When you live with depression, you may spend many hours of your day feeling stuck in a rut. Unfortunately, there is no instant solution to get out of a major depressive episode. But there are other steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and improve your mood. Below, we’ll discuss five ways you can learn how to fix depression one day at a time.
The Impact of Depression
Every year, depression affects 280 million people worldwide, and it also encompasses much more than simply “feeling sad.” As a mood disorder, depression impacts every aspect of someone’s life, including not only their mental health, but their social and physical well-being as well.
To illustrate this, a more in-depth list of the symptoms of depression includes:
- Feeling empty, apathetic, or hopeless
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Slowed cognition, speaking, or body movements
- Suicidal ideations
- Unexplainable physical aches
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Weight gain or loss
Trying to coexist with these symptoms can make it challenging to function on a day-to-day basis. As a result, people who live with them often want to know how to fix depression. They can learn to do so by equipping themselves with the proper knowledge and resources. That way, they can learn how to manage these symptoms and return to daily life.
How to Fix Depression
Like most other mental health conditions, depression is not something that will disappear on its own. When you or a loved one are feeling depressed, it’s important to take proactive steps to lessen its impact and get your mental health back on track.
However, keep in mind that learning how to fix depression instantly is not possible. There is no singular “fix” that will immediately relieve your symptoms. Instead, it’s better to look for small ways you can improve your mood and engage with your surroundings. Changes that may seem insignificant at first add up over time, which can help you in the battle against depression.
Below are five specific techniques you can use to manage symptoms of depression. When combined, they offer a strong foundation upon which you can build healthy coping skills and learn more about how to fix depression.
1. Get Physically Active
Depression is, in many ways, a condition of stagnation. It slows down both the brain and the body, lowering someone’s energy levels until they feel like they can barely get out of bed. If your depression has yet to reach this level of severity, and you’re still able to engage in active tasks, then exercise can be a great tool when exploring how to fix depression.
In fact, one study found that for individuals with mild to moderate depression, engaging in exercise—even if only a few times a week—had positive effects on par with psychotherapy or antidepressant medications. Even for people with severe depression, exercise is a great supplemental tool to use alongside other treatment options.
But how does exercise improve mood? Staying physically active and increasing one’s heart rate causes an influx of brain chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are linked to feelings of pleasure as well as pain reduction, meaning that triggering them can help someone feel good in the aftermath of a workout.
2. Try to Eat Healthy
Diet and nutrition can contribute a surprising amount to mental health as well. Eating junk food a lot may cause someone to feel sick more often, decrease energy levels, and cause headaches. Any of these side effects can worsen symptoms of depression. For that reason, prioritizing healthy eating patterns is often suggested to those learning how to fix depression.
Those who eat healthy can reap the many benefits of strong nutrition. In many cases, these effects are physical. For example, individuals may have more energy or find that they sleep better. While healthy eating habits may not directly “fix” depression, they can reduce the impact of certain symptoms and make it easier to pursue further treatment.
3. Reach Out to Depression Support Groups
One of the most important things to remember when learning how to fix depression is that you do not have to face anything alone. Trying to shoulder the weight of depression without any support can make it difficult to progress toward recovery. Because of that, those with depression should reach out to close friends or family members to build a support network.
It may seem insignificant, but peer-to-peer support interventions have proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce symptoms of depression. Even if someone does not have anyone in their personal life they wish to talk to about their depression, there are other, community-driven support groups they can contact for motivation and encouragement instead.
4. Set Attainable Mental Health Goals
Another common impact of depression involves how aimless it can make someone feel. They may struggle to identify goals or lack the motivation to pursue any of them. That’s why knowing how to set small, realistic mental health goals is such an important part of learning how to fix depression.
For instance, imagine a scenario in which someone wants to clean their house. However, they live with depression, which can make that goal feel overwhelming and unattainable. Instead of focusing on the big picture, that person may benefit from identifying a single task at a time. Rather than clean the entire house, they could focus solely on taking the trash out.
Goal setting can apply to more than chores, too, especially since depression can also affect someone’s interest in activities they used to enjoy. Thus, another small goal someone could set may involve one of their hobbies. For example, they could plan to choose a yarn color for a knitting project or pick out paints for a new painting.
5. Consider Professional Treatment to Fix Depression
The tips discussed above offer excellent ways you can start helping yourself in small ways. However, some people with depression lack the energy or motivation to make those changes. If that’s the case for you, or if your mental health is getting worse despite trying them, it may be time to consider seeking professional treatment for depression.
An intensive treatment program designed for individuals in acute psychiatric distress can often benefit those with depression. It utilizes many of the previous tips in its own way, but it also combines them with evidence-based treatment options proven to reduce symptoms of depression.
For example, during treatment, patients participate in a variety of individual and group therapies. These sessions can uncover the underlying causes of someone’s depression and teach them how to manage or move past any mental obstacles. In addition, patients can expect to deepen their understanding of depression through psycho-educational focus groups.
Overall, those who opt for professional treatment learn how to fix depression in more direct ways than they would discover on their own. Under the guidance of mental health professionals, anyone can develop the skills they need to pursue long-term recovery from depression.
Learn How to Fix Depression in Brooksville, Florida
Springbrook Behavioral Hospital is a mental health treatment center located in Brooksville, Florida. Our tranquil, retreat-like facility offers a soothing atmosphere that promotes healing through positivity and compassion. If you live with depression and struggle to function in day-to-day life, professional treatment can help you regain control and feel good again.
When you’re ready to learn how to fix depression, call our admissions team at 352-600-3288. If you need more time to organize your thoughts, you may also submit a confidential contact form online. We will gladly answer any questions you have and do whatever we can to help you overcome depression.