5 Counseling Tips for Those Battling Depression

counseling tips for depression florence al

Living with depression is never easy. While some cases are more severe than others and can require the help of a mental health professional, others are less intense and can begin to show signs of improvements when the person takes the necessary steps.

Here are some tips counseling professionals have seen prove beneficial for those living with situatiional or mild to moderate depression:

1. Get Out of Bed

Although getting up and going on with your life is probably the last thing you want to do when depression hits, leading counselors dictate this is exactly what you should be doing. As hard as it may feel, you need to climb out of bed and find a way to stay active. Set an alarm and if you need to, place it in an area away from your bed so you have to get up and turn it off. This will prevent you from oversleeping, which can only cause your mood to worsen throughout the day.

Try to stick to getting up at the same time every day, even on your off days. Keeping your body on a steady rhythm will help you to rise easier with each passing day.

2. Exercise Nearly Every Day

While 150 minutes is the recommended time of physical fitness you should receive each week, battling depression changes things a bit. Yes, you should still strive to get this minium amount of time of moderate to intense physical activty, but in your case you should strive to work out on most days for at least 35 minutes.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999 found that those with depression who start exercising regularly have a 60% to 70% chance of resolving the disorder, and when exercise is maintained they are much less likely to relapse.

3. Open Up

Learning to talk about what's bothering you can really help to relieve symptoms of depression. No matter how big or small you may believe your troubles are, sharing them with family and friends will help you to heal. If you don't have people you can talk with, there are many mental health support groups available online and in most communities. You could also join a local club and begin interacting and connecting with others to help you feel more uplifted.

4. Change Your Eating Habits

The foods you eat can play a huge role in your mental health. While some foods and drinks can naturally bolster your mood, others will only help to bring you down. For instance, consuming too much caffeine lowers your brains ability to produce serotonin and increases the risk of developing anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. To avoid this, you should limit the amount of caffeinated beverages you drink each day, and always refrain from sweetening them.

You should also steer clear of foods that contain a lot of calories but provide very few nutritional benefits. Although these foods might give a momentary "high," they will eventually leave you to crash and burn when your blood-sugar level rises and then bottoms out. You can avoid this by choosing foods that keep your blood-sugar at an even level.

Some foods to start implementing are those that include the following nutrients:

  • Tryptophan: This precurson of serotonin can be found in foods like chickpeas.
  • Vitamins B-12 and Folate (B-6): Low levels of these nutrients has been connected with altered moods and brain funtion. You can find them in foods like beetroot, almonds, spinach, chicken, fish, and liver.
  • Vitamin D: In recent times, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to mental health disorders, like depression. While it has not yet been a confirmed cause for the disorder, you can increase you Vitamin D intake by eating breakfast cereals, breads, milk, and spendiing at least 20 minutes outdoors each day or taking supplements.

5. Seek Out Counseling

Battling depression can get difficult, but when you have someone to open up to and to offer advice and tools on how to overcome dark periods, it can get easier. Counselors are equipped to not only listen to you, but also to help you develop the tactics for overcoming mild to moderate depression for good.


Posted in Counseling, Mental Health on Apr 17, 2017

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