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Coping with Depression: Taking the First Steps Towards Healing

by Jennifer Longmore(more info)

listed in depression, originally published in issue 241 - October 2017

There is a saying that depression is blind and unbiased. In other words, this chronic mental health condition doesn’t care who you are; it can strike at any moment, to anyone. This applies to everyday people like you and me, as well as successful entrepreneurs or even world-famous celebrities.

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash by Cristian Newman

Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Cristian Newman

Cristian Newman

In an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illnesses such as depression, actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently came forward with his own previous struggles. “I’ve found with depression,” Johnson revealed to the world in a recent video, “one of the most important things you can realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it and you’re not going to be the last to go through it.”

Since no one - not even “The Rock” - is immune to depression, how can we cope with it? Luckily, there are many ways to work through depression and come out on the other side. The first step is to remove the stigma surrounding depression.

In fact, for many people it can be a powerful motivational factor to make important changes or pursue big dreams. In Johnson’s case, his battle with depression sparked his decision to change careers and become a wrestler - and, eventually, an actor. The rest, as we know, is history. These days, Johnson is deeply happy and has his share of fame and fortune - but these successes might have never become his reality had he not experienced the lows of depression earlier in his life.

When coping with depression, it is also important to set the mental health stigma aside and reach out to professionals for help if needed. Just like any other part of the body, the brain can get sick. Whether depression is the result of our lifestyle or our genetics, it is sometimes necessary to seek help in healing the brain.

Think about it: if your tooth hurt to the point it was interfering with your life, would you go to the dentist? If you were having chest pains, would you see a cardiologist? If you prioritize caring for other parts of your body, why should a vital organ like the brain be any different?

Home Modifications to Help Prevent Depression

Although lifestyle adjustments are no substitute for professional help, it is important that you take steps towards creating a healthy, happy and stress-free lifestyle and home environment if you are recovering from depression. When looking into coping with depression and preventing it in the future, here are some ideas that can help make your home a depression-free, healing space:

  • Let your light shine. Research has shown that increased exposure to bright light - particularly sunlight - is excellent for boosting serotonin and thus reducing depression;
  • Maintain a daily routine. Experts say that sticking to a regular routine each day is important for those who are battling depression;
  • Exercise and eat healthy foods. Yes, this is the same old advice that we keep hearing from our doctors - but there’s really something to it. Like sunlight, exercise can also improve our mood. Carbohydrates, foods containing Vitamin D, and foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to boost serotonin, the neurotransmitter which boosts our mood and helps fight depression. Eat up!

Here are more tips on making your home a stress-free, healthy environment.

Always Remember...

Life is not about what happens to you. It is not about the trauma you experience. It is not about your addictions. It is not about your depression. It is about how you choose to respond. By taking the time to read this article, you are already on the right track for healing from your depression. Hang in there - you’ll get to the other side.

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About Jennifer Longmore

Jennifer Longmore is MD of Injury Prevention Ltd, and is working toward a world where the safety and well-being of therapists in the Health and Beauty Industry is taken as seriously as that of clerical and industrial personnel in their respective fields. She is dedicated not only to offering quality and consistent training to independent therapists and therapists in retail spa and salon settings, but to raising the profile of the potential for serious injury through bodywork and the need for mandatory prevention and treatment solutions. IPM's first book, The Essential Guide to RSI-Free Massage, will be available in the Spring 2005, and their Level 1 Training course is available on video/DVD format. Jennifer Longmore can be reached on Tel: (01924) 223 225; info@injuryprevention.org.uk; www.injuryprevention.org.uk.

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