I have been suffering from a major depressive disorder over the past few years. I have tried many treatments, however, I find these four ways to be most helpful in relieving my depressive symptoms. Even though it does not cure my depression, they help sometimes to give me a temporary mood boost. You may already be doing these things, but if not, you may want to give them a try to see if it helps alleviate some of your depression.
1. Open the windows and curtains, letting natural light shine into your home. If the weather is nice, you may want to open the windows and let fresh air in. I like to do deep breathing exercises while breathing in the fresh air. Often times when I am depressed, I would keep the curtains and blinds closed, leaving myself in the dark. As I have come to found out, being in the dark is not good for depression. Natural light provides sunlight, which may be a mood booster. Also, even when it is not sunny, I feel that natural light helps boost my mood more than artificial indoor light. If it is dark and dreary or the dead of winter, you may want to try purchasing a sun lamp to get a similar affect.
2. Distract yourself with mind games. Puzzles and games may be a way to distract yourself from negative thinking. Trying to solve a crossword puzzle or even a video game played on a console, computer or cell phone may be helpful. I think that an idle mind is a breeding ground for negative thoughts when you suffer from depression.
3. Try reaching out to family and friends. Some people may like to be alone when they are suffering from depression. I have realized for myself that being alone for a long period of time, or isolating, is not at all good for my depression. Being around people who I love and care for helps to boost my mood. It may be hard to be around people during those times, but even a telephone call to a close friend or family member may be helpful, even if you do not talk about how depressed you are feeling. It is a way of connecting to the outside world and forming bonds with people, which can also help you to form your own support system when you are down.
4. Smell something that you find to be uplifting or pleasant. I use hand and body soaps that have very pleasant scents. After washing, I notice a quick pick-me-up and temporary boost in my mood. Certain scents have the ability to make me feel better. One of my favorite mood boosting scents is lemon, which is an energizing scent for me. Certain essential oils may provide relief of depression, such as lemongrass and jasmine. This type of treatment is called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy may be beneficial to those suffering with depression by uplifting a person’s mood and energy level.