Depression is one of the most difficult mental health problems to endure. The very things that help fight depression are the same things depression seeks to destroy your interest in.
Whether it’s exercise or just getting out of the house and out into the open, staying active is by far one of the most effective means of battling depression.
You Might Have to Force Yourself
Because of depression’s ability to make one lose interest in things they enjoy, recognizing and fighting back is key.
Even if you don’t feel like doing anything at all, that’s the time to get up and do something – ANYTHING.
A good way to ensure that you don’t fall into couch potato-mode is to put your outings and exercise on a calendar. Let the calendar and schedule be your guide.
Set goals, even small ones, so that you can feel productive. Little wins are what help chip away at the hold depression takes on your life.
Define Triggers for Activity
Another good way to get yourself moving is to define triggers. For instance, maybe you define a trigger as, “once I’ve spent more than 2 hours in front of the TV, I have to get up and walk around the block.”
For me, one of my triggers for running is good weather. If the weather is good, especially during a time of the year when it’s usually not, I force myself to go for a run instead of sitting in the house.
How Staying Active Helps Fight Depression
Exercise releases those feel-good chemicals called endorphines which have been shown to have long-term effects on curing and preventing depression.
By exercising, you’ll naturally feel better about yourself and increase your attractiveness. Both are things that will help keep depression at bay.
Staying Active isn’t Necessarily All About Exercise
Getting out with friends or going to a place where there are lots of people and just walking around is a great way to help escape the depression that makes you not want to leave the couch.
Personally, I hate the mall, but places like that can be great locations to spend time.
One of the most important things to do is always take up offers to go out with your friends. Depression will make you not want to go do anything, so when your friends or family come knocking, force yourself to go do things with them.
Conclusion: Staying Active to Battle Depression
Look, having depression sucks. It’s hard to get through it. But you can do it.
Develop a routine, and stick to it. Ask family and friends to make you accountable to getting up and doing something – ANYTHING.
With enough time and consistency, your depression will be a thing of the past.
Sources & Additional Reading:
Psychology Today: Eight Ways to Actively Fight Depression