As we delve deeper into the holiday season, we are surrounded by spooky activities, thankful banquets, and cheerful exchanges. This time of year, without a doubt, is easily everyone’s favorite. However, before we throw ourselves fully into all of the end-of-the-year festivities, let’s take a step back.
Did you know that October is Depression Awareness Month? Not only is this about spreading awareness, but it is also about breaking the stigma surrounding it all. If you are going through depression or have feelings of depression, know that you are not alone. Depression is normal and affects millions of people each year. It is absolutely okay to ask for help and seek professional treatment.
In honor of this month, we’d like to offer some helpful tips and tricks to alleviate overwhelming feelings of stress to help boost your overall mood. These tips are in no way an all-cure or instant-fix, nor do they replace professional treatment. Take it with a grain of salt and know that integrating them on a consistent basis can provide positive health benefits.
Sometimes, something as simple as breathing can make a huge difference. Take 3 minutes to do a deep breathing exercise. Try inhaling for 3 seconds and exhaling for 3 seconds. Focus on your breath. Repeat this exercise during the entire duration of the 3 minutes. By doing this, your muscles relax, blood pressured is lowered, oxygen delivery improves, and endorphins are released. This can help your body manage stressors more effectively.
Grab some Sunshine!
Take a moment to go outside and soak in all the sunlight. Sunlight can improve serotonin levels which is associated with feeling calm and boosting a person’s overall mood. A great way to incorporate this is during your lunch break at work or eating breakfast outside before starting your day.
With feelings of exhaustion and depression, it can be difficult to start exercising. However, time and time again, exercise is shown to be an effective and powerful tool to combat depression. Start off with an easy stroll around the block or stretches at the park. Get a friend involved! It can help keep you accountable and motivated.
Life is rollercoaster with extreme ups and downs. Sometimes there is no avoiding negative feelings or depressive thoughts, but these challenges can be opportunities to grow and improve for the better. In weakness, there is strength. Know that these feelings are normal, you are never alone, and you deserve to feel better. Just take it one step at a time.
<3 Hazel B.