Depression is a mental illness but it can be treated by adopting healthy physical habits! Indeed, the mind and body are closely connected – and we aren’t just talking about the obvious physical connection between the brain and body – that it’s important to take good care of them with a wholistic approach.
Don’t worry about the costs of getting back on track either since the many gyms are affordable, which means you won’t have an issue becoming a member and starting your fitness journey with us. According to price listing website PriceListo, you can get a gym membership for as low as $10 per month at Planet Fitness.
Exercise releases endorphins, a type of chemicals that decrease pain perception and trigger positive feelings in your body. These are known as the feel-good hormones because of their nearly immediate effect on your mind and body. You will feel a happy buzz that drives away depression even for a little while, but you can always get it again and again through exercise.
Pilates and yoga, both of which are offered in most gyms, are highly recommended because these incorporate physical movements and mindfulness, a combination that benefits depressed persons. Think of it this way: As your body enjoys the buzz from the core-busting exercises, your mind also enters into a peaceful zone where your worries take a backseat.
Another great and simple exercise is to simple take a jog on the treadmill. This burns calories, gets your heart rate up, and helps to de-stress your body a bit.
Eat Well, Eat Healthy
You may not want to eat when you’re depressed or you will binge-eat when you’re feeling down. Both of these habits are unhealthy, however, as your body isn’t getting the right type and amount of nutrients it needs to fight depression.
You have to be willing to eat at the right time, eat well, and eat healthy food even when it feels like scaling Mount Everest. Your mind and body will be better for it – your mind because your brain has the nutrients it needs for optimum functioning and your body because it has the fuel to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and perform tasks.
A few tips on a healthy diet:
- Eat at regular times of the day.
- Avoid junk foods, as well as foods that contain caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar since these are stimulants.
- Stick to fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and seeds.
With depression, your mind will likely be running at a million mile a minute so you can’t sleep well. Yes, it’s difficult but it’s doable to actually enjoy 6-8 hours of restful sleep every night even when you feel hopeless and helpless.
Start with good sleep hygiene. Take a warm bath before bed, drink a warm glass of milk, and make your bedroom a conducive place for sleeping. Turn off your gadgets and television – perhaps leave your smartphone on for emergency reasons – and stop using them a half-hour before your bedtime. Think of happy thoughts instead of dwelling on the what ifs and what could have been in your life.
Of course, these healthy lifestyle habits should only be a part of your depression treatment plan. You have to take your medications, if any, on time and seek professional help. You must have your family and friends’ support, too.