7 quick fixes for depression

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In this blog, we will discuss a few quick fixes for depression.

We will also briefly discuss what clinical depression is and what you can do to help yourself if you have clinical depression. 

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Quick fixes for depression

Here is a list of a few quick fixes that you can try out for depression:

  • Exercise and engage in physical activity
  • Hang out with friends
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Groom your appearance
  • Watch funny or meaningful movies
  • Talk to family
  • Create a to do list and do them
  • Do something kind
  • Appreciate the little things. 
  • Make art

Before we take a look at all these quick fixes for depression, you have to understand that depression or clinical depression is not a simple disorder and it does not just “go away”.

If you suspect yourself of having depression, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get professional help. 

Start by making an appointment with a young GP who can assess your health and refer you to a therapist or a psychiatrist who can help you get the help you need. 

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

You can also choose to visit or make an appointment with a healthcare service provider or  use these resources from the NHS that you can make use of if you are suicidal, depressed, or engageing in self harm. 

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19
  • If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
  • Self Injury Support webchat (for women and girls) is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm to 9.30pm
  • CALM webchat (for men) is open from 5pm to midnight every day

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.

Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts. 

Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives. 

People with depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.

This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts. 

While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death. 

Let us take a look at the various things that you can start doing to deal with depression:

Exercise and engage in physical activity

If you need a quick mood boost, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to engage in exercise- be it running, or playing a sport, or even a leisurely walk around the neighbourhood. 

The activity that you choose to engage in needs to be vigorous so that your mind is distracted from negative thoughts and also your heart is pumping enough blood to your body and brain. 

Hang out with friends

Feeling connected with other people can be so healing to those experiencing empathy fatigue and depression.

Take time to go out of your way, push yourself to reach out to people you trust and care for you and talk about what you are struggling with. 

Choose to allow yourself to be loved and cared for by them and allow yourself to be vulnerable with those who want to help you. It might be scary but social connection and a sense of belonging and love is crucial to your mental health. 

Reduce alcohol intake

It is important that you choose to engage in positive and healthy habits to help you feel happier instead of consuming alcohol. 

However, if you decide that you need a quick drink, the key is to drink moderately or less than in order to help you feel relaxed instead of being drunk. 

Drinking alcohol can be dangerous when you mix it with a condition that is marked by negative feelings and thoughts as self medicating with alcohol to distract yourself from depression can easily lead to addiction. 

So it is important for you to be extremely mindful of what you drink and how much you drink as well as how frequently you drink so as to avoid dependency. 

Groom your appearance

One way to make yourself feel good is to groom yourself- this means giving yourself a nice warm bath, washing and conditioning your hair, even getting a new haircut or a changing hair colour, going to the spa etc. 

This can be one way of taking care of yourself and treasuring your body. Another thing you can do is to wear your best clothes and style yourself before heading out for a quick walk or a movie or a coffee date with yourself or with friends. 

It is often the case that when you think you look good, you also feel good about yourself which can be a positive mood boost. 

Talk to family

Connecting with loved ones in the family, talking to them about how you are feeling can be a great way to help you feel positive and supported. 

If you don’t want to talk to them about your mental health, you don’t have to. You can instead choose to talk to the ones you love about their day or about things you both love or you can even do things together like watch a movie or go out for ice cream etc. 

Create a to do list and do them

Feeling accomplished is a great way to help yourself deal with negative feelings and this can help you feel less low and less depressed or negative about yourself. 

So what you can do is to make a to-do list with goals that you want to accomplish. However, you have to make sure that the list involves goals that are SMART. 

Make goals for each day and let your goals be small, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound, 

Don’t wait for motivation or inspiration but simply start by doing the most simple, small step you can take.

Make plans for your day that suit your pace- if today is especially difficult, make a step by step plan from your bed to the bathroom in the mornings. 

Reward yourself when you succeed and be kind when you slip up. Remind yourself that you are learning. 

Do something kind

When we are able to feel that we are efficacious and doing something worthwhile can be a great way to feel more positive about ourselves. 

One way you can do that is to help others by doing something kind by engaging in generous behaviors. Do simple things that are kind without the expectation fo being appreciated for it. 

Do it just because you can. This does not mean you do things that are over the top but rather doing things that are simple and small are just as good. 

Appreciate the little things. 

Take time to be mindful about the things you have in your life that makes your living easier or more happier. Be grateful for them.

It could be your family members, your pet, or the fact that you have a car to commute with instead of standing in the hot sun waiting for the bus. Sometimes when we focus on the negatives for too long, we forget to appreciate what is already going on in our lives.

Take a moment of your day to reflect on the things that make you comfortable or happy, and let that gratitude be part of your daily life and the way you see your life. 

Make art

Art can help improve and maintain mental health. There have been plenty of studies and reviews that have been conducted regarding the use and efficacy of art and art therapy for the intervention of mental disorders as well as for improving mental health and resilience. 

Art heals by creating a connection between mind and body. It forms mindful and intentional exercises where you are in a state of flow and mediation which lead to positive experiences, positive emotions, and even meaning which all adds to a positive mental health. 

So if you need a quick mood boost, create something artistic be it with paint or with craft paper. What is important is that you allow yourself to create without judgement and without the need for it to be perfect. 

Conclusion

In this blog, we have discussed a few quick fixes for depression.

We have also briefly discussed what clinical depression is and what you can do to help yourself if you have clinical depression. 

FAQ related to Quick Fixes for depression

What is the fastest way to treat depression?

The fastest and the best way to treat depression is to get professional help.If you suspect yourself of having depression, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get professional help. 

Start by making an appointment with a young GP who can assess your health and refer you to a therapist or a psychiatrist who can help you get the help you need. 

Can you just fix depression?

No. One cannot fix depression. You have to understand that depression or clinical depression is not a simple disorder and it does not just “go away” nor can it just be fixed easily. It takes deliberate effort and treatment to treat depression.

Is depression permanent or temporary?

Depression as a disorder can differ in terms of how long it persists as well as how seever it is. 

Depression can either be  mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe and persistent. For example, clinical depression and it’s subtype such as dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder tend to last longer than depressive episodes and is considered more or less permanent. 

References

Raj Raghunathan. The Top 10 Happiness Quick-Fixes. Psychology Today. Retrieved on 28th April 2022. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sapient-nature/201304/the-top-10-happiness-quick-fixes

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