By Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du Toit | Guest Writer
You might not realize someone is suffering from depression although millions of people do. I am one of those people. Off and on during my life I have felt bouts of depression, as I am sure most people do. Usually it is circumstantial or situational. It seems the times in my life when a lot of negative events happen at once I just shut down and then my symptoms of depression are triggered to come out. I find myself stuck in the chaos of uncontrolled unhappiness, trying to figure out how to fight off the depression symptoms naturally and get out of it. I always end up navigating my way out but it takes that moment of reason and awareness to realize that I don’t want to feel depressed anymore.
Over the many years of trying to figure my way out of depression, I have developed a list of helpful tools that I put into action which slowly helps the veil of depression lift and the light come in again. If you are like me and get in places where you are depressed and cannot figure your way out, I have some advice that I use when I want to fight my way out of depression naturally.
Symptoms of Depression
- low energy
- mood swings
- loss of interest in pleasure
- lack of concentration
- poor appetite
- early awakening
- restless sleep
- social isolation
Ways to fight off depression naturally
Sit with it
If you want to cry, cry. You don’t always have to be strong. Crying is so helpful to release those deeply stored emotions. If you don’t want to do anything, then don’t but try and just be with yourself. Be accepting of yourself, open and loving.
Get up and move
Moving your body is a great way to shake the body up with all of those feel good hormones. If you do not have energy for rigorous movement, take a walk in nature or some gentle stretching works great too.
Set daily goals and make a routine
Set realistic, simple goals, one at a time. When you finish one goal then figure out a new one. Sometimes figuring out a routine can help get your mind off of what is making you sad. It can look like a simple list. Brush your teeth, wash your face, eat breakfast, go for a walk, etc.
When you finish your goals or even as an end of the day treat, give yourself a reward. A hot warm bath by candlelight, a delicious meal, or whatever else makes you feel good. One day at a time.
Try a new hobby or craft
Is there a new hobby that you have wanted to try or a pinterest craft project that you have wanted to create? I find that when I can spark creativity in myself it helps shift my mood out of a depressed place. When I see my accomplishments it raises my positive feelings towards myself which shifts my negative thought patterns.
What you eat and drink impacts how you feel
I am sure you have heard the quote by now, “Food is thy Medicine”. Research says the right foods can make you feel happy. Proper nutrition can have a huge impact on the way we feel. Here are some foods to include that can help boost your mood. Eating a diet high in Omega 3 Fatty acids and healthy fats like coconut oil is important. Drinking alcohol can have an effect on getting out of a depressed state. Alcohol is a depressant. It may initially make you feel good as you are drinking it. That’s not the case for the next day when depression creeps in stronger than before.
Make a good night’s sleep a priority
Sleep disturbances are common in people who have depression. Not enough or too much sleep can make depression feel worse. An average of 8 hours of sleep per night is good. It helps me when I get into a good sleeping routine. Here are 10 ways that Help Me Get a Good Night Sleep.
Sit quietly and Breathe
When in doubt breathe it out. Deep calm breathing. I have a little exercise that I do when I would like to calm my mind. It helps me especially when I am anxious or my mind will not stop racing. Slowly breathe in through the nose and say in your head, I breathe in peace. Hold your breath and say in your mind, I hold onto Love. And slowly breathe out through your mouth, I breathe out negativity or toxicity. Then slowly breathe in through your mouth, I breathe in peace, hold your breath and you think I hold onto Love, breathe out through the nose, I breathe out negativity. Repeat at last 10 times. Sit quietly and notice how you feel.
Help someone else
Help someone else when you are feeling down and out. I find that when I am depressed, if I give to someone who needs help it takes my mind off of my own issues and makes me feel good to help someone who is exchanging gratitude.
Listen to music
Music can be a great way to boost your mood and improve symptoms of depression. Put your earphones in and go for a walk in nature.
Spend time in nature
Research shows that people who spend time in nature have improved mental health. Spending time in a sunny spot in nature barefoot can impact how you feel. It can give you a mood boost. Let mother earth take your worries and sadness from you and give you an abundance of positive natural grounding energy.
Spend time with those you love
When you are feeling depressed, spending time with someone you love might be all you need to feel a bit better. It can even be an animal friend which sometimes are the best kind of love givers and stress relievers. I don’t usually like to be around people when I am depressed, but I find petting and cuddling with my cat really helps relieve my depressive symptoms.
There are a bunch of different supplements that you can take that will lift your mood. Omega 3’s, L-Tyrosine, 5-HTP, St. John’s Wort, Turmeric, Mucuna, Cacao, Maca, Vitamin D and Magnesium are some of my go to feel good supplements.
Get it out
Getting out and releasing what you are thinking and feeling is important to move forward. This is hard for me as I usually suppress my emotions and feelings which is really unhealthy. Consider finding a therapist to talk to. Journaling about what you are experiencing can be helpful. When deep feelings come up, write about them. Releasing those thoughts and feelings is so therapeutic.
This is what it is and This too shall pass
This is the mantra that I remind myself to say regularly when I am not feeling how I would like to or when I am in a situation that I don’t want to be in. It helps me understand that whatever is going on is but tomorrow is a new day and it can be a new beautiful day.
If you cannot fight your depression naturally
If you are someone who is struggling with depression, I urge you to try these ways to fight depression naturally. Please do not hesitate to seek medical assistance If you still cannot get out of it yourself. Depression can be alleviated with the right help.
Comment below with any tools you use to help fight off depression naturally.
We are all in this together, Alex.
Originally published at Earthiemama and reproduced here with permission.
About the Author
Alexandra is a true Earthie Mama, helping others tune into their most natural, thriving state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives. She hosts a well-known blog, EarthieMama.com, where she writes about health and wellness, conscious parenting, green living, self-sustainability and getting off the grid. Alex also has an MA in Psychology, and is a registered Yoga Instructor, environmentalist, conscious mother, green living advocate and natural birthing expert. She also sells all natural products and her ebooks through her website.