If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, the most important thing you can do is find the support you need to manage them effectively. However, even if you’re getting help, it can be incredibly beneficial to make lifestyle changes that reduce your stress levels, boost your mood and help relieve depressive symptoms.
The lifestyle changes below can help with depression and anxiety, and they’re all healthy habits that can become part of your everyday life.
So, without further ado, let us get straight to the topic.
- Do regular exercise
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat depression and anxiety. Physical activity releases endorphins, which will help bring positivity to your mood.
The more you exercise, the more endorphins you’ll release. Anxious people tend to be depressed or vice versa because they’re feeling so much stress in their life that they need a way to combat it.
Getting into a routine with exercise will help relieve some of this stress and give your body a break from all the tension it’s experiencing.
Make it something you enjoy doing, whether yoga or running on the treadmill for an hour every day. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do; ensure you are consistent.
- Seek professional help
Seek professional help when you are struggling with depression or anxiety. They will help you learn to manage your symptoms and prevent a relapse.
There is no shame in admitting that something is wrong with you and that you need medical support, as there might be consequences for waiting too long to get the help you need.
If you’ve been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor about medications and ketamine treatments (both of which can be helpful).
Ketamine for anxiety is an effective medication for moderate to severe cases of treatment-resistant depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain relief that requires constant care.
Even those suffering from psychological trauma linked to events such as car accidents may find relief by opting for ketamine therapy.
- Get enough sleep
Getting quality and adequate sleep is one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make to help relieve depression and anxiety.
Sleep deprivation can cause or worsen both conditions’ symptoms and contribute to other health issues. It’s recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.
In addition, a study published in Sleep Medicine found that participants who experienced insomnia had higher levels of anxious thoughts than those who didn’t have insomnia.
The study also found that people with insomnia were more likely to report symptoms of depression. So, if you’re struggling with sleep at night or experiencing excessive daytime fatigue, see your doctor without much wait.
- Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important lifestyle changes to help with depression or anxiety. It might seem like what you eat doesn’t impact your mental health, but it does.
Opting for a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats can greatly alleviate your mental and physical health.
It is recommended to avoid processed foods, sugar-laden treats, fast food restaurants for lunch or dinner, and food additives.
In addition, get rid of bad habits such as drinking and smoking to bring positive lifestyle changes in your life and help you in your fight against depression and anxiety.
Moreover, take care to hydrate yourself by drinking at least six 8 oz glasses of water every day. You’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel overall.
- Bring more positivity
It can be hard to make changes in your life when you are feeling depressed or anxious. You may feel too overwhelmed, unmotivated, or stuck to take any steps forward. But there is hope.
You can do many things on your own to help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. These lifestyle changes have been shown to improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms in as little as two weeks.
So take a moment now to identify one change that might work for you:
- Write down three things each day that made you happy. If they don’t come naturally, find something every day until it becomes a habit.
- Limit caffeine intake to less than four cups daily (tea/coffee counts!).
- Take time for yourself each night before bed and opt for relaxation techniques like deep breathing or music.
- Find one new hobby and try it (try painting if you love color, gardening if you enjoy being outside).
- Get rid of bad habits that might push you toward depression, stress, or anxiety.
- Set realistic goals
When you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, it can be hard to imagine a better life. You might feel hopeless and that things will never get better. But no matter how bad it feels, you don’t have to stay stuck forever.
It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself so that you know what small steps are within reach. Write out your goals for the next three months, then break them down into smaller tasks.
For example, try simple things:
- I will go outside for at least fifteen minutes every day this week.
- I will call a friend every day this week and share my problems with them.
- I will try to do things that alleviate my mood each day this week.
Depression and anxiety are two of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States. One in five adults in the United States has a mental disease (52.9 million in 2020).
Unfortunately, when many people think about how to treat depression and anxiety, they turn toward medications or expensive therapy sessions that don’t address the root cause of the problem. But lifestyle changes can hugely impact depression and anxiety and do so affordably and sustainably, which is why they’re such an important part of treatment plans.
The abovementioned list outlines some of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to help treat your depression and anxiety.