(Excerpt from Fall Newsletter 2010)
In addition to talk therapy, there are powerful yet simple things that you can do to help yourself heal from depression.
Inspired by Dr. Robert Hedaya’s book on dealing with the side effects of medication, The Anti-Depressant Survival Program, here are three ways to combat depression, whether you’re on anti-depressants or not.
1. Good Nutrition. A diet rich in protein, low on the glycemic scale (e.g., barley, grapefruit and yogurt) and high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and good fats, like omega 3s, will help stabilize your mood. Protein is essential for the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, and foods low on the glycemic scale help stabilize your blood sugar, reducing fatigue, unhealthy weight gain and mood swings.
2. Moving Your Body. According to Harvard Medical School, the evidence is clear that regular exercise can help alleviate mild to moderate depression and may play a supporting role in treating severe depression. Try to meet the recommended minimum of a half hour most days of the week.
3. Seeking Enjoyment, Lowering Stress, Spirituality. It’s common sense that doing what you enjoy would make you feel happier, but these enemies of depression do so by normalizing production of stress hormones and increasing pleasure chemicals, such as endorphins and dopamine. So every day choose to do something that makes you feel good and that has meaning for you. Your health and well-being depend upon it.