How do I get used to living with depression everyday?

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Answered by: Joelle, An Expert in the Living with Depression Category
You wake up and the sun’s already high overhead, blinding you through your heavy eyelids. It hurts to move your aching body and you would do anything to just be able to fall back asleep and wake up on a better day. Instead, you pull the covers over your head and turn over, curling up tight and pushing any thought of responsibility out of your mind. It’s just too hard to get out of bed.



That’s what getting up in the morning is like for thousands of people living with depression everyday. What seems like the simplest thing can become the greatest obstacle. And when it’s that hard to get your day started, it can be even harder to find the motivation to accomplish even the smallest of tasks. So if you find you need an extra push to get things done, try adding one of these three practices to your daily schedule for an extra boost.

Meditate



There’s nothing quite like the calm serenity of being alone with yourself, listening to your breathing, and getting some much needed quiet time. But that’s not all meditation is good for. Meditation has been clinically shown to reduce anxiety, stress, and the dwelling on negative thoughts that comes along with depression for many people.

A typical session of meditation would go something like: sit upright in a comfortable chair or on a pillow and close your eyes. Focus only on your breathing and let any thoughts that come up pass away, always gently bringing your attention back to the inhale and exhale of your breathing. You’ll find that at first it may be difficult to keep your mind clear, but don’t get discouraged. It’s totally normal. Keep bringing your thoughts back to your breathing and you’ll eventually experience a clear, calm mind. Repeat the process daily for 20 to 30 minutes.

Exercise

Exercise is something often overlooked in the management of depression, but it’s actually a very important tool to have. There are many benefits to be had depending on the type of exercise you choose to do. The deep breathing and long stretches of yoga can have similar effects to meditation. The intensity of running or interval training can bring on a euphoric feeling that’s called a runner’s high. No matter what type of exercise you choose, though, the important thing is that you’re getting your body moving because when you do, your brain releases endorphins that give your mood a little boost. Eventually, you’ll be wanting to exercise just because it makes you happy!

Hydrate

It may not seem that important, but hydration is key to a happy body and a happy mind. Don’t worry about the old eight glasses a day. Everybody needs the right amount of water for their own bodies, but you do need to make sure you listen to your own and drink when you’re thirsty. Being dehydrated can end up making you feel pretty bad, and in turn that makes your depression worse. It can cause increased fatigue, lead to headaches, and even dampen your mood which, to some, may feel like minor depression, and to others, will only make their depression worse. So keep and eye out for the common signs of dehydration—dry mouth, thirst, dry skin—and keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to sip on.

Many people wonder how they can continue living with depression everyday, especially when what they’re already doing isn’t working for them. Meditation, exercise, and hydration are all great to incorporate into your daily life whether one at a time or all at once. They'll help to lift your mood, speed up your recovery, and, with the right clinical care, eventually can contribute to stopping your depression from returning at all.

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