Although depression is a common problem, each person’s situation is unique and requires a unique approach. However, several common lifestyle concerns can block you from healing. If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, these are 12 things you should avoid.
1) Don’t dismiss your problems: They aren’t going to solve themselves. Even though it can be unpleasant to begin the path, seeking help and confronting your problems is the only way ahead.
2) Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol: It may make you feel better in the short term, but it does not fix anything and can soon lead to new problems. It also has a depressive effect, which makes other recovery efforts more difficult.
3) Avoid staying in bed or allowing your sleep patterns to get disrupted: Insomnia can worsen sadness, and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is the best way to avoid it.
4) Do not confine yourself to your home: You should focus on maintaining social contact if at all possible, but if you can’t, at the very least get some fresh air and sunshine. Spending time outside has been shown in numerous studies to be an effective way of preventing depression and anxiety.
5) It’s easy to get caught up in video games or other virtual distractions, but don’t go too far: At best, it’s avoidance; at worst, it isolates you even more from the outside world, allowing your issues to spiral out of proportion.
6) Resist the impulse to listen to depressing music: It may reflect your current mood, but it is unlikely to help you feel better.
7) Don’t obsess on negative news and media: Bad news sells, yet it presents a negative perspective of the world that is unrealistic.
8) Don’t compare yourself to others or your life to theirs: You’re almost likely not seeing the truth, and coming up short will simply make you feel worse. This is especially true on social media, where the majority of people only post the highlights of their lives.
9) Never feel bad about being depressed: It’s a disease having hereditary as well as environmental causes. IT ISN’T YOUR FAULT, YOU AREN’T WEAK, AND YOU CAN’T SIMPLY SNAP OUT OF IT.
10) Try not to ponder too much about the future: Especially if it always leads to catastrophization, when all you can think about is the worst-case scenario. When something good happens, try to be present in the moment.
11) If you don’t have a grasp on your difficulties, think twice about starting a new relationship: It isn’t fair to the other person until they are fully involved, and any relationship failure caused by your depression will be devastating to both of you.
12) However, do not believe that you can overcome depression on your own: Would you refuse medical treatment for a chronic physical disease? Consult trusted friends and family members, as well as seek expert help.
Finally, and most importantly, never give up hope. There will come a time when life will feel significantly better, and regardless of how you’re feeling right now, that day will arrive sooner than you expect.