Natural depression remedies tend to get a bad rep when pitted against prescription medications. The truth is, some people can achieve positive results through a more natural approach. The eight non-prescription depression remedies we’re about to cover are not a replacement for needed medication. But they may help you transition to non-prescription solutions.
Depression is painful. You hurt in ways you never thought possible. In ways that are difficult to explain to others.
Feelings of sadness, helplessness, doom, and negativity take a toll on the mind and body. While a prescription can help alleviate some of the pain, it’s only a temporary band-aid. Depression meds are designed to help you find traction while you discover and address the source of your depression.
Natural Depression Remedies That Cost Nothing
You can begin reversing depression by making seemingly basic changes to your everyday. These changes will cost you nothing but commitment.
#1: Follow a Routine
A gentle daily schedule is important to beating depression. Don’t let one day continue to blur into the next. Instead, establish a daily routine and follow it. This returns structure to your life. It goes hand-in-hand with the next remedy.
#2: Set Goals
Depression is often co-occurrent with a negative self-image. You may feel like you’re a failure or unable to accomplish anything. Prove that those negative ideas are wrong.
Set daily goals. Start with one goal and add to it each day. As you achieve your goals, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. This is a great way to push back against depression and rebuild positive self-image.
#3: Get Enough Sleep
It’s no secret depression interferes with sleep. Not getting enough sleep, though, that can make depression worse.
You can promote a healthy sleep schedule by making simple changes:
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Adopt a relaxing unwind routine and follow it before bed.
- Get up at the same time each morning.
- Avoid cat naps during the day.
- Keep the cell phone, tablet, computer, and TV out of your bedroom.
#4: Get Active
Exercise! It’s not everyone’s favorite thing, but it has benefits.
Physical activity temporarily boosts endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good chemicals. By exercising regularly, you encourage the brain to rewire in positive ways.
You don’t need a gym membership to get active. You can easily adopt an around-the-house workout. Walking two to three times a week is another great way to get active. It has the added benefit of helping with the next remedy.
#5: Bask in the Sun
Did you know a link has been found between vitamin D deficiency and depression?
In a 2013 meta-analysis published by Cambridge University Press, researchers found low levels of vitamin D increase the risk and occurrence of depression. Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D for most people.
Bask in the sun! Get outside. Take a walk. Sit in the sun and meditate.
There are lots of positive ways to get sunlight, and it can help lessen depression. Plus, regular sun exposure can lower the risk of a future depressive episode. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
#6: Cut the Caffeine
Caffeine reduces serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels are associated with a higher risk and occurrence of depression.
If you drink lots of coffee, soft drinks, or energy drinks, you have three options. Look for “no caffeine” replacements, cut back on how many you drink daily, or cut these drinks out entirely.
#7: Encourage Positive Thoughts
The fight against depression takes place on a mental battlefield. Most of the work you’ll put in to counter it will occur in your mind. This is why cognitive behavioral therapy has been so useful in treating depression.
Challenge your negative thoughts. You’ll soon find that many of them are irrational. It’s likely you won’t see any evidence to support them. Instead, you’ll have an opportunity to encourage positive thinking.
Have you ever noticed how “positive thinking” and “forward thinking” are interchangeably used? There’s a reason for that.
Positive thinking keeping you moving forward. Negative thoughts stall momentum. When they take control, depression is often the result.
#8: Stay Active
Depression is tiring. You might decide to slow down or limit your daily responsibilities to compensate. You may think it will give you time to heal. While it could be advisable in some situations, taking on your daily responsibilities is important to battling depression.
Staying active by maintaining your lifestyle creates a grounding effect. It produces a sense of accomplishment that you can reflect on daily to counter the depression.
Don’t pull back from your life. Power forward. Stay active in your responsibilities.
Don’t Suffer Quietly
It’s tempting to avoid sharing your struggle with others. Suffering quietly isn’t a good way to battle depression. It’s so important to find the support you need.
Talk to your doctor about your depression. They are a qualified resource for finding additional support beyond the natural remedies you can implement on your own.