April 25, 2022
Depressed? …or do you know someone who is depressed? We all play a part in helping.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
– Mayo Clinic
Depression is widespread. More so than most of us realize. Often, we cover up our depression because of worries about being judged, because we don’t want to share, or because we feel we can’t open up emotionally to anyone about it.
There are ways to help ourselves (see below) while depressed, but it is often the hardest time to do what is good for us.
If you don’t suffer from depression, your role may be to reach out to someone who is. We need to do this! Check-in with your family members and friends. You might be surprised to learn someone you know is struggling.
If they are, offer to go for lunch, go for a walk, phone them or stop in for a visit. This might be just what someone needs to make them feel cared about. Let them know that you are there for them. Let go of any “why can’ they just get over it” kind of thinking. If someone is in a dark place, they often feel hopeless and that there is no way out.
“We rise by lifting others.”
If you, or someone you know, is depressed, you/they may need to reach out to a professional for help. There is help out there! There is no shame in asking for help from a friend or a professional. Please, do it! See links below.
Energy, hope, and drive fall away when you are depressed, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. Making some “small” goals is the way to start your recovery from depression. It requires that you actively participate, even though it is very hard to do when depressed.
Try to keep up with close relationships and social activities even if you don’t feel like it. Isolation and loneliness can make depression worse. Reach out for help even though this is very difficult to do.
Remind yourself, “this is the depression talking“. When you hear yourself say “I can’t do anything right” or “I’m a loser.” Be more realistic about how you describe yourself. Allow yourself to be less than perfect.
Aim for eight hours of sleep. Depression typically involves sleep problems. Whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers.
Get outside every day!
Stress and depression are linked. Identify “stressors” and then avoid them or make changes if possible. Take action to de-stress. Studies have proven that yoga is an effective de-stressor with its deep rhythmic breathing and smooth, steady movement.
Exercise is a powerful tool for dealing with depression, even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise (taking a walk is great!) per day to gain the most benefits. Although, 10-minutes a day can help too!
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel emotionally. Ditch the junk-food. Eat healthy foods. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour, trans fats and saturated fats. Don’t skip meals.
Seek professional help if you find your depression is unmanageable. The negative thinking in depression can make you feel like you’re a lost cause, but depression can be treated, and you can feel better!
Even if you’re receiving professional help, stick to these self-help tips to speed your recovery and prevent depression from returning.
I think I will phone my mom to see how she is doing…!
SEE YOU ON THE MAT!
Here are some really great resources!
Including options for those that are depressed and also those that are supporting someone who is depressed. Helpful information whether you live in BC or not.
This is titled is “For Young Adults” but is an excellent read for anyone.
“Depression Helpline” if you are in need of immediate help or are not sure where to find help https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/get-help
Even if you don’t live in BC you can contact them for help.