Depression is a serious mental illness that can affect anyone. No matter where you are in life, depression can “affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working,” states the National Institute of Mental Health.
Depression can affect anyone, which is why it’s important to know all of the habits that can help keep depression at bay. For some people, depression can be something that is best cured with medication. But, for others, depression can be lessened or avoided entirely by picking up a few good, healthy habits.
8 Habits To Never Ignore To Avoid Depression
1. Get enough sleep
Nothing will help you avoid depression like getting enough sleep. “While sleep deprivation has proven to be a useful tool in treating depression, it is ironically what most people suffering from depression already are experiencing,” says psychiatrist Sudhir Gadh.
You should always get at least eight hours of sleep a night, or more if you can. Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning can greatly improve your mood. Good sleep habits are every therapist’s first suggestion when it comes to stabilizing things like depression that can seriously affect your mood.
Even if you’re not all that big on exercise, it’s important to move your body every day. Going for a walk in the fresh air is enough to help improve your risk of getting depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which helps boost your mood. If you want to avoid getting depression, make sure to try and exercise every single day. Even if it’s just a short walk, moving your body is what’s important.
3. Drink water
Our brains can be affected by all kinds of things, and dehydration is definitely something that can make our moods plummet. Depression can be alleviated, or avoided entirely, by making sure your brain is getting the nutrients it needs. That includes water! When your body and brain feel healthy, you’re much more likely to have the tools you need to fight depression and keep your mood up.
Meditation is a great way to help your brain stay relaxed and stress-free, which is one of the best tools you have to avoid depression. Sitting in a quiet spot and letting your brain relax and your mind process your daily events is a great way to go about avoiding depression. Even if you only have time for five minutes in the morning, it still works. Most people find that meditation is a great way to stay stress-free.
Writing out your thoughts and feelings is a key habit to pick up when you’re looking to fight depression. Not only is it a great way to process your emotions, but it allows you to get everything out of your head and down onto paper. Most people find journaling to be an invaluable habit, and it can help people alleviate their depression symptoms.
6. Pick up a new hobby
Finding ways to fill your time is a therapist-recommended way to avoid depression. Find something you love to do, and then do it! “Engaging in a hobby you already love may be just the treatment you have been looking for,” says Dr. Mark Parisi.
Whether you’re into rock climbing, knitting, or painting landscapes, learning a new hobby will keep your mind busy. Also, doing things that you love will help release chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy, relaxed and stress-free.
7. Have a routine
Most people find that having a routine helps lower their risk of falling into depression. That isn’t to say that you can’t break your routine every once in a while. But, for the most part, having a routine is a helpful habit to have. This means getting up at the same time and scheduling your day so that you have a morning and nighttime routine. It will help you get balance back in your life and avoid depression.
8. Talk to someone
For the most part, socializing is important to help people avoid depression. But what’s even more important is having a support network that you can talk to about your feelings. Having someone that you trust is key. Opening up and talking to someone is a healthy habit to pick up. Routinely discussing your emotions and checking in on your head space will help you avoid depression. That person could be a counselor or therapist, or even just a friend.
Depression can be a scary thing, but no one has to go through it alone. Not only that, but simple lifestyle changes can help you avoid or alleviate depression entirely. These habits are key to helping you avoid depression. You’ll be amazed by how much good picking up even one of these habits will do.
“You largely constructed your depression. It wasn’t given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it.” – Albert Ellis