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Some tips for combatting depression/anxiety. I hope they can be of help to some people. I find that following these tips helps me a lot.
1. Identify when you are anxious and DO something about it
RELAX: use a breathing technique, going somewhere quiet and just relaxing for a few minutes (perhaps a few minutes outside and listening to birds or watching the world go by), mindfulness (look up online, also involved in yoga) and meditation, listening to relaxing music.
OR ACT: tell someone how you feel if they’re bothering you, stop procrastinating, often this involves just committing to making a decision even if you don’t really like the options you have
This step also involves realising what might be at the root of your anxiety/depression altogether. Is there something in your life that’s actually really bothering you and you’ve just been ignoring it? And more importantly, is there something you can do about it?
It’s also important to identify any negative thinking styles (Moodgym, an online cognitive behavioural therapy course, or some self help books – eg. David Burns Feeling Good, the New Mood Therapy will help with this) and start to counteract by identifying when you think the thoughts and then counteracting by questioning how true/false the thought is and trying to look at things in a more positive perspective and then deciding on your next step (stop mindreading/work on relationship with such and such etc.)
Ditch caffeine in the evenings (or even altogether), wake up at the same time every morning and go to bed same time every night. Your body craves routine! Try not to eat too late as it will disrupt your sleep but make sure you’re not hungry going to bed as you’ll find it very hard to get to sleep then
Can be hard to get going but will help sleep. Running is good as it helps get rid of all the adrenaline so it decreases anxiety and the cardio of course is good for your overall health. Running has also been shown to increase what is called neurogenesis – making new brain cells. This process is decreased in depression but can start up again in response to exercise such as running. It takes maybe 3-4 weeks to kick in though. (The same as antidepressants which work by the same method it is proposed ) Yoga can be great for relaxing too. Put on some quiet music and soft lightingand away you go at your own pace. You can find videos on Youtube You could even go for a walk if you didn’t like the sound of running or yoga. Whatever works for you! :D And don’t forget exercise means endorphins and endorphins mean less stress, more happiness! :D
4. Eat well
Eat regularly and well. Try to feed your body nice healthy food. If you get IBS this really helps. Keeping a food/sleep/activities diary can help show if foods you eat/tiredness etc. are triggering IBS symptoms/irritability/low mood.
5. Do things that make you happy/relaxed
Even if you are finding it hard to get enjoyment out of things you used to, still try to keep it up. Whatever you do, don’t give up and go into rebellion mode and stop doing normal everyday things. Even if you don’t get any study/work done, try to make sure you’re doing SOMETHING. Watch your fav. TV show, play/listen to music, go for a walk outside in sunshine, read a book. You will feel better when you get active as you won’t feel guilty/lazy for not doing anything. Set small goals for yourself e.g. today I’m going to tidy my bedroom and shower and get to bed on time. The more you accomplish them one at a time, the more you can start adding to the list! :D
6. Surround yourself with positive people or people who are good for you/supportive
No point wasting your time with people who will bring you down :D
Best wishes to all and peace out,
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