Ways to Treat Depression without Medication

For many people living with depression, medications can be wonderful drugs. Antidepressants can have side effects and be expensive, depending on your medical aid plan and the limits imposed. There are ways to counter some symptoms of depression that don’t involve prescription medications. If you have depression, you might like to try and manage it naturally. Look at these alternatives then talk to Laurian Ward about which treatment regime may work for you.

Natural Ways to Manage Depression

Always take symptoms of depression seriously, as this doesn’t just go away on its own. While there are many things you can do to support your mental health, don’t try to handle your symptoms alone. Talk to Laurian Ward and discuss some self-help strategies that may support your treatment.

Get More Sleep

Sleep and mood go hand in hand. Get too little of the former and the latter is bound to flag (if you have depression or not). Make sure that you have “Good Sleep Hygiene”. This means you keep a consistent bed and wake-up time, your bedroom is arranged for sound sleep (dark, quiet and uncluttered), you have a relaxing bedtime routine that does not involve sitting in front of a screen.

Whether you can’t seem to get any sleep or can’t seem to stop sleeping, there are steps you can take to try and improve the quality of your sleep.
• Give yourself a period to unwind before you go to bed, do something relaxing and avoid stressful tasks or thoughts.
• Go to bed at the same time every night, and set an alarm that you wake up at the same time each morning.
• Have a consistent bedtime routine.
• Turn off your devices and try reading a book for a few minutes.

Try to also spend time outside each day, even on days when you are tempted to draw the shades and hide indoors. Light plays an important role in regulating sleep cycles, so lack of sunshine may be making it more difficult to sleep at night.

Cut Back on Caffeine

Coffee, tea, soda, and even chocolate is filled with caffeine. It’s ok to indulge in a reasonable amount of caffeine in the morning, but if you do, don’t consume caffeine after late afternoon. It could interfere with your sleep. If you tend to rely on caffeine, try cutting back gradually in order to avoid unpleasant symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. If you are craving a soda or a cup of coffee, try going for a walk around the block instead.

Get More Vitamin D

There is evidence that a deficiency of Vitamin D could play a role in depression. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D through your diet and lifestyle (like sun exposure), talk to your doctor to get a supplement. Certain nutrient deficiencies can play a role in depression symptoms. If you have difficulty spending enough time outdoors or if it is overcast weather conditions, supplements may be helpful.

Tap Your Spirituality

For many people dealing with depression, religion can be a source of support. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful for can help boost mood and overall well-being. There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise.
1. Sit comfortably
2. Close your eyes
3. Breathe naturally
4. Focus on how your body feels while you breathe
5. When your mind wanders, redirect your attention back to your breathing