The biggest key to overcoming depression is – Prevention.  Start to know your triggers, and avoid them.  Start setting boundaries.

Diet. Your diet should be high in calcium and B vitamins, cut out the refined carbs (breads, potatoes, pizza), and avoid sugar like the plague (donuts, chocolate, sugar cereals, muffins, pop).  Make your health a priority – for yourself, and others.

Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is often overlooked, but our body is made up of 95 percent water. When it does not have enough we often feel lethargic, grumpy, and get headaches. We also tend to mistake hunger for thirst, so before getting that bag of chips out — drink a glass of water.

Herbal supplements. Herbs contain many medicinal powers and can heal a variety of ailments. St. John’s wort is one of the most promising herbs for the treatment of depression. It is been used for centuries by people and cultures all over the world. A few of the other beneficial herbs include passionate flower, lavender, lemon balm, valerian, Oak leafy tops, And nettles. B12 & vitamin D. Take a multi vitamin.

Get enough sleep. Once in a depressed state, one of the two things could happen – you sleep too much, or you can’t sleep. An excellent way to ward off sleep irregularities is to create a bedtime routine and stick to it every single day. Take a soothing bath using Epson salts , drink herbal tea, or try melatonin.

Pay nature a visit. Help fight depression by spending at least 30 minutes a day outdoors. It is essential for us to connect with nature, especially during times of depression. Garden, walk the dog, take a hike, ride your bike, or go to the park.  Exposure to sunlight alone can do wonders, vitamin D is a good thing for depression!!

Use your hands to create. Make something beautiful, learn to cook, bake, work on your car, learn to crochet, write in a journal, take pictures, paint… Follow your heart and do what you love!! I enjoy coloring with the girls and playing the piano. Listen to positive, uplifting music.

Enjoy the presence of God.

Do something for someone else. When we are depressed, our thoughts often turn inward.  We begin reliving our hurts.  It’s therapeutic to be able to find meaning in doing good for others.  Along these same lines, praising God, even when we don’t feel like it, helps us take the focus off of us and our problems and on God and his leading.  Regardless of how we feel, if we lift up the name of Jesus, He will remove the cloud of discouragement surrounding us and give us His power and strength.  Put your trust in Him.  Constantly pray about everything.

Talk it out intellectually. Depression is not the cause of hopelessness and extreme sadness.. It is a symptom. If there is a specific problem you are having that is causing these feelings.. Hit it head on. Research solutions, meet with a therapist or counselor, set goals, and come up with a plan. Do not allow your problems to go unanswered. Hope is found in moving forward, step by step towards addressing issues.  Call a friend. It could be that we are afraid of becoming a burden to those that love us, but we must remember we are relational beings… Specifically designed to live in community with others.  Resist the temptation to isolate yourself and call a friend.

Exercise. If you aren’t exercising on a regular basis, I highly recommend it. There’s so many different forms of exercise. Yoga, aerobics, running, walking, even playing with your kids.

*Disclaimer – The information in this post is intended for educational purposes and does not replace medical advice.  If you are having an issue, please see your doctor.

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