Anxiety and depression afflict millions in the modern world with serious consequences for those involved. If you are going through a crisis, contemplating suicide or thinking about self harm, you need to reach out for help right away. If, however, your symptoms are milder, a simple, natural approach may work without having to resort to potentially dangerous forms of treatment. Try these five simple ways to beat depression and see how they work for you:
#1. Get Your Green On
Trade some of that time indoors for the great outdoors. Spending time in nature is one of the simplest ways to beat depression, and you do not have to spend a cent to make it happen.
If you have a big back yard, turn part of it into a garden. You’ll get some healthy exercise, all while growing delicious food for your family and nurturing colorful flowers for your dinner table. Or if gardening is not your thing, something as simple as a walk around the block or a chat with neighbors in the summer sunshine could do wonders for your mood and your sense of well being.
#2. Soothe Your Soul
It’s not just body and mind that suffer from depression. It may be time to address your soul as well. If you grew up with religion in your life but slowly drifted away, reconnecting with a local church could give you the sense of purpose you have been missing. If church is not for you, but you feel the spiritual longing for something higher and better in your life, then find a form of spiritual practice that leads you in that direction. Then seek out fellow travelers on your chosen spiritual path and enjoy the journey together.
Since depression by its very nature reflects a feeling of separation, reconnecting with God in whatever way works best for you is one of the simplest and greatest ways to feel better.
#3. Let the Light Shine In
Rates of depression tend to go up significantly in winter. Lack of natural sunlight can disrupt natural sleep-wake patterns. It also reduces the amount of available Vitamin D in the body, which can cause health problems. Just the simple fact that the sun is gone by the end of the workday can be a real downer. If this kind of seasonal depression affects you, light therapy could help you beat depression without the use of dangerous prescription drugs.
There are plenty of ways to let the light shine in, starting with the specialty light emitting boxes doctors prescribe for seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Ask your doctor about this light therapy and how you can use it to feel better.
Feeling down? Give yourself a lift with some simple light therapy. Just open up the curtains or blinds and let the winter light shine in. There might not be much of it, but every ray of sunshine can help you feel better.
#4. Stop Doomscrolling
Do you feel more depressed after spending time online? If so, you’ve got lots of company. “Doomscrolling” has become a popular pastime and a major contributor to depression.
If you find yourself endlessly scrolling through your social media pages or news feeds, it may be time to put the screens away and do something more productive. It’s fine to be informed and keep in touch, but when screen time turns toxic it’s best to give it a rest. Ditch the screen and go green (see #1 again). It’s that simple.
#5. Go Alternative
Treatments like acupuncture, herbal remedies, reflexology and massage have been used for centuries. They treat physical ailments, ease pain, and address psychological and mental health challenges as well. These alternatives are tried and true, and often as effective, or even more so than antidepressants with their dangerous side effects.
Just think how much more relaxed you might feel after a soothing deep tissue massage, or how the right reflexology treatment could give you a new outlook on life. Whether you stick to a single alternative treatment or take a combination approach, these simple, natural and drug free ways to treat depression could be just what the doctor ordered.
In conclusion, whether your depression is seasonal, event based or always lingering in the background, some of the simplest things in life can become remarkably effective ways to help you beat the blues. Go through the list above and choose your favorites.
To Your Health!
Sharon Iezzi, Manager
Oklahoma Academy Country Store