Depression is debilitating and when you are a mom, you don’t have time to be out of action or to feel out of control.
I have suffered from chronic depression for over ten years, maybe longer, and during that time, these are the tips for overcoming depression that have helped me the most.
- Change out of your pajamas every day. Even if you are just changing from one pair of yoga pants to another. Wearing the same clothes every day can make you feel gross and undesirable.
- Open the windows, curtains, and blinds. Let the sunshine in. Sunshine is a natural antidepressant and eliminating the shadows in your home or office can help eliminate the shadows in your heart.
- Brush your teeth and wash your face every morning. It’s easy to forget these essentials of good health when you are feeling bad. Even when you wonder why you should bother, just accomplishing these basics can sometimes make you feel better about your day.
- Remove the clothes from your closet that you hate to wear, even if they fit. Nothing depresses me more than a closet full of clothes I hate. Sometimes, I buy clothes just because they are on sale and not because of how they look on me. Then, when I wear them, I feel like I look terrible.
- Remove the clothes that don’t fit, even if you love them. Okay, so maybe there is one thing that depresses me more than a closet full of clothes I hate… A closet full of clothes that remind me I am not the size I used to be.
- Before crawling back into bed for a nap, walk outside or sit in the sun for 10 minutes. Sometimes that urge for sleep will vanish or you will just find the motivation to do something else.
- Go for a walk even if only around the perimeter of your yard. Exercise releases endorphins, the happiness hormone. If you are like me and not inclined to exercise, just a short walk can be less intimidating and more enjoyable than a complete aerobic workout but still gives you the endorphin release you need.
- Get a haircut, or just a manicure or pedicure. I know they cost money but you are worth the investment. Even if you cannot afford a trip to the salon, do something for yourself to make you feel pretty.
- Eat a salad filled with your favorite fruits and vegetables. You might want chocolate and ice cream but the added sugar might depress you more.
- Find someone who needs encouragement more than you do. Lifting someone up even when you are feeling down gives a boost to your spirit. While it might take a little extra incentive on your part, knowing that you made someone smile is not a feeling that can easily be abandoned.
More than anything, be aware of when you need medical attention. I tried, really tried to get off my antidepressant medication, but when the suicidal thoughts started creeping in – and they do creep slowly into your subconscious – I called my doctor and told her what a fool I had been. Within 24 hours of being back on the medicine, I was a different person.
Do you suffer from depression? What tips can you share with others that will help them overcome the rough days?
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