Many people live with Depression; some take medications to manage their symptoms, while others refuse the medication route. Before we discuss how to feel happier, let’s discuss what Depression is characterized by persistent depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in your daily life. What does that look like?

Signs and symptoms of clinical depression may include:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

These symptoms are so severe that others notice and will cause problems in your relationships (work or family) or day-to-day activities. It can also affect anyone and at any age.

What can I do to feel happier?

First, the number one treatment is getting help, counseling, psychiatry, or both. After you have a treatment plan in place, the following may be helpful:

  1. Get more sleep-Sleep and mood go hand in hand. Try to get what the sleep experts call “good sleep Hygiene.”
    1. Develop a routine-consistent bedtime and wake-up times
    1. Avoid looking at your phone at least 1 hour before bedtime
    1. Your room should be dark, quiet, and uncluttered
    1. Take a warm bath
    1. Drink a warm drink
    1. Read a book
    1. You can listen to a mindfulness episode from a mindfulness app
  2. Avoid caffeine at least 2-3hours before bedtime-this means stopping caffeinated drinks, coffees, and teas
  3. Get more Vitamin D-expert to recommend at least 15 minutes of sun exposure every day. This doesn’t mean direct sunlight but just being outdoors, maybe walking your door or going for a morning walk.
  4. You can try natural remedies-ALWAYS consult your doctor before trying anything over the counter, such as St. John’s Wort, SAM-e, 5-HTP
  5. Try a mindfulness app or go on YouTube and search for a meditation video-There are plenty, and you can build up whatever time you find helpful. You can start with as little as a 5-minute meditation.
  6. Get exercise-Start small and build up but starting with at least 30 minutes every day of some movement will drastically improve your mood and quality of life.
  7. Try to avoid alcohol because it is a depressant. IT can also interfere with sleep and can make your depressive symptoms worse.
  8. Try to eat healthy foods such as fish, nuts, and probiotics.
  9. Change your way of thinking-A therapist can help you navigate through this using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  10. Brighten your office or home space with the things that make you happy such as plants or colorful stationery.
  11. Reach out to friends; when we are sad, we tend to avoid being around others, but this is when we should be around others. Make an appointment with a friend to grab coffee or lunch.
  12. Try something new
  13. Listen to music that makes you happy.

If none of these suggestions help, please get help. There is a Suicide Prevention Line, dial 988 or find your local crisis hotline at 741741. Call us today and let us help you!! sms:741741