The Best Self-Care Practices for Depression
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Depression is the most common mental health issue worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly five percent of adults experience regular feelings of depression. Untreated mental health issues like depression can affect all areas of a person’s life. Alter Wellness Care provides evidence-based and personalized programs for individuals struggling with depression. We can help you develop self-care routines and coping skills.
The Importance of Self-Care in Depression Recovery
Many people with depression have difficulty with everyday responsibilities and basic tasks. Preparing meals, cleaning the house, or maintaining personal hygiene sometimes becomes overwhelming. Self-care allows you to prioritize your health and comfort if you struggle with depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy.” Alter Wellness Care offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and partial hospitalization program (PHP) for individuals struggling with mental health disorders. Early diagnosis and treatment can make it easier for people with depression to create self-care routines.
Self-care provides the following benefits for individuals in treatment:
- Increased self-worth and self-confidence
- Fewer mood swings
- Decreased stress levels
- Better overall health
- Increased motivation and energy
How you treat yourself will affect how you feel and how others treat you. Prioritizing your well-being motivates long-term positive changes that will help you heal from the side effects of depression and related mental health issues.
6 Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care
Depression makes it harder to feel motivated and make necessary lifestyle changes. Decrease the symptoms and side effects of depression by incorporating these six forms of self-care into your daily routine.
#1 Set Achievable Goals
Positive long-term change requires you to have realistic goals to work toward. The first step of self-care is to set achievable goals using sustainable motivations. Many people find it helpful to break down larger goals into smaller ones.
Some examples of achievable daily goals include:
- Eating a healthy breakfast
- Doing the dishes
- Saying “no” to overtime requests at work
- Spending time with your loved ones
#2 Celebrate Successes in Your Recovery
Every success in your mental health recovery is a moment to celebrate. Reduce negativity by choosing to focus on achievements and positive experiences. You can also connect more with loved ones and members of your support system by sharing your successes and celebrating with them.
Many people celebrate the following:
- Reduced symptoms
- Trying new things
- Maintaining positive routines for a set period
- Achieving personal or professional goals
#3 Try New Activities and Hobbies
Being willing to go outside your comfort zone to try new things can increase your self-confidence and sense of self-worth. In addition, activities you enjoy can motivate you to keep moving forward in your recovery. You can combine many hobbies with mindfulness techniques to improve your overall mental health.
#4 Engage in Positive Social Relationships
Social interactions significantly affect your mood and mental health. Avoid isolating yourself. Use the tools you learn in treatment to increase how much time you spend with the people who mean the most to you. Healthy relationships encourage positive changes and can keep you motivated during challenging times in recovery. Chat with your support system regularly and spend time with social groups that share similar interests and life experiences.
#5 Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Quality sleep is essential. If you experience sleep disturbances like insomnia or oversleeping, it can affect your mood and overall well-being. Most adults require seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Set a sleep schedule to ensure you consistently get the recommended amount of sleep.
You can quickly improve your sleep routine by doing the following:
- Removing distractions before you attempt to fall asleep
- Sleep in a comfortable place with few or no lights
- Try to fall asleep at the same time each night
#6 Take Care of Your Body
Regular exercise, nutritional meals, and proper hydration impact your mood and how you cope with stress. Dietary deficiencies and physical discomfort can worsen symptoms of depression.
You can take better care of your body by doing the following:
- Eating properly portioned nutritional meals
- Exercising at least two and a half hours a week
- Staying hydrating by drinking the recommended amount of water each day
Make Self-Care a Part of Your Daily Routine
Self-care is incredibly effective in reducing the severity and frequency of depression symptoms. Mental health professionals recommend that people with depression focus on the following eight areas of self-care:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The eight areas of self-care . . . are interrelated—when you neglect one, others may suffer.” Look after your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being by maintaining regular self-care and making it a normal part of your daily routine. Alter Wellness Care uses evidence-based methods to teach essential life skills that will help you maintain self-care.
Depression affects millions of people each year. The symptoms and side effects interfere with personal and professional relationships and decrease quality of life. Self-care is an excellent way to reduce the symptoms of depression and reduce your risk of developing co-occurring disorders. In addition to improving mood and general well-being, self-care also increases self-confidence and self-efficacy. Confidence can increase the effectiveness of traditional treatments like prescription medication and psychotherapy. The mental health experts at Alter Wellness Care provide clients with the tools they need to feel more confident about their ability to heal and recover from depression. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (866) 311-3510.
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