Depression can be debilitating. Marked by symptoms such as a depressed mood, a loss of interest, decreased energy, difficulty thinking, feeling worthless and trouble sleeping, depression can intensify to the point of not ever getting out of bed and withdrawing from your usual passions. According to a 2023 Gallup poll, 29% of Americans have been treated for depression at some point in their lives, up nearly 10 percentage points from where it was in 2015. Roughly 17.8% of Americans currently have depression or are being treated for depression (up 7% from 2015). The good news is many patients have been able to manage depression by following these 4 simple things to do:
According to a recent study, exercise is 1.5 times more effective at reducing mild or moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety and psychological stress than medication or cognitive therapy! This study found that almost all forms of exercise led to significant improvement in mental health. In fact, briefer exercise programs were shown to provide more benefits than extended workouts. So, why not take the dog for a nice walk through the neighborhood to help manage depression? The psychological and physical benefits of exercise can help to improve your mood and decrease anxiety.
2. Enjoy Time Outdoors
It’s true that humans are nurtured by nature. Spending time outdoors can sometimes be the very best medicine for our brains! A 2019 study showed that interacting with nature produces cognitive benefits. Experiments found that being exposed to these natural outdoor environments improves cognitive flexibility, working memory and attentional control. Another study showed evidence that spending time outdoors is associated with improvements in happiness, overall well-being, positive affect, positive social interactions and having a sense of purpose or value.
3. Get Involved In Something You’re Passionate About
Depression can make you want to stay at home all day and not interact with the outside world. But staying involved in different aspects of life and keeping up with your responsibilities can help you create a lifestyle that can help you manage depression. Pick up a new hobby or get back to one of your favorite pastimes! Being involved in things helps to keep you grounded and feel as if you’ve accomplished something. If you’re looking for something to get into, helping others can be just as beneficial for you as well! Volunteer work tends to make us feel better about ourselves!
4. Challenge Negative Thoughts
Those who suffer from depression often have negative thoughts that just won’t go away. Feeling as if you’re not good enough or that nobody likes you are common thoughts of people suffering from depression. These negative thoughts become habitual without us even realizing it. Challenge these negative thoughts with positive thinking! Instead of thinking about being a failure, consider the positive things you’ve done to help yourself or others. By challenging these negative thoughts you can begin to have a better self-image of yourself and put yourself in a more positive headspace.
You can manage depression and get back to feeling like yourself by following these simple things to do! Specialty Care Pharmacy is here to help you get out of that rut! Schedule a consultation with us today to get started on your journey to a happier you!