Natural Treatments for Depression
I missed a blog post last week. The reason for this was that I’m just having a stupidly busy week (busy for my ultra-sensitive standards…!)
Sometimes, I miss doing things I’m meant to be doing – not because I’m busy, but because I’m not feeling well.
There’s a whole world of difference between the types, intensities and stages of depression, which I’m not going to delve into during this post. The aim of this article is to provide you with some simple and natural (i.e; non-medical) remedies to relieve the symptoms of mild depression.
Opinions on the use of antidepressants vary wildly from person to person – I believe that while they shouldn’t be doled out like sweets (which seems to happen all too often now), each case is individual – and at the end of the day, it’s whatever you need to bring yourself back to a functioning centre.
So let’s look at a few ideas on how we can naturally help ourselves wade through that shitty bog.
Now, I’ve split this post into a couple of parts. This is because people who are looking for tips on how to assist with depression are usually currently suffering with it. Therefore, you won’t want to be reading a bloody great essay.
So, here are simply 2 ideas. When you are ready to think about more, I will link to the next post here. (When it has been written…!)
Colour/Light – We’re becoming a bit more aware of the effects of light on the mood nowadays, with the recognised diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the lamps available that recreate natural light. I have still not tried one of these; all I know is that I hate light bulbs. Probably because I end up blowing them unintentionally every so often.
If you are in lighter months, then it’s a must to carve out some time and find a place outside, where you can simply ‘be’ and get some sunlight. If you’ve forgotten what the sun looks like in the depths of winter then an additional thing to try with your SAD lamp is colour. You can also get coloured lights/lamps; or those fabulous water columns that create coloured bubbled light (and often have plastic fish inside).
Colour is simply a form of visible light, and each colour vibrates at a different frequency. Therefore, different colours can help to rebalance the bodies’ energies and bring us back to centre. The colours needed can vary from person to person – although some colours are very stimulating and may be useful for one person, they may be overstimulating in another.
The colours used should take into consideration what factors may be contributing/ have contributed to the depression in the first place, but as a general guide, oranges, indigos and small amounts of yellow are likely to help.
Exercise – Ironically, exercise can help short-term by boosting the level of endorphins (those ‘feel-good’ chemicals) released by the body, as well as providing long-term benefits when practised regularly. I say ‘ironically’, because when you are depressed exercise seems like probably the last thing on earth you want to do – and even if you want to, it may seem like a physical impossibility.
On particularly bad days, I have had experiences of it taking me 3 hours to leave the bedroom, and get showered and dressed. To anyone else, this seems to just be a case of me being a lazy cow or feeling sorry for myself. But to me it felt like I had to use every ounce of my internal strength just to be able to get to the ‘control seat’ of my body to get it moving.
Every completed task, however small, is a victory – which in turn will help to build up enough momentum to propel you forwards. So do not think you have to complete a strenuous workout. Simply move as much as you can. Don’t hate yourself if you can’t; you would not expect yourself to do it if you had flu or a sprained ankle.
Expect to encounter a level of resistance when you try to do this. Learn to embrace this resistance, as it acts as a guide for you. Think of it in terms of a rubber band. You have to push against that resistance to stretch yourself and change the current situation; but without resistance, an already world-worn elastic band would simply snap instantly.
Look out for Part 2, where I will cover another couple of useful remedies to help you.