According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 264 million people struggle with depression worldwide and it is the leading cause of disability in the US between ages 15 and 44.
Those numbers are staggering.
However, while depression continues to take a toll on the minds and bodies of so many people, many natural and healthy coping strategies have been discovered. A lot of these methods boil down to the routine by which you live your life, from the foods you eat to the amount of sleep you get. Getting back to a healthier you has never looked so achievable.
Now, allow us to toss in a slight disclaimer: we’re not going to pretend like we’re any kind of medical authority here, so if depression becomes a serious concern in your life or the life of someone you love, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor right away.
When you get lots of sleep, you feel better. When you don’t sleep, you feel terrible.
It doesn’t get much more simple than that. Sleep affects your mood because it’s your body’s time to recharge, and just as a phone can’t run very well on 5%, neither can your body. Depression and sleep have a love-hate relationship since poor sleep can lead to depression, but depression can keep you from getting a good night’s rest.
The best plan of action to combat this is to set up a sleep routine and stick to it. Designate a specific time to go to bed every night and wake up every morning. Do not take your phone to bed with you. Turn off all screens well before you start your wind-down routine and leave them lifeless until you wake up. Read a book or journal for 20 minutes before light’s out instead of scrolling your newsfeed.
A study by Duke University proved that exercising will, in fact, lessen depression, and can be just as effective as medication. Brisk exercise, such as a cardio or aerobic workout, for thirty minutes a day three times weekly will decrease depression symptoms and can keep depression from returning long term if exercise becomes part of one’s regular routine. This could be as simple as a brisk walk around the neighborhood, a bike ride down a local trail, or a jog around a city park.
In addition, yoga can have seriously positive effects on reducing symptoms of depression. Yoga works on both mind and body as your breathing guides you from one pose to the next. By monitoring your breathing and mindfully holding each pose, you learn to focus your mind on one task, which has an unbelievably relaxing and grounding effect.
Alcohol is actually a depressant, so consuming it while struggling with depression can indeed worsen symptoms. In addition, alcohol can be quite dangerous when taking other medications, including antidepressants. If you do find yourself wanting to sip on something in the evenings, consider caffeine-free tea or perhaps sparkling water, and leave the alcohol on the shelf.
We’re talking Vitamin D. It’s likely you’ve heard of seasonal depression, brought on by the gloomy weather patterns and chilly temperatures in certain areas in the US. Aside from the need to be cooped up inside for the wintry months, cloudy days don’t supply very much Vitamin D, and lack of Vitamin D leads to cloudy moods and a poor immune system.
Depression is linked to the amounts of Vitamin D in your body, making it important to get outside into the sunshine. Consider using your exercise time to get outdoors instead of getting to a gym. And if the weather is the prohibiting factor, chat with your doctor about including a Vitamin D supplement in your diet.
Like a car, your body works best when it is well-fueled. If you feed your body highly processed, overly sugared, greasy foods, it’s going to break down on you real quick. In fact, how well your immune system functions directly correlates with how healthily you eat.
This also links to depression, as certain foods will make symptoms worse, while others, such as fish, nuts, veggies and poultry can make a huge difference in relieving symptoms. Not to mention the fact that you’ll feel better from the inside out, which can have a direct effect on your mental state.
When building out a healthy eating plan, considering incorporating MCT oil powder into your diet. MCT, standing for medium-chain triglycerides, works in the body to decrease brain inflammation, a known contributor to depression symptoms. Additionally, MCT oil powder works to boost the immune system -- a weak immune system is a gateway for a number of mental health issues, including depression, while a strong immune system helps the body fight symptoms of both physical and mental ailments.
There is peace in knowing that a diagnosis of depression does not mean there’s nothing to be done. In fact, it’s quite the contrary! The way you live your life, from your sleep routine to your eating habits to your exercise schedule, directly impacts the state of your body, physical and mental. So if you’re searching for ways to boost your mood and naturally cope with depression symptoms, introduce Vitamin D and BUBS MCT Oil Powder into your diet, and get a good rest at night and a good workout during the day to slowly transition yourself back to a healthy mental state.