Have you ever felt inexplicably sad at night, you feel like suffocated and at a loss as to what to do because you don’t know what’s causing that feeling? Then morning comes and you have no idea why you ever felt that way the night before. There was nothing wrong with the world.
Chances are, you might be at the early stages of depression. Depression doesn’t have to be triggered by a major event in your life. Chronic stress could lead to depression. The subtle but persistent discomfort you feel every day at home or work could lead to depression. There is also a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that commonly occurs in the late fall and winter. There are also rare cases of summer depression.
Wherever your depression stems from, get professional therapy as early as possible. If you have children, do yourself and your child a favor. Get them professional childcare as you may not be fit to take care of a child at the moment. Complement it with some of these recommended activities. They could temporarily alleviate your feeling of sadness.
For the love of the sun
The most commonly advised is to have maximum safe exposure to sunlight. According to a study, sunlight provides more than 90% of our needed daily dose of vitamin D. Take in the sun while doing the things you enjoy. There is therefore no recommendation better than urging you to read a book, or your emails if you like, on a sunlit porch. On hot summers, you could enjoy the sunlight from a safely shaded area. There are parts of the day when you could be under the direct sunlight like early morning and late afternoon so you can go jog or take a walk during those hours.
People take for granted the abundance of sunshine in the summer. However, if you break down your activities most of your daytime is spent indoors, in a fluorescent-lit office, the shades drawn against the sun. Proactively seek the sun.
In the fall when the temperature is cooler and the sun is not beating down too harshly, you could go on extended walks. Autumn is very romantic with the changing colors of the landscape. Maximize this time when you could still bask under sunshine before the bitter days of late fall and winter come.
Winters are mostly spent indoors. It’s too cold to go walking in the early morning, although of course if the temperature is tolerable, you could still do it. But the best you can do when you go out is to do something energetic so that you are burning energy and heating up your body. Go ice skating, sledding, or skiing. Jogging is still possible but make sure you have enough layers of clothes so that you don’t suffer hypothermia and at the same time you don’t suffocate from over-layering.
Spring is perfect for any kind of outdoor activity except for people who are sensitive to pollen. But even if you have these seasonal allergies, do what you have learned during the pandemic—use a mask. Using a mask has not been popular among many countries before the pandemic. But it had been commonly used in East Asia for years. It protects from the small pollen particles abundant during spring as well as dust to some degree.
There are a lot of vitamins that could help with depression. These vitamins could thankfully be safely consumed through food. Foods rich in Vitamin B are recommended as the vitamin helps the body produce adequate and appropriate amounts of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that are important in mood regulation. Examples of this food are cheese, eggs, red meat, mackerel, and salmon.
Salmon is additionally good for its richness in Omega 3. According to studies, it could help in building the resilience of the brain against pressure and stress. Other foods that could be incorporated into our meals for mental wellness are green and leafy vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are also highly recommended. These are the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale.
Adversely, some foods could contribute to feelings of depression. Consuming fatty and processed foods is discouraged not only by nutritionists but also by psychiatrists as they could affect mental health.
Depression is by no means a light feeling. It is not just a matter of being sad or lonely. It is a state where an individual feels extreme hopelessness, without any will to survive. People who have never experienced this might have used this term lightly or even interchange it with sadness. But it is way beyond it. While there are individuals who are prone to depression because of genetics, everyone is threatened by this especially in this world that has too many expectations. Guard yourself against it and be conscious of your mental health.