With the increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with depression, it is important to learn how to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. Therefore, here are some simple steps we can all do to elevate our mood and to help us get through tough times.
Self Care Tips For When You Are Feeling Depressed
Engage your social support
Even though we live in a society where some of us have hundreds of friends and followers on social media, it is truly questionable how many of them we can actually confide in. This is why it is so important to stay close with the friends we can truly trust.
One self care tip we can do is to be open and share our problems with these friends of ours. Be it from our work place, schools or maybe even our families, a support group is essential as you all can check up on each other regularly.
Take in some nature
A study from Harvard has indicated that taking a walk in nature has been proven to reduce not only depression, but stress and anxiety as well. According to the research, people who engage in such activities show lower levels of blood pressure and stress hormones (cortisol).
So what is it about nature that makes it such a good self-care activity? Well, Dr. Jason Strauss from Harvard points out how the visuals of nature can play a very significant role elevating depression as well as stress levels. He says,
“Having something pleasant to focus on like trees and greenery helps distract you mind from negative thinking, so your thoughts become less filled with worry”
“Focus on places you find the most pleasing. The goal is to get away from stimulating urban settings and surround yourself with a natural environment.”
He also added that people should spend a minimum of 20 minutes, three days a week on walking in nature.
Note your worth and thoughts
The act of writing things down can be a very impactful way to keep things in our brain. That is why it is so essential to note down our worth as we never know when we might need to be reminded of it. Plus, sometimes it helps hearing it from ourselves rather than hearing it from other people. Be proud on how far you have come. While others may undermine your worth, while there are days where we might believe them, let us not forget about the struggles we have overcome and the accomplishments we achieved.
In addition to that, it is also highly effective to write down the thoughts that you have throughout the day. Be it what you feel during the highlight of the day, or even the thoughts you have when under stressed. One key step for self-care is to learn more about ourselves and to find what patterns are toxic and that needs to be avoided. This brings us to our next point.
Recognize what triggers you
Learning what may trigger you is a very effective way to take care of yourself. From understanding the toxic behaviors of our friends, to seeing how there are some people who may be abusing you mentally, finding out the root cause of our depression is an essential step in self-care.
This step is also highly beneficial as it helps us understand more about ourselves. For those who seek for professional help, this could also help the counselor get a better understanding on your scenario and on how to help you.
When To Seek Professional Help
Although sometimes we may feel like we can handle our depressive episodes, it is good to know when we shouldn’t. Here are some indicators to let you know when you should do the latter.
- When it negatively affects your work performance, study grades or livelihood.
- When it threatens your relationships with your family and friends
- When it affects the quality of your life for a prolonged period of time
- When it becomes too overwhelming to handle it on your own
If any of the above are true, there is a good chance that you would benefit a lot more if you were to consult a counselor. Another source would be Befrienders, an organization that has been providing emotional support to Malaysians 24 hours everyday.
If you are still uncertain about your mental health condition, you can still seek a professional to have a better insight on the matter. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.