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Ultimate Guide: Self-Help Tips To Deal With Depression

Ultimate Guide: Self-Help Tips To Deal With Depression

It’s been estimated that nearly 350 million people in the world suffer from depression and almost 80% don’t receive any treatment – that’s a lot of people dealing with depression on their own. It’s a belittling misconception that people who suffer from depression are just feeling sad or are mentally weak. New research has found that depression is actually a kind of brain damage which backs up the fact that it’s not something people can just cure or ‘get over’. Dealing with depression means dealing with a constant cycle of sadness and hopelessness and it can feel never-ending. It can leave you with a lack of drive and energy to take the necessary larger steps you need to make yourself feel better.

There are smaller and more manageable steps you can do on a daily basis that can help you self-manage your depression – they are by no means an attempt at a cure but they can help alleviate the feelings of despair and darkness that seem to take over so easily. It’s important to acknowledge that you may be suffering from depression and taking some steps towards a lighter path will help with your overall outlook on life.

Acknowledging Your Depression

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    The first step is to recognise that you are suffering from depression. Admitting that you’re suffering from depression does not make you a weak person; in fact it’s the opposite. Acknowledging that you may have depression will allow you to attempt ways to deal with it whether with professional help or through self-management.

    • Accept The Depression In Your Life

    Accepting that you have depression will allow you to be able to do something about it. Hiding it away or putting it down to a bad phase in your life will only allow it to spiral out of control. Having depression is not something to be ashamed of and the sooner you realise this and admit that you may have it, the sooner you can deal with it.

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    • Understand That You Can Help Yourself

    It’s important to establish that your actions will help you with your depression. You don’t have to allow things to happen to you – you have the power to control what happens to you. Although this can feel hard to imagine at times, there’s great power in your steps to help yourself.

    • Every Little Step Helps

    Depression can leave you feeling helpless and worthless. Thinking of actions to help yourself can seem overwhelming but it’s not big, grand actions that you need to make happen. Breaking actions down into small daily steps can seem less less daunting and greatly relieve symptoms of depression plus they don’t always need a lot of time or effort to achieve. Keep that belief that every little step is helping you in a positive way.

    Establishing An Exercise Routine To Deal With Depression

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      When you suffer from depression you can find it hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed let alone think about exercising but exercise is crucial for helping you deal with depression. Exercise has been found to be as effective as antidepressant medication as it increases energy levels and decreases tiredness. Studies have shown that exercise protects the brain from depression so it can help prevent further depression from developing. It doesn’t have to be a hard, sweaty workout but just getting out and moving will really help with your mindset and perspective. Releasing those endorphins can do much more than we realise – they reduce stress and tension so have an all-round positive effect on depression.

      • Go For A Walk

      A really simple and effective way to deal with depression is to take a walk. If you find it difficult to find motivation for an exercise routine then walking is a great way to fit this into your daily life. Getting out in nature can have a healing affect and breathing the fresh air will have a big impact on our brain’s oxygen levels allowing you to have clearer thoughts. If you have a dog or can borrow a dog from someone else this will be a great incentive to walk and for longer.

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      • Cardiovascular Exercise

      This is something you can build up to. Establishing a walking routine is a great place to start and once you think you’re feeling the benefits you can decide if doing more cardiovascular exercises is something you want to pursue. Running, cycling and swimming are great exercises to get into but it’s important to find one that you enjoy and will want to stick with. Establishing a routine and setting goals will help with motivation and train your brain to see hope and achievement.

      • Small Movements

      If walking and running seem too much of a step for you then just finding moments to move around are beneficial. Park your car further away so you have to walk for a little bit, take the stairs instead of the elevator – anything that prevents you from being still for too often. Getting your body moving, no matter how small, is good for your mind and you will find that it will help you to feel a little less low.

      Establishing A Healthy Diet To Deal With Depression

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        What you eat has a big effect on how you feel. Establishing a healthy diet can help relieve symptoms of depression and together with exercise can combat your depression greatly. Eating the right foods can boost your mood and help you feel less tired and depleted. When you have no motivation it can be easy to reach for the convenient, junk-filled foods but these can be a hinderance to your depression as it has little nutritional value and causes further unnecessary fatigue.

        • Cut Back On Sugar And Carbohydrates

        Sugar and carbohydrates are common foods to reach for when we need comfort. Cakes, biscuits and breads are full of refined sugar and carbohydrates which can leave us feeling lethargic which can add to other symptoms of depression. It can also lead to a crash in mood as our blood-sugar levels drop dramatically.

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        • Superfoods And Vitamins

        There are certain foods that help with boosting our mood including bananas, nuts, omega-rich fish, brown rice and spinach as well as many more. Complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain foods can boost serotonin levels without the crash that we get with simple carbohydrates. Considering taking extra vitamins and supplements including complex B-vitamins and folic acid will be beneficial. Vitamin B deficiency in particular can trigger depression or alternatively you can eat foods rich in vitamin B like eggs, green leafy vegetables and chicken.

        • Eat At Regular Intervals

        It’s really important that you keep fuelling your body. Going for too long without food can cause irritability and low blood sugar levels which can cause mood swings. Make sure you try to eat a healthy meal or snack every 3-4 hours. It can be tempting to reach for the junk food but try to make a conscious decision to pick something healthy and beneficial.

        Managing Your Negative Thinking

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          Depression ultimately changes the way we think about ourselves and the world around us. It can darken thoughts about the past, present situations and the future. The key to managing negative thoughts is not to just think positively and they’ll go away but rather to gradually introduce a different way of thinking that will encourage a slightly different mindset.

          • Recognising Negative Thinking

          The first important thing to do is recognise your negative thoughts. There are different types of negative thoughts that can foster depression and recognising them is a great first step in starting to combat them. Thoughts such as emotional reasoning where you believe your negative thoughts are reality, for example believing you’re worthless. Overgeneralising is something that people with depression often do – holding on to a negative experience and believing it will continue to be like that. Self-blaming, jumping to negative conclusions by false assumption and ignoring positive events are all different types of thinking prone to someone with depression.

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          • Avoiding Isolation

          When we’re depressed we have a tendency to want to withdraw and be alone but isolation from others is more likely to create negative thinking because we are further separating ourselves from reality. Connection with others is a basic human need and studies have shown just how important social interaction is when it comes to our happiness. Even if you don’t feel like it, it’s important to cultivate relationships with family and friends – they will be your support network. Just finding someone to trust and talk to every now and then will help stop the tendency to withdraw.

          • Shifting Your Perspective

          Shifting your perspective is not changing your thoughts from sad to happy, it’s allowing yourself to see something in a different light. It’s about thinking outside of yourself. When we’re hard on ourselves it becomes a way of thinking but try asking yourself would I say something so harsh to someone else? Changing your perspective is about learning a different way to see things and getting your mind to realise that there are other sides to a problem. It’s about cultivating gratitude for the small things that we have whether that’s food, hot water etc. There are many ways to change our perspective that can help fight off those negative thoughts. Trying to gently shift your mindset will help you on your journey to managing your depression.

          Featured photo credit: De Visu via shutterstock.com

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          Jenny Marchal

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          Published on May 3, 2019

          8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

          8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

          Are you frustrated by why on earth you can’t lose any weight? Have you ever wondered if you don’t actually know how many calories you eat in a day?

          How much exercise do you ACTUALLY get? Why does nothing seem to be working!?

          If any of those questions sound familiar, then read on. Because I am about to show you some of the best tools you can use to pull yourself out of that rut!

          If you can relate, I’ve been there too. In fact, if it helps your situation at all, I think most of us have at some point or another. Most people feel like, at some point or another, they reach a plateau. It’s that exasperating place that seems to keep us from moving forward (or is moving us slowly).

          How can we break past this point? How can we start to see results and have the momentum to keep moving forward? The answer is simple:

          To have a game-plan and know exactly what is going on inside your body.

          Let me put it this way, in your business, do you go into work figuring you’ll find something to do once you get there? Probably not. You know exactly what needs to get done and you have a game-plan (a task sheet or to-do-list) to get you there. You might even have a few different “games” you play with yourself to make your work more enjoyable or listen to a motivational speaker to make sure your morale is up.

          The same goes for fitness. If you really want to excel at your fitness goal, then you need to have a game-plan for success. You need to know what will keep you motivated, how to simplify things, how to be more efficient at your goals, and even find what you enjoy the most.

          If you’re blindly trying to chase your goals, then you probably feel about as hopeless as a carpenter with a butter-knife. So, it’s time to stock your toolbelt for success!

          I am about to show you the top fitness apps that will be game-changers for you. From nutrition trackers to step counters, these apps are sure to set you on the fast track to your fitness goals.

          Keep reading to find the apps which might just shoot you past your plateau and into the lifestyle you dream of.

          1. MyFitnessPal

            When it comes to favorite fitness apps, this one takes the cake (The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan cake that is).

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            MyFitnessPal is the best all around calorie counter that I have found on the market. This app is free, and has almost all the calorie counting resources available to you. Not only does it seamlessly estimate the daily calories needed to hit your goal, but it also gives you the methods to track it.

            Just enter the ingredients into each meal and it will add up how many calories you eat. Indulged in a burrito? No problem! Just scan the barcode and it will enter that in for you.

            Going a step beyond that, this app also tracks your macros (according to your own customized goals) and nutrients.

            While that all seems impressive enough, this app also tracks exercise calories and can sync to Fitbit, MapmyRun, and other apps to measure your exact energy ratio.

            If you want a one-stop map to success then this is it! This will not only help you develop a gameplan, but will also create a flexible plan to get you there.

            Get MyFitness Pal here!

            2. Fitbit

              I know you’ve already heard about this app before, and for good reason. Fitbit has been helping thousands step their way to health since it first came out.

              While investing in a Fitbit may not be cheap, I believe it to be well worth the investment.

              Fitbit will track your total amounts of steps each day. For those of you who are competitive, this is the perfect app to keep you moving throughout the day.

              This app can also sync with other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, to measure your exact energy expenditure each day. It’s a keeper for sure.

              Get Fitbit here!

              3. MapMyRun

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                This is another one for the competitive, beginner, or exercise enthusiast alike. MapMyRun measures the distance that you run and even tracks your route. And, you can sync your daily results with MyFitnessPal to keep track of your daily calorie burn.

                If you want to go at it with a friend, you can challenge them in competitions that are sure to keep you both moving!

                Once, my boyfriend (Now Husband) ran for 2 miles just before midnight to beat me in a competition that was ending the next day. Talk about motivation!

                MapMyRun is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves, love to be apart of a fitness community, or want a place for friends to hold them accountable to their goals.

                Get MapMyRun here!

                4. Zombies, Run!

                  Are you having trouble pulling away from entertainment to go out and run? Then why not combine the two?

                  ZombieRun is a fun app that is sure to get you moving if you are someone who is motivated by a good time. In fact, you might even have such a blast you will forget that you are exercising!

                  This app takes you through a story-line makes you the hero. Each level will present a new challenge to help you progress and keep things exciting.

                  And don’t even worry about your pre-workout. Imagining you are the hero in the story will be enough to keep your adrenaline pumping on it’s own.

                  Just be sure not to move too slow or the “Zombs” (As we runners affectionately call them) might catch you!

                  Get ZombiesRun here!

                  5. Prepear

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                    Are you tired of sitting down for hours and trying to strategize what to eat? This app helps cut this time in a quarter.

                    Simply add online recipes into your weekly meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and it will organize all the ingredients you will need into a shopping list.

                    With all your meal planning in one organized area, it will be easy to find which meal you plan to make for the day. This will keep your healthy recipes delicious. You will seriously never have to fret about meal planning again!

                    Bye Bye paper shopping lists! And Bye-Bye fast food! You won’t be needing that anymore!

                    Get Prepear here!

                    6. Strava

                      If walking is your health resolution, this one might be for you!

                      Strava was actually sent to me by one of my clients for me to track his daily walking. This app is sure to get you into healthy habits that you enjoy. In fact, you might start losing weight before realizing that you’ve even been exercising.

                      This app enables you to track your trails and mileage, take pictures, and invite friends to join. It is a keeper for beginners and hikers alike.

                      Get Strava here!

                      7. Aaptiv

                        If you find yourself at the gym and not sure what to do, then this app might be for you.

                        Aptive gives you workouts to do and instructs you how to do them.

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                        While there’s nothing quite like the accountability of a personal trainer, Aptive is a great way to be guided through exercises without having to dish out tons of money.

                        The online instructors will guide you through the movements and keep you focused on finishing the workout. This app is sure to make you a gym rat in no time!

                        Get Aaptiv here!

                        8. Freeletics

                          Here’s one for those of you always on the move! Freeletics is an incredible app designed for people who just don’t have the time (or motivation) to drive down to the gym.

                          Freeletics provides online workouts designed specifically from bodyweight. No equipment is needed!

                          You will be surprised at what a great workout you can get without any equipment.

                          That’s right, you work-travellers — Say goodbye to your excuses because this app is bringing the trainer to you!

                          Get Freeletics here!

                          The Bottom Line

                          These 8 apps are sure to revolutionize your fitness goals. Guesswork will no longer be a part of your fitness journey. These apps are like carrying professionals around in your pocket all day!

                          Get ready to be motivated, informed, and ready to start achieving your dreams! Good luck on your fitness journey!

                          Featured photo credit: Marion Michele via unsplash.com

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