Holistic Strategies for Battling Depression
The standard approach to treating depression includes medications and psychotherapy, but in some cases, and for reasons doctors and therapists don’t fully understand, these approaches are only partially successful. Complementary approaches including yoga, exercise, nutrition, and supplements for depression may all be added to a holistic treatment plan to help achieve success. Let’s review some of the holistic strategies used for dealing with depression.
- Eat well. You might not need to take additional supplements for depression if you eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in a variety of nutrients. Many people suffering from depression struggle with low appetite and low energy, and find cooking nutritious meals to be an overwhelming chore. Seek out inspiration on social media where you can find photos and videos of every type of food imaginable, or check out cookbooks at your local library.
- Find something you can do on a daily basis that elevates your heart rate and makes you sweat. For some people, exercising outdoors is the perfect way to generate some endorphins (naturally produced chemicals that act as antidepressants), while other people find that an exercise video, a treadmill or a yoga class is the best way to get moving. Sneak in extra exercise by parking farther away from the supermarket entrance and be sure to take the stairs whenever possible.
- Work at improving your sleep. Sleep and depression can be a tough combination; insomnia or oversleeping are both common with depression and difficult to overcome. Aim to go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning. Alcohol is a depressant and can make your depression symptoms (including insomnia) worse, so avoid drinking if sleep issues are troublesome. Practice good sleep hygiene – turn off your phone and other electronic devices 30 minutes before turning in, and don’t read, work, or eat in bed. Train your brain and body to link your bed with sleep.
The Next Level
Meditation, yoga, prayer, chiropractic care, nature walks, acupuncture and nutritional supplements for depression are other strategies that may aid in your efforts to overcome depression. Additionally, volunteering in your community, or exploring a new hobby may be mood-elevating for you. Figuring out what resonates with you will help you choose from what may seem like an enormous array of possible activities and treatment options. Talk with your therapist and your doctor about how to stack the deck in your favor by using holistic strategies to claim victory in your battle with depression.