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Overcoming depression is a big accomplishment, but many live with the worry of relapsing or having depression symptoms return.
Don’t let fear take hold you back.
Getting over depression can take time, commitment and dedication. Preventing a depression relapse also takes a certain amount of commitment and dedication. Here are six ways you can take care of yourself in order to help you ease back into a depression-free life and make sure you stay there.
Keeping busy with activities and tasks can help you keep your mind off of negative emotions. However, taking on too much all at once or too soon can become overwhelming and lead to stress and anxiety, both which are depression symptoms. Know your limits and make sure to balance your life with responsibilities in reasonable amounts that you are comfortable with. There is no shame in easing back into your daily routine at your own pace.
Exercise not only can prevent depression in the first place, but it can also prevent a relapse. Experts say exercise acts as an antidepressant and an anecdote to stress. Choose an exercise that you feel the most comfortable with. Resistance and aerobic exercise can stimulate the body and relieve stress while workouts with a meditative focus, such as tai chi and yoga can focus and calm the mind.
To optimize your well-being, exercise should be paired with a healthy diet. A low-fat diet that includes fish, omega-3 and folic acid can help elevate your mood, while vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains have been associated with lowering the risk of depression. Avoiding alcohol and minimizing caffeine use is also advised.
Surrounding yourself with people who have experienced similar feelings and experiences can help you in feeling not alone. Those who have gone through depression and recovered from it can provide advice on how they were able to manage their depression and help you find solutions that best work for you.
Although you may feel better, the decision to end therapy or medication should be made with your doctor’s help. Doctors recommend taking medication for six to nine months after symptoms alleviate. If you stop using certain drugs, they may not work again when you back on them nor is there a guarantee that they will work the same again.
According to a 2005 study in the journal Sleep, insomniacs are almost ten times more likely to have depression compared to well-rested individuals. Rest and sleep is equally important in your depression recovery. Sleep has been shown to help regulate moods and is key to both mental and physical health.
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