My top tips for depression & anxiety

As a sufferer of depression and anxiety, I have found myself doing a lot of self help techniques over the years. I have suffered from both depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. And as a lot of sufferers know it can get worse over time. It was in 2010 when I was finally diagnosed with depressive disorder after going to the doctors as it got so bad one Winter. Getting treatment helped, but I still have to be mindful when dealing with it and have to help myself a lot. These are just some of the things that I find helpful to manage both my depression and anxiety. By no means am I claiming to be an expert or anything, nor am I medically trained, but these are just some of the things that work well for me.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways I can manage my depression. Whether it’s going to the gym or a dance class the benefits of doing exercise for just half an hour are incredible. It has an incredible way of lifting your mood and letting all those endorphins get to work during and after a session. Even if you can just get out for a short walk, taking part in some light exercise can really help fight depression.

Green Tea

I discovered green tea a few years back now. I first tried it and have to be honest, didn’t like it at all. But after my curiosity got the best of me I persevered and tried different flavoured green tea such as Lemon green tea or Jasmine which I found I liked, and also found that it did wonders for my head. I found that it would help clear it, make me feel more alert, I could concentrate more & it would also relax me. Green tea also has many other health benefits so is super healthy and good for you.

Baths

One of the things I found that really helps my depression is taking a nice relaxing bath. I’m not quite sure why it helps as well as it is does, but after a bath I always feel so much better and less depressed. It clears my head, melts all my troubles away and makes my body feel wonderful. I like to take a cup of green tea or water in with me, play some music and add something like a Radox bath soak to get the ultimate relaxing effect. I’ve also found it really helps me to sleep better if I have one before I go to bed.

Professional treatment

As well as self help there is of course the option of getting professional treatment. I know it’s not for and doesn’t work for everyone, but for me personally it has helped. After being diagnosed with depressive disorder I was put on some anti depressants called sertraline which worked very well for me and made a significant difference to how I felt. With me personally, I still do get low every now and then but it’s still not as bad as it was. There’s also talk therapy which I haven’t tried but has been known to make a noticeable and positive difference to alot of people.

Eating the right food

I’ve found that eating the right food can really help my mental health. Things like fruits and vegetables and just genuinely good food can really make a difference to how I feel mentally, compared to not so good food.

Keeping busy

I always try to keep myself busy. Whether it’s keeping fit to pottering round the house and doing something like cleaning or tidying up, I find even the little things can help perk you up and make me feel better.

Massage

This is something I’ve only really discovered in the past couple of years, but massage I find can make a difference to my mental health. The last time I got a massage was actually at the hair dressers where at some point when they’re washing and rinsing your hair you get a little head massage included as well, and it really made a difference to my head. I also try and make sure I go for a massage at a beauty salon regularly, it makes a significant difference to both my mental health and body. I also find that if I take a few minutes to give myself a little massage at the bottom of my neck it really helps clear my tension headaches.

Having a furry companion

Before my beloved cat Snowball passed away last year, I found out that she was actually very therapeutic and had great benefits for my depression. I would often find myself getting anxious or depressed at times, and just a few minutes spending time with and stroking her would really lift my mood. I think cats are pretty special anyway and have many amazing qualities, but they have also been known to have healing properties. It’s no wonder that pet therapy is so popular. If you can’t get a pet for some reason, you could always get yourself to a cat café or something. They are great fun & very therapeutic as well. Check out my blog post on the cat café ‘You & Meow’ in Bristol.

I hope that someone out there finds this useful or beneficial somehow. Depression and anxiety can be tricky and I know that not everything works for everyone and as I say I’m not an expert, but I find that these things really help me. And if at least one thing helps someone, then that’s great/it’s a blog worth doing.

Thank you for reading.

Natalie x

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