Depression is an illness that can take over your entire daily life and leave you feeling helpless.
However, despite what you may think, there are ways to take control. Whilst one of these is medication, there are many other natural remedies for depression that you can try if medication is not for you. There are many ways to manage and alleviate your anxiety in order to enjoy your life to the full.
Here are some suggestions of natural remedies for depression:
Natural Herbs and Supplements for Depression
St. John’s wort (a flowering plant) has commonly been taken as a way to treat depression. People with depression are often low in serotonin, the feel-good chemical in the brain, and St John’s wort has been linked with increasing the amount of serotonin in the body.
This is traditionally what medical antidepressants work to increase too. There have been some studies that have shown St John’s wort to help to alleviate symptoms of mild depression. However, it can interfere with other medications, so please consult a doctor before trying this or any other health supplement.
Other common supplements to consider as a natural remedy for depression include zinc, omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil, saffron, folate or folic acid and SAM-e, which is a synthetic supplement that acts as mood-boosting chemicals.
Counselling and Talking Therapies
Therapy works for so many people in so many ways. Be that the ability to speak to someone not only who is removed from your life but also trained in how the mind works can be life-changing for many.
Counselling or Talking therapies that use methods such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) are often used instead of or in addition to medication to treat depression.
Creative and Alternative Therapies
There are many ways to treat depression that do not involve sitting in a room with a therapist talking through feelings and thoughts.
For some, physically completing an activity can work in a similar way to alleviate symptoms of depression, or indeed. These activities can range from specifically designed art therapy classes to equine therapy sessions and many others in between.
Look after your Physical Health
Start with your physical health and your mental health will follow. This means that it is important to exercise regularly, both inside and outside, as being active is great for your mind.
Diet is also very important – make sure that you are eating a varied diet and getting all of your necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as watching your alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake. It is also important to ensure that your body is hydrated. And sleep is vital.
When your body is well rested, your mind is calmer and symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses are lessened.
This is often easier said than done, but if you struggle to sleep at night, then embrace the nap and allow your body to rest when needed. These simple healthy lifestyle guidelines can support your body in supporting your mind.
Create a Routine and Goals
You can remove that helpless feeling by trying to achieve very small things. What may seem simple to some may feel like a huge accomplishment to you.
Aiming to make the bed or load the dishwasher a few times a week can help you to feel that you can succeed when you apply yourself and help you to set yourself more goals to move forward.
Try something new that will get you out of the rut that you are in. Go for a walk in the park, read a book, try a new class or activity.
Another thing that you can do is to offer to help people with something small. Pick up dessert on the way to a friend’s house. Offer to make the online booking for your dinner plans. Offer to help on a project at work.
If you don’t work, try helping a friend with their business or volunteering a day or two a week. Keeping yourself in a simple schedule to your day in order to avoid losing structure in your life, even if that means waking up and eating at the same time each day. Also, keep doing fun things, even when you feel you can’t.
Go to coffee with a friend, accept the dinner invitation, watch the movie… Don’t stop living your life, even when staying home and doing nothing feels more comfortable in the moment. It will start to feel fun again. This will all help to give you a sense of purpose in life, which helps with symptoms of depression.