Self help for depression

 

There’s growing research that for many people, changing aspects of your lifestyle can make a significant difference to your mental wellbeing. Take a look at the following areas to see if they can help you to manage your depression.

As always, do speak to your GP if you’re feeling depressed. Take a look at our get help page. If you're feeling suicidal or that you might harm yourself please call the Samaritans immediately on 116 123. 

 

Meditation and mindfulness

Meditation is about taking time out of the hustle and bustle of daily life to be calm, in the present, and aware of one’s body and breath. There is significant and growing evidence of the benefits of meditation for people with depression, anxiety and stress.

Get outside more

It seems that reducing the amount of time we spend in the great outdoors has had a negative impact on our collective mental health and that getting out into nature can work wonders in terms of combatting depression.

Cutting back on the booze

Bad news for all you thirsty folk out there. Alcohol is a depressant. It disrupts your brain chemistry and can leave you feeling low.  Reducing your alcohol intake - or even cutting booze out entirely - can help to manage the symptoms of depression.

Avoid social media

There’s a small but growing body of evidence which suggests that using social media could be bad for our mental health. Instead of making us feel more connected, it’s making us feel sadder, more isolated and more anxious.

Gratitude and affirmations

Affirmations and gratitude are both about the power of positivity. New research shows that cultivating gratitude and positive thinking has effects on the brain which can lessen anxiety, depression and stress.

Exercise for depression

For most cases of depression, exercise is about as effective as therapy and medication. Recent research has shown that as little as one hour of exercise a week, regardless of intensity, can help to prevent depression.

Eat well for mental health

There’s more and more evidence which shows that what we eat has a big impact on out mental health and wellbeing. Making healthy changes to our diet can be another way of dealing with depression.

Building good sleep habits

The link between depression and poor sleep is very well established - sleep problems are either a cause or effect of poor mental health. Building good sleep habits is an important aspect of self help for depression.

Tell people how you’re feeling

The cycle of negative thoughts in your head is incredibly draining. Sharing what’s going on for you can help clarify your thoughts, put things in perspective and in many cases, be a weight off your shoulders.

Be social

Research shows that good relationships - with friends, family and within our communities more generally -  are really important for our mental health and wellbeing. They can make us happier, more secure, and better supported.