We all go through periods when we feel ‘low’ or sad, but if you notice that these feelings are lasting longer or are worsening, this could be a sign that you are showing symptoms of depression. Depression affects both men and women, of all ages and ethnicities. This mental health condition is increasingly common yet, according to the WHO, less than 10% of people suffering with depression receive treatment.
What are the common signs and symptoms to look out for?
Symptoms for depression can vary and can present themselves differently depending on each individual. Some of the common signs that you may experience if suffering with depression can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Intense sadness
- Irritable mood
- Feeling worthless and hopeless
- Low energy and feeling tired all the time
- Not wanting to take part in everyday tasks you used to enjoy
- Not looking after your hygiene and physical appearance
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight loss or gain
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty making decisions
10 self-help tips for dealing with depression
Here we outline 10 ways you can look after yourself if you think you are showing signs of depression. We would also recommend that you seek professional help to prevent your condition from worsening.
- Set yourself achievable daily tasks – setting yourself achievable daily tasks can provide direction in the daily flow of life, and give you a sense of satisfaction when you tick off completed tasks.
- Exercise daily – take up some form of exercise. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can benefit the body and increase your endorphins, a chemical in your body that makes you feel happier.
- Set a sleep routine – good sleep hygiene can regulate your body clock. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day can help you to achieve a good and regular sleep pattern, which can have many positive effects on your mental health and wellbeing.
- Eat healthily – try to maintain a healthy diet. Some people find their appetite is affected when they are suffering with depression; however, it is important to eat healthily to keep well.
- Take care of your personal hygiene and appearance –simple things like taking a shower, getting dressed in clean, fresh clothes, and styling your hair can make a big difference to how you feel.
- Keep in touch with family and friends – try not to withdraw from people who care for and love you. Talking to a trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling can help you to process any thoughts you are having.
- Try to be positive – at the end of every day, write down three things you are grateful for. Reflect on these the next morning and try to remember the positive things about your life.
- Get outdoors – Evidence suggests that being outdoors has many beneficial health factors and can help to lift your mood. Why not try taking a walk in the park or along the beach?
- Do a regular hobby you enjoy – this will focus your mind on something you enjoy doing, which may be learning a new language or instrument, cooking, art or photography.
- Be kind to yourself – making time for yourself can have a positive effect on your mental state; relax and reward yourself for the little steps you are taking to get yourself back on track.
If you feel that you need to speak to a professional, Priory Wellbeing Centre in Dubai offers counselling for many different mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and stress. Contact us on (+971) 4 245 3800.