The emergence of COVID-19 was harmful to people’s health – both mental and physical – and disastrous for the global economy. Mental health cases in the United States ascended as more people found their minds succumbing to fear and uncertainty. Stress and depression are interrelated. When a person is stressed, his/her brain releases more cortisol, dubbed as “stress hormone.” More cortisol and less serotonin lead that person to depression. That’s why professionals recommend strategies to reduce one’s stress since they directly treat depression. Mental health patients often find it challenging to cope with stress, so here are ten doctors-suggested methods to manage one’s declining mental health.
1. Regular Exercise
Science shows that regular exercise uplifts your mood and keeps you happy. Physical activities induce the release of hormones such as adrenaline and endorphins that promote delight and merriment. Just working out for 20 minutes/day is sufficient. You can try yoga or join a nearby gym with your pals. It keeps your mind (and body) engaged and provides you a feeling of satisfaction afterward. That’s how your workout routine assists you in this fight against depression.
2. Eat Healthy Food
Different studies show that diet and mental well-being are interlinked. Thus, one can cure/prevent mental disorders by consuming a nutrition-rich diet. A lack of essential nutrients leads to symptoms of depression, e.g., zinc deficiency. Depression can reduce your appetite, so patients sometimes don’t eat all or overindulge in ingestion. It’s important to bring moderation in your meal intake. Eat fruits and vegetables while abstaining from liquor consumption since it’ll just make you more stressed.
3. Get Some Sleep
People suffering from mental sickness also encounter trouble sleeping. They often have a hard time falling asleep and, in the morning, struggle to get out of bed. That’s why experts suggest some ways to induce sleep and find an adequate amount of rest. Don’t stay up late at night and stop using electronic devices an hour before bedtime. Find relaxing activities (such as book-reading) before going to sleep. Also, stop yourself from working in your bed since it’ll just feed your depression.
4. Professional Help
It’s important talking to your therapist/counselor. Some are confused about the difference between counselor and therapist from a professional viewpoint. Counseling lasts longer than normal therapy (except for psychotherapy that is even more long-term). Counseling focuses on a broader range of issues as well, while therapists study you and your personality. Also, counselors are professionals, but therapy isn’t a profession. But both experts help patients adjust to their lifestyles comfortably.
5. Purge Negativity
Depression makes a person have negative thoughts in his/her head; these negative thoughts give rise to low self-esteem and make you pessimistic. That’s why some professionals recommend CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). This remedy attempts to change the pattern of negative thoughts for the elimination of depression. You can also start being more positive by noticing the good things around you. Make yourself more optimistic about the future and give this depression time to heal.
6. Stop Procrastinating
Depression leads to fatigue, and the patient begins losing concentration. That’s why you start finding procrastination enticing. But that’s a trap! Procrastination will make your mental health decline more rapidly. That’s why it’s essential to create a schedule and stick to it. Compel yourself to do activities tempting to you since schedule-obeying will bring balance back to your life. Set deadlines for yourself and adopt time-management skills. These skills will prevent you from procrastinating.
7. Pleasurable Events
Engage yourself in activities you find relaxing and comforting. Remember that maintaining a healthy social life is important. Stress and depression force you to withdraw from society and thrive in isolation. Push yourself to be among friends. Compel yourself to retain your social connections as isolation emboldens depression. Visit a nearby café, watch a movie, or hang out with buddies to entertain yourself. Gradually, you’ll realize how much you missed these small moments before.
8. Express Yourself
Depression attacks one’s creativity. So, patients should find depression by being more innovative and imaginative. Experts recommend journaling as an effective way out of depression with writing skills. You can write openly about your thoughts and feelings in a journal. It’ll help you discover more about yourself and understand your mentality clearly. Or you can express yourself by pursuing other recreational means such as painting, dancing, composing music, sewing clothes, etc.
Practicing self-engagement helps you control your emotions and escape negative thoughts. It’s also called mindfulness or staying in the present. Brooding over past events and horrible experiences is unhealthy for one’s mental health. Also, self-judgment hurts your confidence and lowers your self-esteem. Self-compassion and healthy engagement with oneself promote one’s self-worth and allow the patient to live in the present. That’s how you learn to love and cherish yourself.
10. Support Network
Finally, remind yourself that you’re not alone in this fight. Effective treatments of stress include – besides therapy and medication – developing a support network. Now, this network differs from person to person. Some people find emotion among friends and family while others pursue a fun activity to cure stress/depression. Support groups also provide emotional strength, much needed to maintain confidence.
People suffering from stress/depression may find solace in strategies recommended by professionals. They involve regular workouts, nutritious meals, adequate time management, being social, and abstaining from liquor consumption. Patients should also seek therapy/counseling and find emotional support through activities they enjoy or hobbies they deem pleasurable.