Depression is a form of emotional stress that touches every family. Sometimes depression can be literally debilitating, compelling the sufferer to want to isolate themselves from friends and family. Depression can also come in waves and cause a disruption in life until it passes. You might be working next to someone who is depressed or you might be experiencing your own form of depression. Once you recognize those feelings, it is time to take action. That doesn’t mean reaching for a prescription. There are a lot of natural ways to manage your depression.

Engage in Therapy

The most common approach to shaking off depression is to talk it out. Having a friend you can discuss your feelings with is nice but a trained professional will be in a better position to guide you through your range of emotions. A therapist can help you identify triggers that you might not even be aware of. They can also develop a plan for coping mechanisms that you can put into action when you feel the next wave of depression rumbling. It might take a few sessions for you to build up the trust with your therapist but it is worth sticking through and embrace the work.

Avoid Triggers

When you identify depression triggers, then you need to look for ways to avoid them. If you’re allergic to a certain spice or type of food, then you don’t have that anywhere near your diet. With depression, there might be certain situations or environments where you feel overwhelmed. Being in those places could trigger a panic attack, which can lead to depression. Knowing your triggers can help you steer clear. It might be that those are areas that you’ll want to change. You can get there slowly.

Have a Healthy Diet

What we put into our bodies has a direct correlation on our physical and mental wellbeing. Having a diet that is heavy on processed food can be a detriment. Your body craves nutrients that can be found in fresh foods, fruits, and veggies. When taken in, those kinds of foods can boost your mood and help you combat stress. This also means kicking some bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol to excess.

Make Good Sleep a Priority

In the vicious cycle of depression, it could be triggered because of lack of sleep. To compensate, you might end up sleeping through the day. That will only make things worse. Good sleep is consistent sleep. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time. Even on the weekends that you have off from work, you should still get up early. Just imagine how much more you can get accomplished!

Exercise

Along with eating right, you need to consistently exercise. Everyone’s approach to exercise is different. Some join a gym and work the body circuit throughout the week. Others take cardio classes. Still, others engage in the simple act of walking. If you can devote at least 30 minutes every other day to some form of exercise, you’ll be improving your circulation, shedding pounds and feeling good about yourself. It all begins with a first step.

Keep Up with Friends

As mentioned, depression can manifest in isolation. When you’re seized with depression, you don’t feel like going out or talking to anyone. Skipping a party or family gathering because you feel depressed might seem like a good idea but it can actually compound those feelings. By going out and socializing you are actually distracting yourself. Staying at home means staying locked up with your thoughts and that can lead to more stress. And don’t wait for the invitations. Put yourself out thereby setting up a lunch or movie date with a friend. You’ll feel better taking the lead.