Depression can lower your mood and make it more difficult to cope with everyday stress. You may find it hard to get out of bed, manage your responsibilities and enjoy the hobbies you once did. The good news is that depression is treatable - it’s actually among the most treatable of mental disorders. Most people are able to manage their symptoms with a combination of therapy and medication.
However, depression is not curable, so you’ll have to learn how to manage your symptoms and live well. One of the best ways to do this is to have effective ways to lift your mood, especially on hard days. Below are some of the best tactics for boosting your mood when you live with depression.
Apply Your Coping Skills
During your time in drug or alcohol treatment in Easton PA, you likely learned various ways to cope with stress. These strategies are some of the best ways to improve your mood when you’re feeling down.
Ideas for quick mood-boosting activities include:
- Think positively
- Practice saying positive affirmations
- Talk to someone who is cheerful
- Smile or laugh - forcing yourself works, too!
- Get moving
- Listen to happy music
- Play with your pet
- Take a nap
- Do your favorite activity - read, walk, paint, etc.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
It’s easier to maintain a positive mindset when you are in good physical condition. Research shows a definite link between diet, exercise and mental health. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins in the brain, while a nutritious diet helps treat mental illness symptoms and prevents vitamin deficiencies.
Improve Your Sleep Habits
Sleep is a critical component of good mental health. Brain activity fluctuates while you sleep, increasing and decreasing during different stages of sleep. Each stage affects brain health to allow for better thinking, memory and learning. Research also shows that sleep has a profound impact on emotional and mental health. Aim for at least 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.
Mindfulness requires you to pay attention to your thoughts, emotions and sensations without judgment. One study found that practicing mindfulness is linked to lower levels of depression. Remember that it takes time to be effective at mindfulness. This is why practice is essential. As you become more used to practicing mindfulness, your brain will naturally default to this tactic when stressed.
Spend Time in Nature
Nature has a positive effect on our moods, improving sleep, increasing happiness and decreasing negative emotions. Nature can also help you be more creative and give you a different perspective on your problems. You can immerse yourself in nature by taking a walk, visiting a park or meditating by a lake or river.
Seek professional help from a licensed mental health specialist. There are a number of therapies that work well for treating depression, including individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy. Participating in these therapies will help you be more aware of your behaviors and emotions and how they contribute to depression.
Adopt a Pet
Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce depression, anxiety, stress and loneliness. Owning a pet also encourages physical activity, which in turn boosts the mood. If you do decide to adopt a pet, make sure that you have the means to do so. Animals are a long-term commitment, so you must be willing to put in the work. Fortunately, the companionship they provide is well worth it.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Easton PA
These are some of the best ways to lift your spirits when you have depression. Because there is no cure for depression, it’s important to know how to manage your symptoms effectively. It’s normal to have ebbs and flows, and some days will be harder than others.
To best manage your symptoms, make sure you’re taking care of your mental and physical health, spending time with positive influences, staying active and practicing your coping skills. If you need support, Recovery Cove is here for you. Contact us today at 484-549-COVE to learn more about how we can help you build resilience in recovery.