Coming out of depression even with medication and counselling is a tricky affair. The way out of this unending dark staircase is taking small steps every day and not overwhelming self with tedious tasks. Morning is the most positive time of the day and also the best to establish healthy routines that can make one feel elevated. There are days when one is not able to muster courage to even get out of their bed. But taking that one step can prompt you to walk a bit more and feel better than before. For instance, making your bed, brushing your teeth, or stepping out in your balcony for some sunshine can help establish the right pace for the day. Multiple studies have shown the effectiveness of routines and healthy habits. (Also read: 5 quick exercises to cope with anxiety and depression)
Depression or major depressive disorder is a common and serious medical illness that negatively impacts how you feel, the way you think and how you act. People suffering from depression encounter persistent sadness, lack of interest or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy earlier. It can also disturb sleep and appetite. Other symptoms include tiredness and poor concentration.
Brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth seems to come instinctively to those who have a sound mental health. But for people with depression and other mental health issues, it can be a tedious task considering they have very low levels of energy in general.
“In general terms if we understand, depression leads an individual to the level where they feel that they are drained out of energy. So, for someone to deal with depression the first thing they need to do is get up from the bed and get into a habit of ‘one step at a time’ i.e., go to brush their teeth,” says Shiya Sagar, Counselling Psychologist, co-founder, HopeQure in an interview with HT Digital.
Get some sunlight
Sunlight can boost happy hormones and can do wonders for people with mental health issues.
“Go outside for some sunlight in order to decrease the level of melatonin which will also help in keeping their mood elevated for the day,” says Sagar.
Regular wake-up time
Having a regular morning routine can be a great way to set yourself up for a successful day, particularly if someone is dealing with depression.
“Establishing regular wake-up time can be helpful in keeping the body’s biological clock running smoothly and improving the sleep quality, which can improve the symptoms of depression,” says the expert.
Sagar says taking a few minutes in the morning to practise some basic breathing activities or mindfulness can help one focus their mind and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, two factors that can worsen depression.
“Exercise (both heavy like weight lifting or light like yoga) has also been proven to be an effective treatment for depression as it releases endorphins hormones, which serve to improve your mood,” says the psychologist.
Eating a balanced breakfast each morning can also help to regulate your blood sugar and give your body the energy it needs to make it through the day. Taking a few moments each morning to think about what you’re grateful for can help to refocus your attention away from negative thoughts and bring about a sense of contentment, according to Sagar.
“Finally, journaling the disturbing thoughts early in the morning from the night and indulging in morning affirmations like ‘I am worthy’, ‘I am capable to overcome challenges’ and ‘I am resilient’ can also prove to be helpful in dealing with depression,” concludes Sagar.
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