When suffering from depression, self-care needs to become a high priority. Good nutrition, daily exercise, and quality sleep are all crucial to our mental and emotional health. After essential care routines are established, there are other activities that have a surprising and profound effect on our moods, and they happen to be fun too!
#1 Furry Creatures
Caring for pets can help with depression. Besides being a playmate and a distraction, pets also give us a sense of responsibility. When we take the focus off ourselves and our problems for a creature that is dependent on us to live, we feel a sense of ownership. Then, as we feel a greater sense of purpose, things outside of our control, like what will happen in the future, will have less of an impact on our emotional well-being. If you can’t afford a pet of your own or you live somewhere that doesn’t allow pets or maybe you have a family member who is allergic, don’t fret. You can still volunteer at an animal shelter.
Bouldering is kind of like rock climbing that is performed low to the ground, so harnesses or ropes aren’t needed. Though it still requires intense concentration and presence. Being focused on the present instead of ruminating on negative experiences can help fight depression. Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to affect circumstances whether it’s to solve a problem or reach a goal. Bouldering helps promote self-efficacy which in turn increases self-confidence, and when we feel better about ourselves, depression has less of a grip on our lives.
Professional cuddlers provide the human touch that many of us miss in our daily lives. When we are touched, oxytocin, also known as the bonding hormone, is released. This makes us feel tranquil, calm, and more loving. Snuggling sessions are not therapy but can be restorative, rejuvenating, comforting, playful, and fun.
Yes, bouncing on a trampoline can be a great mood enhancer. Try being grumpy when you are flying in the air. Bouncing increases lymphatic flow which helps rid the body of toxins. It also increases circulation and oxygen intake allowing the brain to function better. This exercise will also cause a release of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, that lift our spirits and put us in a better mood.
You may have spotted the surge of yarn and knitting needles among hipsters in coffee shops. Popular magazines are even listing knitting patterns. Knitting can cause a feeling of calm and tranquility. There is also a social aspect to knitting as many yarn shops host local knitting groups, and there are also online knitting communities. Knitting circles provide a social connection that can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Some people also knit for charity, and this sense of making a difference can help combat depression.
#6 Restorative Sleep
Oversleeping can be a sign of depression. While others suffer from insomnia and then the stress from not sleeping leads to a downward spiral that can result in depression. If sleep is an issue, CBD oil for anxiety can be an easy way to help put you to sleep. Hemp oil has been found to have a calming and relaxing effect without the hangover-like side effect that some experience with melatonin.
Photo credit landscape Deb Haytor