Yesterday we took a look at all the ways self-help can cross the boundary and become hurtful to those with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Where we take time to learn all the steps and attempt to blindly implement them into our lives, we become obsessed with self development and end up trapped in a yo-yo of motivation and failure. If you haven’t read that yet, you can quickly check it out to make sure you’re not already stuck in this infinite loop, and give yourself the best start in tackling your depression: Where Self-Help Becomes Self Sabotage.
Today we’re gonna heed the warnings of the previous post, and bare them in mind while we take a look at three easy techniques to help deal with depression today. Just a few easy-to-implement changes can both improve your mental health and work on your personal development, without overwhelming yourself. Let’s jump straight in!
Seek Medical Attention for Your Mental Health
The first step in your self-help journey is to get the help you actually need. As we covered in the previous post, an attempt to quickly improve our lives and mental health forces us to take on more than our depression and anxiety will lend us the energy to undertake. We need to take it slow. Any long lasting change comes at a snail pace, bit by bit, slowly tweaking our routines to add in a positive technique or two each month. We simply cannot rush when it comes to changing our lives and improving our mental health. If you’ve spent your whole life living a certain way, how can you expect to change it overnight? Another point to note, is that mental health issues aren’t just in the mind. By the time they’re bad, there’s all sorts of chemical imbalances in your body. That all needs fixing too. Sure, you can self regulate chemical balance, but its hard, and slow, and dangerous to put off the inevitable. See your doctor, tell them what’s happening, and get the medication you need. Don’t put it off another day. If you need convincing, and you still haven’t read the previous post, do that now: Where Self-Help Becomes Self Sabotage.
Start Meditating Every Day
Meditation is a practice with a plethora of health benefits, and it’s effect on our mental health and outlook are extremely potent. No, the point is not to clear your mind, or to fall asleep, or any of the typical misconceptions. It’s your daily ten minutes to check in with yourself, and let thoughts flow freely through your mind. It’s our time to breath correctly, and to learn to deal with thoughts and feelings positively. As an independent practice, meditation should not be ignored. For the sake of ten minutes per day, making meditation a recurring part of your daily schedule should be your first effort in recovery.
There are many ways to meditate, but some awesome people have made it very easy for us to learn. Simply download the Headspace app and start the ‘take ten’ introduction. Ten, ten minute sessions over ten days, to show you the ropes. That’s all it takes to get yourself on the path to long term mental health improvement.
Take a Walk and Listen to Audiobooks
In an attempt to tip-toe around the cliche that is ‘get some fresh air,’ I really cant state enough the importance of getting out for a walk! Okay, okay, so I’ll admit that fresh air really does help, but that’s not what I care about here 😉 The main benefit comes in the form of exercise and routine. Each day you’ll be out in nature, performing one of our most basic human functions. You’ll burn calories, you’ll work through your thoughts, and you’ll improve your overall health and longevity.
You can supercharge this practice by plugging in a set of headphones and subscribing to a site like audible. Here you’ll have access to great books, and be able to simply listen and gain knowledge while you walk. You can opt for fiction and go off on epic adventures, or take the non fiction route and discover topics like philosophy, psychology, self-development, history, nature, and more. Not only will you be reaping all the benefits of getting in a daily walk, you’ll also be learning and growing. This is a daily practice that I’ve adopted myself and have loved ever since!
You can Sign up for your free trial today and get a full book of your choice instantly! Choose from new releases, best sellers, and more, in a totally non-commital membership. Cancel anytime within the first 30 days and you will not be charged a penny.
Take Up A Simple Workout Plan
Exercise is important in both physical and mental health. Improving our longevity, bone and muscle density, our chemical balance, our discipline, and more, a resistance training program is one of the most important aspects of a person’s self development. They don’t have to be complicated or difficult, and we don’t all have to be body-builders. Bringing in a simple and structured plan like Stronglifts 5×5 or Starting Strength is more than enough! You can download the apps, log your reps and weight as you go, and not worry about anything. A progressive workout in under an hour! No stress, no knowledge. Just plug in and go…
Overtime we’ll lose weight, gain muscle, improve our mobility and functional strength, and gain confidence in ourselves and our capabilities. It’s not an instant cure for mental health issues, but it is a suppressant and long term solution for at least some of the issues that fuel a depressive mind. What’s more, we’ll be more in line with our basic biological function as human beings. We’ll be more efficient in pushing, pulling, squatting, and lifting. Win/win!
So hopefully you see that just a few easy techniques to help deal with depression are enough to get you started, without filling your schedule with hundreds of new things. You can work these changes into your routine right away, with little to no adaptation. All in all, its a sacrifice of just 10 hours per week, in exchange for more happiness and overall growth. Over the next few days, we’ll take a look at improving our sleep patterns, eating and drinking well, and developing a realistic routine for daily growth and development. Be sure to follow to get an email notification when those posts are published, and share this series with any of your friends you think this could help. I hope you take inspiration from this post and get started right away. Until next time!