We all have rough times in our life at one point or another, whether they are self-induced or brought on by others. There are two ways of dealing with such problems; we can either give in to depression and stress and struggle through our days, or we can make an effort to be as positive as possible. The latter can be easier said than done, but here are some tips to help us maintain as positive an attitude as possible during rough times.
It goes without saying that you should eat properly. You may not feel like shopping and cooking while you are struggling with life, but try to make yourself cook regularly and healthily to help keep your spirits up. If you don’t have time to cook everyday, cook big portions when you can and then freeze what you don’t eat for another day. Don’t give in to the urge to eat fast food and order in take-aways.
If you are feeling really low, it can be a struggle to persuade yourself to take any exercise. Try to avoid this by exercising before you sink too low. The endorphins that exercise releases will make you feel better about yourself and you will release some of the stress that you are feeling. If nothing else, put on some music and go for a walk – the combination of the music and exercise will make you feel better.
If you have your troubles on your mind all the time, you may struggle to sleep properly. Listen to your body and try to get into the habit of going to bed at the same time. Don’t exercise just before going to bed, don’t eat and don’t drink anything with caffeine in it. Try to relax before sleeping by reading or listening to music or an audio book. Herbal supplements are also an option, or you could try going to see a doctor about something stronger – but only if really necessary.
Try herbal supplements
If you can feel yourself plunging into depression, but don’t want to go to see a doctor just yet, you could try herbal supplements such as St John’s Wort, which has been proved to work almost as well as pharmaceuticals on some people. Omega 3 has also been linked with mood enhancing. However, make sure you read the instructions carefully before taking – St John’s Wort in particular can react with other medications. If in doubt, contact your doctor.
Have an active social life
If you are feeling low, you may feel like hiding away to lick your wounds. Try not to give into this. See friends as often as possible and try to talk through your problems. You will almost certainly feel better for doing so, particularly if your friends have been through similar situations. If they offer to help, let them. Going out for a drink or to see a film may just take your mind off your troubles for a while. Try and laugh, it will immediately make you feel more positive.
Avoid too much alcohol/other addictive substances
If you have a tendency to drink/smoke too much when you are in the midst of a rough time, try not to give in to it. Alcohol in particular may help you feel a little better initially, but when you wake up with a hangover the next day, you are going to feel even worse. In addition, impaired functioning may result in you doing or saying something that you really shouldn’t have. Try to keep a clear head at all times.
Go to see a doctor
If things really begin to bring you down, to the extent that you don’t want to do anything, then it may be time to see a doctor. He or she should have plenty of suggestions for you – possibly medication or counselling. Sometimes just talking to someone about your problems can make you feel better. Once you know you are getting help, it should be much easier to maintain a positive attitude.
It is so easy to sink into a depression that you just can’t seem to escape. Try not to let things go that far. Look after yourself, accept help when you need it and hopefully, you will be able to stay positive enough to get through the rough times succesfully.