Depression can strike at anytime, to anyone. If it finds its way into your life, will you be ready to beat it?
Laura M. Brotherson shares a toolbox of easy and practical tips to help you bounce back.
TOOLBOX FOR TACKLING DEPRESSION
Depression can affect anyone at any time. So when life takes a turn for the worst, will you be ready?
Here are seven of Laura’s tools for you depression toolbox.
EAT, SLEEP, AND EXERCISE
There can’t be a conversation about overcoming depression without starting with the basics of improving your eating and sleeping habits as well as developing an exercise routine. Given the powerful effects of exercise, doctors encourage exercise before they even like to prescribe medicine.
Counseling is necessary to address underlying issues like abuse, emotional neglect, or other types of trauma as well as to change negative core beliefs and mental habits. A self-help therapeutic tool Laura suggests is process writing your thoughts and feelings by way of anger/frustration lists and grateful lists.
Medication can be a lifesaver, but due to the complex nature of depression a pill alone won’t solve everything. For those who are hesitant to take antidepressants, there are helpful supplements like SAM-e and EmpowerPlus Q96 that clients might look into considering as well.
SUNLIGHT (FULL SPECTRUM LIGHTS)
Full-spectrum lights can make a big difference for people especially during the winter months, but can be helpful even year round for those who don’t get out in the sunlight enough.
CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE
While depression tends to make you want to avoid people and social situations, pushing yourself to get out and be with people is more effective at combating depression and the mental isolation it engenders.
These are all empirically validated treatments to overcoming depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. These approaches change the way you experience life and the inevitable difficulties it brings. Relaxation and mental discipline are particularly helpful tools to develop.
Additional areas to address in overcoming depression are reducing perfectionism, understanding and setting healthy physical and emotional boundaries, and reducing the negative effects of social comparison, envy, and feelings of not being good enough. These are all things that social media can perpetuate. Learn what your boundaries are and stick to them.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Certified Sex Therapist (CST), Laura M. Brotherson, is the author of the best-selling book, And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, and her latest book Knowing HER Intimately: 12 Keys for Creating a Sextraordinary Marriage. She counsels with individuals, couples and families in private practice (and online), and is the host of “The Marital Intimacy Show” podcast. As a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), Laura is actively engaged in providing marriage education through Couples Cruises, articles, a newsletter, radio and television broadcasts, and presenting at conferences and workshops. Laura is passionate about helping couples navigate the intricacies of intimacy to help build stronger marriages and families. She and her husband, Kevin, of 25 years are the founders of StrengtheningMarriage.com—your trusted resource for education, products and services to strengthen marriages… intimately!
For a full list of Laura’s tools, head over to Laura’s website, www.strengtheningmarriage.com.