. There are many different kinds of activities that you could try, including walking, biking, playing sports, dancing or yoga classes. You could even try doing a few minutes of exercise in the morning before you get out of bed. Try to do something active or physical every day.
There are countless ways to care for your mental health. Doing just a few of these can help alleviate our symptoms and allow us time to recover from any current struggles.
Some of the best self-care strategies for depression include: exercising, taking care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep, being kind to oneself, connecting with people in supportive ways, using positive intentions to replace negative thoughts, practicing mindful meditation, or participating in yoga or other activities that help the mind.