10 tips to fight depression (promised, it works!)

fight depressionDepression is one of the pandemics that will spread more and more in the coming years, and throughout the world. Fighting depression is becoming one of the most important health issues in 21st century medicine. Here are some little tricks that can really help you make a difference from one day to the next. Small boosts that will improve your morale and your mental health. Because sometimes it is enough to start the day on the right foot and "hack" the symptoms of the disease to enter a virtuous circle…

1. Doing anything is always better than doing nothing

This varies from person to person, but more than sadness, depression often results in apathy (or abulia). An absolute lack of desire to act, a kind of paralysis, a lack of motivation for anything. Even what we liked to do before… what we were passionate about. It is a feeling of terrible emptiness, and a great social handicap, which makes the disease even more painful to live with. Our entourage, if he does not know the disease, will sometimes tell us "to move"… as if suffering from depression meant being lazy. Realizing that this apathy is part of the disease already helps to understand its effects on our lifestyle habits. When one suffers from mild or moderate depression, it is still possible to fight depression and boost one's dopamine level by oneself – and one's self-esteem at the same time. When you wake up with this famous non-envy, one of the small techniques is to embark on a very simple activity, without commitment, and very easy to do. Psychologists wisely advise to clean up. Even if it takes time, if you have to move forward in small pieces. Throw a laundry, for example. Vacuum, clean your windows, store some stuff lying around. The simple fact of moving physically will naturally increase the level of dopamine, but also serotonin. You will feel some satisfaction at having accomplished something, even slowly. And you will always feel better in a clean and tidy interior than in a dirty and bordelic place. This is scientifically proven.  Gardening, DIY, cleaning your car… it works just as well. The goal is to have physical activity AND to achieve something that is easy to do and whose results are immediately seen. To motivate yourself, put on motivating, positive, and rhythmic music. Rhythms act on the brain and heart, more precisely cardiac coherence. If you feel the urge, move while cleaning! Then contemplate your work, and the before/after. Compliment yourself for the work done despite your illness. You have made progress, you have done something. If you need help, I offer sorting therapyservices. Because sometimes we need a boost… and moral support.

2. Get out and walk

The cocktail physical activity + light is unstoppable to fight seasonal depression and depression. Sport boosts the level of dopamine, light acts on the pineal gland and it's good for what you have. A simple little trick: put on a jog as soon as you get up. Sneakers included. You are thus ready to go out as soon as a small motivation arises. Prepare a dynamic and positive music playlist on your Ipod or smartphone, take out headphones or headphones, and be careful to have it loaded well. Even if you stay two hours taped in front of the TV or your breakfast, it doesn't matter: whatever the time of day, if at some point the desire emerges, you are ready to go out. Enjoy a lightening… and if it rains, put music at home, and move. Or take out the good old K-Way! The ideal is to go out right after you wake up, after drinking a large glass of lemon water or a few mugs of sugar-free herbal tea. You have to be hydrated. It also allows you to emerge and get rid of your pillow marks… Brush your hair, wash your teeth, put on a little deodorant, the shower will wait…. You're going to play sports after all! If you are bothered by the idea of meeting other people, go out at a time when most people are working (after 9 a.m., for example), and target a park or natural space, close on foot to your home. Put on your helmet and cap! You go out to walk (even better, brisk walking), you do sports, you are not supposed to chat with other people during your exercise. And know it: depression is not written on your face… You can also invest in a stepper or a jump rope: it is easy to use without any installation and accessible at a very low price (less than 20 euros in large sports areas). The goal is above all to energize you. 

3. Eat well and light

A balanced diet, as we know, is better for your health. But we know less that it is also good for our mental health. And even, that a bad diet (too rich in fast sugars and refined fats) can fling your morale. It's true, it's serious, as demonstrated by a study by Yale University published in the journal Neuropharmacology,as well as research conducted at the Research Centre of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal. To fight depression, it is therefore necessary to lighten your plates, and force on vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. Add omega 3 very present in fatty fish (tuna, sardine, salmon …), which contribute to the construction of brain cells and would have according to some studies antidepressanteffects. We can also mention calcium (milk, yoghurts, but also chickpeas, red beans, sesame and chia seeds, artichokes, broccoli, turnips, Chinese cabbages, curly cabbages, asparagus, spinach) which participates in nerve transmissions and has an impact on depression. And magnesium (hazelnuts, almonds…), which stimulates nerve impulses and helps fight stress. Be aware, almonds and coconut milk contain amounts of calcium and vitamin D far greater than milk,they are not acidic, are easily assimilated and they last much longer on your shelves. Take the test for a month, being very rigorous. Remove the alcohol, to by a glass of good red wine from time to time if really you can not do without it (and why besides ?… The question is to be asked).

4. Psychotherapy, relaxation and sophrology

You suffer from a disease that is considered serious, and even morbid. Do not hesitate to talk to your doctor. If you are penniless, know that there are centers called CMP (medical-psychological centers) in all cities of France. Follow-up by doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, dieticians… are completely free regardless of your medical coverage, including CMU. All your doctor has to do is make you a prescription, and make an appointment.Afterwards, you will be tracked for free and very efficiently. You can also (depending on the center) take relaxation classes, sports, sophrology, meditation … just as free. Mental health is taken very seriously in France and in many other countries. Take your suffering just as seriously, and talk about it…

5. Sun and light

fight depression The sun is good for morale, we have known it for a long time! Why do you think many people are looking to go to the sun during their holidays? We need a lot of light, especially to synthesize the essential vitamin D. But the lack of clarity decreases the amount of the main neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine, and the famous dopamine, which we lack when we suffer from depression. The countries of Northern Europe are well aware of this, as they treat depression first by light and sport, in high doses. Indispensable when they face night days in winter… Buy a light therapy lamp, to be used in case of very gray weather, as soon as you feel the need. It must deliver a light of at least 10,000 Lux. This table model is very practical: fight depression But the (much) best, cheapest and most ecological is of course to go out as soon as the sun points its nose, even in winter. We are living beings! Take advantage of your lunch breaks to go out for half an hour, instead of spending it on Facebook… You may also be even more depressed when you see others going well… and not you.

6. Make good and big dodos!

Like lack of light, lack of sleep almost automatically leads to depression. You have a hard time falling asleep because dirty nasty thoughts all black trot in your head and make the nice Morpheus flee? Try these little tricks. First tell yourself that there, now, you need sleep to be in shape the next day. That tomorrow is a new day, which will be rich in discoveries and beautiful things, and that to appreciate them you must be in shape. Whatever your problems, they will wait until tomorrow. That sleep is good for your health, that you will sleep well… This is positive psychology. Repeat yourself "I'm going to sleep well…" forcing you to smile. Drink an herbal tea made from valerian, hawthorn… , take homeopathic medicines,melatonin… Try different products, available in self-service in parapharmacy, and see which one(s) work on you. Ask the pharmacists for advice, they are there for that. These drugs are effective and good boosts to at least capture a few hours of sleep.Among the recommended plants, you can consume perforated St. John's wort, which is one of the most effective. Other plants can help relieve depression and anxiety, such as passionflower, lemon balm, lavender, lemon. Turn off any screen,including the smartphone, and the bright lights in your living room or bedroom. Light a candle,fix your attention on it, and breathe thoroughly. Relax your body to the maximum, and enjoy the fact that you are in your sheets, in your comfortable bed, warm. And change them as soon as necessary, fresh and clean sheets and smelling good, it's really nice… so good for morale. Make sure your room is only… a bedroom, and not an office / dressing room / attic … The more refined the better. Use and abuse soft, pastel, tender colors as your night should be. A bed, two bedside tables, one or more photos or paintings that make you see life in pink, soft cushions … Materials and colors matter a lot. If your environment is noisy, put Kies balls,it works great. Invest in a dawn light alarm clock. Open the window… and breathe. The brain recovers best at a temperature of 15°C! If you wake up in the middle of the night, around 4 am, which happens very often when you suffer from depression, take immediately a tablet type Spasmin, Euphytosis … to help you go back to sleep and eliminate the anxiety that often grips you at that time. If you do not go back to sleep after 5 minutes, get up. Walk, relax, stretch, breathe deeply, it quickly passes the stress of the night. Do not turn on the TV,try first the soft and positive music,from reggae to classical music, including Buddhist songs … There are many on Youtube. Here's my favorite of the week:

7. Clear your schedule

When you suffer from depression, you can no longer insure everything. Accept it, and don't impose things on yourself that you can no longer do at the moment. If you have the means, the possibility, delegate the tasks that are thankless to you such as ironing, shopping, cleaning, bills … to other people: domestic help, family, friends. Replace saturday afternoon shopping mall shopping with a drive order. Focus on the essentials. Try to keep as much time as possible for pleasant things. It is also a life advice that is valid when you are well too! Set yourself one or two big goals a day, no more. And listen to yourself: when things get a little better, take the opportunity to act. When things go wrong, refocus on yourself,and do what makes you feel good. Listen to music, watch a comedy, walk in a nice park, go shopping, call a close and warm friend, take out your pen, guitar or brushes… Needless to say, if you are working and suffering from depression, and even if you are unemployed, ask your doctor for a sick leave. Don't wait for burnout or suicide thoughts to get treatment. Work can help fight depression by occupying your mind, allowing you to exercise your skills, but it can also be the cause of your depression. It's up to you to feel what suits you best… a good day's work with the feeling of expressing yourself, or a withdrawal into nature or into your family. Run away from sad movies, depressing information, zap social networks and all that is… zapping . It stresses the brain. Our ultra-connected lifestyle is for many scientists one of the causes of the development of depressive illness in the world…

8. Surround yourself well

This advice is valid all the time… Stay away from people who depress you, and only associate with those who feed you. If it's your family, explain to them that their contact isn't doing you any good right now, and that you need to isolate yourself. Yes, it is possible, using very simple words. It is especially necessary for you, to allow you to heal. If they love you, they will understand you. Run away from people who call you lazy, weak, or sick. If they don't understand your disease, that's their problem, not yours: you already have other cats to whip. But on the other hand, do not stay alone. Loneliness is one of the major causes of depression. Hang out less, but hang out better: better 3 good friends than 136 acquaintances… Optionally, turn to speaking groups. Get out when you feel able, only. Do not absolutely try to maintain an intensive pace of social life at all costs: some evenings, a good book will do you more good than pretending to go super top in front of a bunch of strangers.Even if it means going for a drink and seeing a movie on a Tuesday night, because there, it's okay. Even if it means staying only two hours, and going back afterwards, because you need to find yourself in your cocoon. No one in you forces you to go out on Saturday night: it's a social convention, nothing more.

9. Keep a diary

Writing and/or drawing are real good ways to express your feelings when you can't tell other people, while waiting for a next appointment with your therapist, or when you're afraid of weighing too much on the morale of your loved ones. Which can be the case sometimes… when you are too angry, or too sad. Tell the story of what is wrong, quite simply. It is also a good way to put flatten, in words, in images, your feelings, negative and positive too. What disturbs you, what you would like to change… what does not suit you or no longer. What exactly are your emotions, and when, under what circumstances. It is an excellent therapeutic tool, which I have used a lot and which I still use… just sometimes to tell the beautiful things that happened to me. You can also stick positive or inspiring images that will allow you to better understand yourself, to understand what is wrong… or what you miss, what you would like to see in your life. More nature, more friends, more sweetness for example. Take it with you, because the desire, the inspiration, the need can come at any time. His writing can first take you hours… this is a good thing, it means that you have things to "go out" (and therefore no longer keep in you, in silence). Then afterwards be open about fifteen minutes, from time to time… It is also your follow-up tool for all the treatments and care you will begin.

10. Create

Keep your mind busy but also your hands! Make pottery, drawing, photography, horse, DIY, good dishes, clothes … I don't care. Choose what you like and that allows you to express your qualities, your skills. You must have one, you certainly have several. Having your hands constantly busy is an excellent therapy to fight depression.

… +1 tip to fight depression as a bonus!

And or, there's an eleventh trick actually :-): do some research, and be proactive about the disease. To fight depression, look for new techniques, new medications, new ways of living with depression or new methods of healing (EMDR is one of them, for trauma). Don't let this happen: if a medication doesn't suit you, tell your doctor. Look for ways to heal YOURSELF. Some techniques or treatments are very effective for some and not very useful for others… If you have depression, remember that it is a disease, and it does not define you as a person… Don't say "I'm depressed anymore", but "I'm currently suffering from depression"… this will help you change the way you look at yourself. And will allow others to remember that this is a disease, not a personality trait… If you are interested in going further, I also encourage you to watch this documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHNqqaH4z68 10 tips to fight depression (promised, it works!), an article by Sophie Girardot.The text of this article is the property of its author and may not be used without his consent and under certain conditions. Sources / Credits

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Sophie Barbarella

Writer and Public Speaker

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