If you are feeling depressed, have faith that you are not alone. Bi-polar people feel effects of depression often but anyone and everyone is prone to depression at different times. I came across these tips and found them to be something that we can all learn from. Depression is very common in the Fall months of November and December and all months in Winter. Why, you ask? The answer is that those months are considered to be the time period of Seasonal Depression. It is caused by, plainly and simply, the lack of sunshine. We all need that. So, if you are one of the people who are facing that right now, take a glance through these tips.
1. Laugh, laugh and then laugh some more after that! It is a good idea to spend time with people who spread their sunshine with good old-fashioned humor! If that is not possible at the moment, invest in some good comedies and humorous literature.
2. Sweat...Workouts are amazing! Not only are they great for helping our physical bodies, but they also go to work on our mental outlooks. Whenever you exercise enough to raise your heart rate to 140 beats per minute, serotonin and norepinephrine are produced and released from your brain and into your body. These are coveted endorphins that actually reduce pain and induce feelings of euphoria. Who wouldn't appreciate something like that?
3. Eat...the RIGHT foods and stay away from the WRONG foods!!! First of all, make sure that you stay clear from nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, white flour and processed foods. Instead eat proteins, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish, chicken, seeds, nuts, whole grains, beans, potatoes, broccoli, spinach and squash. Add these vitamins and minerals, Vitamin-B Complex, Vitamins E and C, multi-vitamins, magnesium, calcium, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. TAKE THE DOSAGE THAT IS RECOMMENDED ON THE BOTTLE. Taking too much of these good things can be dangerous or even fatal! On a personal note, when I am depressed I crave ANYTHING made out of white flour and potatoes. I have to force myself not to eat them.
4. Sleep! The human body MUST receive sleep, not just rest. While the body is asleep, the brain is able to do everything that is necessary to operate properly without the interruption of thoughts. Most doctors recommend 6-8 hours of sleep daily. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Check with your doctor and see what he/she recommends for people with your health conditions.
5. Light up! No, not cigarettes... In months when seasonal depression is prevalent, it is good to spend time sitting under a 10,000 lux lamp. It'll do your body and your brain good!!!
6. Rely on your friends! Call, email, instant message your friends and relatives who also suffer from regular or bi-polar depression at one time or another. They know and understand what you are going through. They should be able to help you get over the rough spots. Carry their phone numbers with you at ALL times! You never know when their assistance will be needed.
7. Get involved!!! Involve yourself in matters that affect your family, friends, neighbors, school, church, etc. FORCE yourself to help others if need be. Do whatever is needed often not just when you feel like it. Its amazing how helping someone else will also help you!
8. Keep a gratitude journal (diary). Every day, write down what you are thankful. The list could include your family, friends, pets, the courtesy employees at your local grocery store who helped you walk across the icy sidewalk, your husband who refused to turn his back on you when depression finally forced you into the psych ward. People usually don't have to look far to find something or someone who they are thankful for. In times of despair, start back at page one of your journal and read all of the postings that you wrote into your journal. Your gloomies should begin to fade away.
9. Go to therapy. Don't miss any appointments.
10. Work on those thoughts! Get your thoughts out of the despair and gloom that you are feeling at that point. Instead, think of brighter and better options. Find a hobby to take your mind off of things. Some people turn to gardening indoors and outside. Do something that makes you happy and feel good about yourself!
11. Pray or meditate--anytime--anywhere. Do it while you're folding clothes, taking a bath, mowing the yard--whatever! Just do it! Talking to your Creator makes all of the differences in your life.
12. Surrender. There are times when nothing you do, seems to help. In those times, you must contact your doctor. Express your feelings to him/her. It is very possible that you may need one or more anti-depressant drugs to pull you out of the deep dark hole that you find yourself in. If you had pneumonia, you would go to the doctor, right? Depression is no different. It is a physical and mental condition that you did not ask for. Medications can really help. If medicine is not the entire answer, some people may need to be hospitalized for a short time. If you ever begin seriously considering suicide, RUN--don't walk to the nearest relative, friend, doctor who can help you!!!
Wishing you well!!!