Depression is a powerful mental disorder that can drain your energy and hope. It can affect anyone at any age, and unfortunately, there is no quick fix, it’s not something you can snap out of. One of the most difficult aspects of depression is that some of the things that can help you feel better and manage your depression, are the things that are the most difficult to do. And while it may feel as if all hope is lost, we’ve put together some things that you can try that may make you feel better and help you manage your depression.

Tip 1 – Do the things that make you feel good

Being able to feel relaxed is a strong element that can contribute to your recovery from depression. One way in which you can do this is by doing something that you enjoy, or used to enjoy. It can be absolutely anything, maybe you enjoyed listening to music really loudly and singing along, perhaps you enjoyed rollerblading in the park, or maybe you liked going to the cinema to see a movie. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, the important thing is to try to get yourself out there and do something.

While you can’t force yourself to have fun or feel good, and the possibility of actually having a good time might seem unlikely, the chances are you’re going to feel a lot better than you expect after (or even during) the activity.

Tip 2 – Keep on top of your physical health

Our physical health is important for everyone, not just those suffering from depression, however, studies have shown that with regular exercise, the symptoms of depression can be relieved very effectively. Of course, like we mentioned earlier, getting up and getting a sweat on is something that is incredibly difficult to do (whether you suffer from depression or not).

While it may be difficult and you may feel drained of your energy, you can start small. Try taking a short walk around the block, it can be 10 minutes – it’s a great start. Over time, you will build a consistent habit and hopefully be able to build your exercise up to 30 minutes per day. Getting the blood pumping and the habit built will lead to an overall positive improvement on your help.

But it’s not just about exercise here. Make sure you’re prioritising your rest as well. Depression can often interrupt sleep and make it difficult to feel truly rested. Try to create a bedtime routine, and try to make your bed be the place where you sleep, and nothing else. It’s easy to associate your bed with stress if you do things like work, in your bed.

Tip 3 – Eat Regularly & Eat Healthy Meals

There are clear links between our diet and our mental health and clarity. A good nutritional diet can have a big impact on not only our mental health but also physical health, which we know from the above tip, is very important for managing depression.

If you need help with getting your eating on track, consider seeing a professional, who can help put  a plan together for you.

Tip 4 – Stay Connected to your network

Something that can be challenging for someone who suffers from depression is maintaining friendships and relationships. While you don’t need to be going out and surrounding yourself with everyone under the sun, keeping in touch with some close friends will help ease the burden.

While you may not want to talk about your feelings and depression overall, it’s important to understand that attempting to manage your depression alone is difficult, and having the support of others can make it a lot easier. You don’t always need to be talking about your feelings or anything, just the act of spending time with others and partaking in activities and social interaction will make the world of difference.

If you are comfortable enough to be open about your depression, you may be helping someone else.

Tip 5 – Seek Professional help

As we mentioned above, managing depression alone is difficult and not something you have to do. It’s important to understand that there is no shame in mental illness and there are a number of professionals you can see and speak to to help you with your condition.

You don’t need to go it alone.

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of – in fact it is more common than you probably realise.  Why not give one of our tips a try, it may just give you some relief in managing your symptoms. If you want to learn more about depression, click here for some further information.