Steps to Reduce Depression
1. Daily Meditation- Meditating just 5-15 minutes daily has been found to have significant health benefits and is an effective method to manage anxiety, decrease stress, improve mood, regulate hormones, and stabilize blood pressure just to name a few.
~ See Mindfulness meditation under “Some Simple Techniques” on this web site.
2. Getting Adequate Sleep- Giving your body the rest and relaxation it needs after a long day of activity is vital to your emotional, physical and mental well-being. Typically adequate sleep consists of 8 hours of optimal sleep efficiency.
~ Optimal sleep efficiency is when it takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes to fall asleep, sleeping throughout the night uninterrupted for 8 hours and waking up at your desired wake up time.
3. Eating Regularly From All Basic Food Groups- Eating proteins, carbohydrates high in fiber, a variety of fruits and veggies, eating vegetables that cover all the colors of the rainbow and eating nutritious nuts.
~ In addition, drinking enough water, taking a multivitamin and regular intake of fish oil high in omega-3 is recommended.
~ If maintaining adequate blood sugar and energy levels is necessary, it is recommended to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. For example, eating a substantial breakfast, then a snack of yogurt or nuts, a balanced lunch, then a fruit or veggie snack, dinner and then a light snack of hummus and carrots 1-2 hours before bedtime.
4. Exercising- Getting 30-40 minutes of exercise at a moderate intensity 3-5 x per week has many psychological and emotional benefits. Common mood-boosting chemicals include: endorphins and serotonin levels.
~ Exercise has also been known to improve self-esteem, enhanced mood, improve memory and mental functioning, and decreased stress levels.
5. Learning Mindfulness Based Cognitive Skills - By being proactive and regularly learning and practicing MBCT skills you will learn new and effective ways of managing your fluctuating moods. These skills include: mindfulness skills, Thought regulation skills and emotion regulation skills.