Dec 122012

Last week I shared some of the common signs of depression. A condition that many suffer from.

This week I want to offer hope and some tips you can use to help ease the symptoms of depression.

Depression is a heavy burden to carry, although the burden can be eased by making some of the below changes.

11 Tips to ease depression

  • Have your vitamin D levels checked: Vitamin D is critical to our bodies. Low vitamin D levels often affect our moods and energy levels. The further North you live, the less sunlight you get and the more likely you are to be vitamin D deficient. With a simple blood test I had my vitamin D level checked and I came in with a 13, the lowest we should be is 30!  Your body best absorbs vitamin D in liquid form. I take 5000 ICUs daily and have noticed a huge change in my mood and energy level.
  • Rest: We all know it, rest is important! But we frequently do not get enough rest. Try to get 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is needed for our brains to regenerate.
  • Eat Healthy: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and limit sugar and carbohydrate intake. Too much sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase your chances of a “crash”. Try to stick to complex carbohydrates which takes more time for your body to process and helps improve your serotonin levels.
  • Vitamin B complex: Take a vitamin B complex daily that includes vitamin B-12. B vitamins help improve your energy level and your mood.  I have been taking vitamin B for over a year now and I have noticed a significant change in my mood and energy level. I no longer suffer from the mid afternoon lull. A sublingual is the best form of vitamin B.
  • Exercise: Exercise is very important for our bodies. Even though exercise may be the last thing on your mind, it does amazing things for your body.  It increases  mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins, reduces stress, relieves muscle tension and helps us sleep better.
  • Read Proverbs or Psalms: Reading a Proverb or Psalm a day helps keep the doctor away. 🙂 Focusing our mind on our Creator and on positive things helps improve our mood.
  • Relationships: Having close, meaningful relationships are essential to our well-being. Research suggests that having relationships decreases our chance of experiencing depression.
  • Challenge negative thinking:Negative thoughts impact the way we feel. Depression puts a negative twist on everything. Working to change negative thoughts to more balanced positive thoughts can help ease depression.
  • Keep stress in check: Hormones produce stress in our bodies and this stress acts like a poison to our produces in our bodies.  Prolonged stress can make our bodies sick. Look at your to-do list as objectively as possible (or ask a friend) and see what you can take off the list. Make the time for stress reducing exercises such as this 10 Seconds to Peace sensory exercise.
  • Do something you enjoy: You can not force yourself to have fun, but you can choose to do something you once enjoyed. By choosing to do something you enjoy, you are reminding yourself of who you used to be. You may not notice an immediate change in your mood, but over time you should start to feel an increase in your energy.  Your mood will also be lifted. You never know, you might even have a little fun.
  • Know when to seek help: If your signs of depression are over powering and you are finding it difficult to function in daily living, seek professional help. This can be a difficult step to admit that you need help. Know this.  There is no shame in seeking counsel. There are many caring professionals that can come along side you and walk with you on the road to recovery. Psychology Today provides an online directory of counseling professionals. You can search by zip code to find someone near you.

If you are experiencing depression, I challenge you to take a step towards recovery.

What is one step you can take today?



© 2012 Standing on Peace