10 Ways to Fight Depression Besides Medication

Millions of people in America and around the world suffer from depression. In the States alone, there are over seventeen million people who are battling depression, and the vast majority of them are dealing with severe and debilitating depression. While seeking medical help will likely result in continuous counseling sessions along with a prescription, many people have found a variety of ways to help fight their depression without taking a little white pill every morning and evening.

1. Go sit in the sun!

Sunlight Therapy
Sunlight Therapy

Your first thought may be “Yeah right! Burn and get cancer? That’ll help!” but in reality, enjoying some sun will actually help. It’s called light therapy, and it’s an amazing way to really relax your body, clear your mind, and restore a sense of calmness to your entity. If you’re worried about the sun, slap on some SPF 100 every half hour, but still go outside and enjoy it!

For those of you who live in areas without much sun, then consider going to a tanning salon. We’re not advocating going twenty skin shades darker than normal, so feel free to slather on the sun screen before entering the tanning booths. Instead, just enjoy the heat and warmness filling over your body and you’d be surprised what ten minutes in a tanning booth or sitting outside can do to you on a regular basis!

2. Gym membership

Pump it Up to Cheer Up!
Pump it Up to Cheer Up!

No matter what the reason is that you’re depressed about, you can fight it with muscles in the gym. While you may think we’re figuratively speaking, we’re not! In fact, your brain actually releases a plethora of hormones including endorphins. These endorphins give you a very pleasant euphoric feeling and help dull pain. Additionally, your body also feels more energized when you have a regular exercise routine.

So, with a gym membership you can not only fight your depression with hormones, but you can also boost your self-esteem and fight it physically as well. Release your anger, sadness, hate, or fear out on the machines in the gym and see dramatic improvements in your body as well. While depression may zap the energy from you and make you feel unmotivated at first, if you can push through with sheer willpower then you’ll be amazed at the results.

3. Balance your hormones

Balance the Body
Balance the Body

Millions of women suffer from hormonal imbalances that cause them to feel depressed on an intermittent or even continual basis. This is because hormones actually act as triggers for the rest of our bodies and can wreak havoc if left out of balance.

No woman likes to hear it, but consider your hormones first. These are so easily out of balance by an improper diet or poor health, and the truth is they actually can cause serious depression in women and frequently do. Speak to your doctor about your hormones because you may need to go on some medication to help balance them. If not, then consider sleeping more, changing your diet, reducing your stress levels, and exercising as ways to help balance your hormone levels out naturally.

4. Yoga

Stretch Your Body and Mind to Loosen Limbs and Rid Bad Thoughts
Stretch Your Body and Mind to Loosen Limbs and Rid Bad Thoughts

While yoga is technically classed as an exercise, it is something that you should consider taking along with your regular workout routine because its benefits are amazing especially for those suffering from inner turmoil.

Yoga isn’t about breaking a sweat or getting fit, it’s about balance and peace and calmness – something that many with depression need since they often suffer from anxiety as well. Yoga helps control breathing, allows you to clear your mind so you can focus on your body, and also works well for soothing your pain. Stretching and practicing various yoga poses can be done with friends as well, making it a great way for someone with depression to socialize.

5. Adjust your diet

Head Body, Healthy Mind Nourished by the Best Food
Head Body, Healthy Mind Nourished by the Best Food

While adjusting your diet may help normalize your hormone levels, it can also provide a myriad of benefits even if your hormone levels aren’t out of sync. In fact, foods can not only help increase your feelings of depression and fatigue and sadness, but they can also do the exact opposite.

Cut out soft drinks, fast foods, and harmful fats. Replace them instead with foods high in nutrients and proteins, ensure you’re getting tons of antioxidants from your fruits and veggies (add in some nuts as well!), and also eat foods high in fiber to feel full throughout the day and avoid over indulging.

6. Drink teas

Tea to Detox Body and Soul
Tea to Detox Body and Soul

Tea is a miracle drink in so many ways. It can be an energizing morning drink that provides you with the mental alertness and energy you need to power through the day, and it can also be a calming drink that relaxes you after a stressful meeting. Additionally, it can even help put you to sleep – something that anyone with depression knows is almost impossible at times. A full night’s sleep can dramatically reduce stress levels, maintain proper hormone levels, and help boost your energy for the day.

Tea is available in hundreds of different flavors and kinds so just because you hate one tea, doesn’t mean that there aren’t many out there that you will like. Tea is a great replacement for coffee and soft drinks because it provides caffeine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, and so much more!

7. Take up writing

Put those Thoughts on Paper
Put those Thoughts on Paper

Whether you blog anonymously online, or you write in your own private journal, putting your thoughts down into written words actually helps you offload and release stress. You can do so without feeling judged or persecuted for your feelings, and you can even use it as a progress book to see how far you’ve come over time. Write letters you never send to people who have hurt you, write messages to those you love, and simply write to yourself so you can read through it later. Writing is also a great substitute for those suffering from depression who don’t see a therapist on a regular basis.

8. Talk with someone

Coffee Talk Therapy
Coffee Talk Therapy

Seeing a counselor on a regular basis doesn’t mean you’re going to be taking prescription pills for the rest of your life. In fact, many therapists (not to be confused with the pill prescribing psychiatrists), actually advocate treating mild forms of depression with counseling instead of prescriptions. They will generally only advise you to see a psychiatrist if they feel that prescriptions will help aid temporarily and are necessary.

Once you’ve got a regular session set up with a therapist they will allow you to talk with them and won’t judge you. They’ll give you someone to cry on and will point you to books that may help as well as different ways of handling your stress and emotions for you to practice with.

9. Picking up a hobby

Paint Yourself a Brand New Outlook
Paint Yourself a Brand New Outlook

People with depression often suffer for hours on end sitting alone with their feelings. Pushing through that seemingly dark and horrible place and focusing on something else may be difficult at first, but if you pick up a new hobby then you may find it a lot easier. Find something that truly interests you – no matter how obscure it is. If you like photography, bird watching, fishing, or painting, get the supplies you need or go join a club. Practice it as often as you can and you’ll find that when you occupy your free time with something that stimulates your mind and relieves you from the oppressing walls of your room that you feel a renewed sense of happiness and freedom.

10. Life coach

Get Some Perspective From the Sidelines
Get Some Perspective From the Sidelines

Depression occurs for many reasons and can linger for months and years – leaving a person feeling worthless, unhappy, and unmotivated. Meeting with a life coach can dramatically change that. Life coaches can help you find a sense of purpose and motivation, something that was seemingly missing before. They can help you realize that your life goals are within reach, and help you create a step by step plan to reach those goals.

Life needs to be lived, and your goals need to be achieved so that you feel a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. A life coach can definitely help and is a great solution for anyone suffering from depression regardless of their job or financial standing.