300 million people worldwide suffer from depression according to the World Health Organization.
You may be one of these people, or a loved one may be.
Many people do not know that, rather than immediate drug treatment, they can start taking practical measures at home that can have profound effects in their lives.
Many doctors and health professionals are more than ever recommending methods of self-care for anxiety.
What methods are available? How can you apply them? Check out our list of 7 self-care tips for dealing with anxiety.
Get Enough Sleep
There is strong evidence to show that sleep levels affect the seriousness of depression. Whilst a lack of sleep may not cause depression, over a period of time it can make it worse.
In many societies today, people do not get enough sleep. They work late, live stressful lives and are expected to rise early to meet expectations. Caffeine and other substances can affect the sleep they get.
Gaining a degree of control over their schedule and getting sufficient rest is the key many people need to gaining control over their lives.
Exercise is well known as a natural treatment for depression. It stimulates blood flow to the brain and causes the body to release Endorphins.
While many of us know this, applying it on a regular basis is another matter. A daily routine of reasonable exercise is a powerful treatment for the body and mind.
You may not feel up to a full gym membership. Yet, can you jog in your neighborhood? Take up tennis with a neighbor? Or simply borrow their dog and take it for a brisk walk each day. It all adds up to meaningful exercise.
Eat the Right Things
Many people who are depressed find it hard to motivate themselves to eat quality food that will genuinely benefit them.
One study of 46,000 people found that correct diet and fat reduction diets can all reduce the symptoms of depression.
The same study concludes that a specific or strict regime is not necessary. Rather general good habits of eating foods that are beneficial and crucially avoiding foods that are processed and high in fats is enough to make a fundamental change.
Fruit, vegetables, whole grain, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy, and antioxidants rather than processed foods gives the body a chance to rebuild with quality materials.
Say “No” More Often
Depression is made worse by expectations. Other peoples, or worse, our own. If burnout or unreasonable work conditions are part of the reason for depression, learning to say no can help.
Incessantly saying yes, when really you need time to care for yourself is damaging. Not only do you see yourself losing control of your life, but you run the risk of deeper depression and burnout as you try to carry out their every wish.
It often seems wrong to say no to others. However, with planning and tact, you can help others to find the help they need elsewhere. This leaves you with valuable time to care for yourself.
Getting organized is a simple but powerful tip that many overlook. Simply tracking and planning time, finances, work and finances in a better way can give you a sense of control.
Start with baby steps, such as a time planner pinned to your refrigerator. When you see this working, move to time planners that help you to get a head start on tomorrow by packing your bags today.
You will feel immediately at an advantage as you go to work prepared and more able to face the tasks of the day.
Better organization can help you to work out how much time you need to give to tasks and how much you can claw back to regain a healthy work-life balance.
Reading books is always beneficial, however reading books specifically on self-care is more so. Reading of others experiences in overcoming depression can give you hope and inspiration.
You can read books about people who have experienced the same things in life as you. You can learn to deal with it as they did.
Learning from their coping and treatment methods can help you to analyze your own situation and judge what even small changes may do for you.
Other books may not be directly related to depression but are a form of entertainment. Studies show that a lack of personal time is a direct contributor to burnout.
Get Outside for a While
Getting outside is not only a way of leaving the office. Getting into the outdoors gives you the opportunity to breath fresh air, enjoy brief exercise and to practice mindfulness.
In Australia, doctors monitored women who were prescribed 200 minutes of walking each week. After some time, they stated that they had more "energy, socialized more, felt better emotionally, and weren't as limited by their depression."
Getting outside can help you to overcome fatigue and even cope better with symptoms of burnout. At the same time, it can help a person to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
When Self-Care for Anxiety Is Not Enough
Self-care for anxiety is proven to work. However, sometimes life conspires against us and we need professional help, even if just for a short time.
If this is you, why not check out our blog to see what help is available. We have articles on a range of subjects including depression, anxiety and even anger management.
Alternatively, see our contact us page to ask us directly what we can do for you.