Depression can be a brutal grind, but you don’t have to lie down and wait for it. By taking control of your life today and applying some simple, memorable rules, you can fight back. Here are seven life hacks for handling with life after depression treatment.
1. Get Physical
People say it all the time but that’s only because it’s so true: get physical. Getting active is one of the best possible ways you can offer yourself depression treatment. When you get out, you’re rejecting the draw to isolate yourself, providing yourself with a means of measurable progress, and getting vitamins that directly affect your mental well-being.
With depression, it’s easy to stay indoors and fall into a rut, but if you go outside with a purpose and turn it into a habit, you’re conquering that enemy. When you give yourself a way to measure your progress from day to day, you can overcome the crippling feeling of inertia.
2. Get Clean
While it’s true that you should keep up on your personal hygiene, that’s not quite what this life hack means. Beyond yourself, you should also keep the area you live in clean. Tend to your chores not when they need doing, but ahead of time. Don’t let your living space have a chance to fall into disrepair and neglect because that can make everything seem much more hopeless. If you start moving in that direction, then it can be hard to find the motivation to get back to the cleanup path you were on because after all, how much worse can it really get?
By tackling your problems before they become problems, you can prevent that dark temptation from ever taking hold. Clean your dishes when there are only a couple of cups on the sink, sweep the floors every week, and keep your home looking good enough that you could entertain company at any moment. The last thing you need is yet another excuse for why you can’t have a friend or family member over for a visit.
3. Get Nutrition
A better diet is far more impactful than most people realize. On the surface, you have the obvious benefits of losing weight, getting the vitamins and minerals you need, and being able to feel better about that. However, that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. When you eat better and prepare your own meals, you’re cutting down on the cost of always eating out or buying prepackaged foods. Few people think about the two-hit combination of eating poorly and paying a king’s ransom for it, but the connection is strong.
On top of that, cooking for yourself builds key routines. Going to the effort of preparing a meal and then directly experiencing a delicious reward for it is a great way to trick your body into wanting to do it again. Cooking dinner every night naturally segues into doing the dishes and settling into a routine that simply doesn’t allow your depression to ruin your night.
4. Get Rest
A good night’s sleep is critical, but everyone knows that. Nobody hears “You should get more sleep” and comes away with anything other than “Duh.”
The key lies in figuring out the best way to get more sleep. Is your problem that you have to wake up early, that you can’t seem to sleep until late in to the night, or that you toss and turn in the hours of sleep that you do get? If you want to solve the problem, you first have to know the problem. For each of these, there are solutions, but they may not all be equally viable for your situation.
If you’re struggling to wake up early, then maybe your body is just wired that way. Instead of forcing yourself to get up early and put yourself through torture, see what aspects of your life you can change to accommodate your needs. If you’re taking early classes, consider switching to online courses if you can’t find open classes later in the day. If it’s your work, have a talk with your boss and see if any accommodations can be made. Asking is the hard part, but having a clear answer is better than wondering.
5. Get to Work
It may feel incredibly unintuitive, but taking on responsibilities can actually be can effective way of depression treatment. If you’ve got someone or something depending on you, then you can find motivations to work beyond yourself. Getting a pet is one classic example. Tending to their needs for their sake makes it much easier for you to tend to your needs, if not for your sake, then for the sake of your animal companion.
Of course, plunging headlong into new responsibilities isn’t the right choice for everyone. For some, the crippling fear of disappointing others can lead to conditions worsening. The initial burst of enthusiasm only to be followed by defeat, and the harshness of this reality setting in can be a risky combination. Take your steps slowly and consider talking to both loved ones and medical professionals before putting a heavy burden on yourself.
6. Get Help
The hardest step for many is sharing their deepest concerns and fears with others, but sometimes, it’s exactly what you need. Opening up with friends, family, and medical professionals can lead to serious growth and healing.
However, it is important that you clearly distinguish between your sources of support. If you come to rely on unqualified friends and family to provide you with medical expertise, then you’re not doing anybody any favors. If you need to see a therapist, then see a therapist, don’t force one of your loved ones to play the part.
7. Get Well
Bringing it all together and creating a definitive plan for your future can be tough, but you only need to take it one step at a time. Different approaches work for different people. Maybe you need to see a therapist first and then sort out your home from there or maybe you won’t feel comfortable seeing a therapist until you’re fitter, eating better, and have a cleaner home. Whatever your approach is, the key is that you take your first step today.
Omega Recovery is an addiction treatment and depression treatment center located in downtown Austin, Texas. Omega offers a full continuum of care for addiction and mental health disorders: Aftercare, outpatient, residential treatment and sober living. We offer depression treatment, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, trauma, codependency, technology addiction, drug and alcohol addiction, and more.