Top Seven Things I Personally Do To Stave Off Depression

By Marie Allred - August 17, 2018





I've found myself in the depths of depression more than once before, and I've started this blog as a way for people to connect with both myself and each other and to find friends and refuge from those who do not understand what it's like. In this post, I've compiled a list of the top six things that have helped me during these times. So, without further ado, let's dive in!

Support Systems: For those suffering from any kind of depression or mental illness, a support system is a necessary part of managing and coping with that illness. I know that it's difficult or perhaps even seems impossible, but everyone needs people in their life that they can count on and allowing your depression to convince you to isolate yourself is a recipe for disaster.

Exercise: Exercise is a great and scientifically proven way to get the endorphins flowing. Start small at first, take a walk around the block or down to the street corner. Maybe find an exercise partner and do some light jogging or go to the gym.

Go Outside: One weekend I was at home gardening with my mom, when she put down her trowel and started digging with her bare hands commenting, "I heard that having skin contact with the dirt while your working or gardening for a few minutes is a natural antidepressant." I thought she was crazy at first, but after following her lead and doing some research on studies about it afterward I'm convinced. You don't have to stick your hands in the dirt if you don't want to though. A strange as it sounds, the simple act of going outside and getting natural light and air has proven to have a powerful impact on our mental and emotional well-being.

Find an Activity that Forces You to Fully Engage, then Do that Activity: I've found that reading or playing a musical instrument works very well. I'm a bit of a nerd, but as I learned in high school, doing some physics has always helped me to engage my whole mind in one thing and it has worked wonders in helping me to focus and to forget about my mental illness for a while.

Do Yoga and/or Meditate: A friend of mine works at a behavioral hospital in Houston as a yoga and meditation instructor for mental illness and has offered some free lessons outside of work which I have attended and been very impressed with. As a person who has struggled with anxiety and depression since my early teens, I found it very helpful for remaining calm and focused.

Make a List of Everything You are Grateful For: I know you're probably thinking, "Marie, I can't just be happy on a whim like that, you know that's not how depression works!" But just hear me out. I'm not telling you to be happy, I'm just telling you to name a few people, places or things that you are glad exist and I promise that simply having those things in your mind takes a bit of the edge off of mental illness.

See a Professional and Discuss Your Concerns With Them: Seeing a therapist and having a guided conversation about your emotions and concerns is valuable and I would recommend it to anyone who feels strangled by the weight of their mental illness. For some people, a combination of medication and therapy is the best choice, for others just therapy and for still others, there are more options out there. Probably the most important thing to remember about this is that you should not let anyone else's opinion make you decide what is and is not right for you. My whole life my mom hated the fact that I was on medication and she disliked my decision to continue to stay on it, however, I knew what it was like with the medication and what it was like without it and I knew my own body well enough to choose the treatment that was right for me regardless of what she thought about it.


Thanks for reading, and for more tips and information, or to talk more about this, or anything else, please contact me. Thanks.

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