(CBS Charlotte) — Feeling down or suffering from depression can make you feel helpless and hopeless — it can make daily activities and interactions strained, or depression can lead to avoiding everything all together. The good news is there are things you can do to improve your mood and help you beat the blues.
According to the CDC, one out of every 10 people in the United States reports bouts of depression, and ultimately, many more people do not report symptoms of depression, instead they suffer in silence.
Here are five things that will help you beat your depression:
1. When life seems overwhelming, thinking about happier times or specific memories that evoke happiness can improve your mood and help you climb out of your funk.
2. Like everything in life, realizing that depression is temporary helps. Furthermore, everything good or bad won’t last. The key is to be able to accept the bad days, and appreciate the good days. Believe it or not, they do balance each other out, and your happy/sad thoughts balance each other out as well — as long as you can let happiness into your life.
3. Never underestimate the value of human contact, a smile from a stranger, or a phone call from a good friend. Even at the lowest points in your life, it’s important to remember that there is always someone who cares — even if you don’t realize it. Depression can be hard to beat because people who suffer from depression generally withdrawal and lose interest in the things they once enjoyed. Even when you feel sad, it’s important to surround yourself with people who can cheer you up — even if it’s only briefly.
4. Being stuck indoors, sleeping, and/or being lazy is likely to exacerbate your depression. During bouts of depression, most people feel unmotivated and prefer not to do much of anything. They may even have trouble getting out of bed. Even though it’s difficult, making yourself get out of the house can help improve your mood. Taking a walk in nature, especially when it’s sunny can drastically improve your mood. Additionally, going shopping and buying yourself something new (as long as it doesn’t put a strain on your finances) can bring about feelings of happiness as well.
5. The foods that you eat have an impact on your mental and emotional health. Foods that are hard to digest, such as fatty foods, junk food and processed foods can trigger feelings of sadness and hopelessness. However, eating fruits and vegetables, foods rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids will improve your overall mood and help you beat depression.
-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte