It’s very important to understand that there is a difference between situational depression and a chemical imbalance. You cannot cure a chemical imbalance on your own. You may need medication. Therefore, if you cannot identify a reason for your depression, please consider professional treatment. But, if you are sad because you lost your spouse, mother or someone else close to you (or another incident that shook up your life), it’s possible that you can get better on your own and cure depression yourself. It does take some work, though.
Socialize More with the Right People – It’s important not to isolate yourself when you are depressed. Even though you may not feel like being around people, you should try. Choose wisely, though. You want to be around people who make you feel positive, who act positively, and who do not feed into negativity or cause drama.
Confide in the Right People – If you have friends and family that you trust, let them know that you’re struggling. Ask them to keep an eye on you and encourage you to eat right, exercise, and get out of the house. The right people can really help you put things in perspective and start feeling better faster.
Do Uplifting Exercises – When you’re depressed, your energy levels can be down and it can be hard to think of doing anything strenuous, but to exercise enough you don’t have to. You can do yoga, Pilates, walk outside, and even fun things like line dancing or join a bowling league to get out and about more.
Get Closer to Nature – Humans really need the Earth a lot more than the Earth needs them. Find ways to get outside more often so that you can experience the wonders of nature. Feel the grass under your feet, the sunshine on your face and the wind in your hair, because sometimes that feeling is all you have to hang on to. Plus, the vitamin D and fresh air will increase your serotonin levels exponentially.
Set Realistic Goals – Don’t expect to get better overnight. Getting well can take a while, but if you’re being careful you should start seeing a gradual improvement in your situation. Set goals for yourself that make sense. For example, don’t say that you’re going to walk 10K steps as it might not be the right time. Maybe you’ll commit to 2K steps, adding a little each day to work your way up to 10K steps.
Avoid Making Big Life-Changing Decisions – This is not the time to run out and buy a house, purchase something big on credit or do anything that could be life-changing. Put off these big decisions for a little while until you’re better. The one exception is if the reason you’re depressed is due to being with an abusive partner or in a dead-end job. Seek realistic ways to change either of those circumstances.
Pass on Alcohol and Drugs – It might seem like it helps to down a couple of glasses of wine each evening, but it’s not going to help. Neither will illegal drugs. If you’re going to use any type of drug at all, it should be prescribed by your doctor so that you ensure you’re getting it in the right doses to help your situation. For a while, just let go of using any drugs or alcohol so that you can focus on good nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
Seek Help If You Don’t See Improvement – If you’ve committed to certain actions and you’re sticking to your plan but you’re not seeing any improvement after about four weeks, it’s important to go ahead and talk to your doctor. You can start with your family doctor. They will do a comprehensive blood workup to check your vitamin levels first. If nothing is found, they may refer you to a specialist like they do with any other illness. There is no reason to be shameful about needing extra help.
If you notice that you are getting better and can pull out of it by doing the right things and taking care of your mind and body, you should be able to get through the depressive episode yourself. However, if you do notice nothing is helping after a few weeks, at least ask your doctor to do a blood test to find out if you have a vitamin deficiency or other imbalance before continuing your own.