Most often, when a person complains of feeling depressed, a medical doctor will prescribe antidepressants. For major depressive episodes, this may be a good approach to help cope with their emotions. For those with mild to moderate depression, there are a variety of natural options that can help fight the blues effectively, without pharmaceuticals.
Talk to a Therapist
While you may feel vulnerable or uncomfortable at first, opening up to friends and family may be the relief you need to get through dark times without feeling so alone. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your burdens with the people you know, then seek professional counselling. A therapist is experienced and educated to help and can offer you a new perspective on things.
Sunshine & Exercise
It may sound silly to suggest a little fresh air and exercise; however, you can never underestimate the value of a brisk walk in the sunshine. Activity pumps up serotonin, dopamine and endorphins, which are our feel-good happy chemicals. Go for a run to experience a true natural high. And don’t forget, the sun doesn’t just light up the sky. It can also lighten up your mood with feel-good rays of vitamin D. Invest in a therapeutic light box for those cloudy days and winter months.
Create a Regular Bedtime Routine
Depression and sleep issues are intimately connected. For those who have trouble falling asleep, a night time routine can help ease you into a more restful slumber. Set a regular bedtime and unplug from all devices at least two hours beforehand. Use that digital downtime time to take a bath, read a book, listen to music, meditate or unwind in any other low key way. By eliminating sources of constant stimulation and slowing down your evening habits, you will foster a better mental environment for sleep. Keep yourself on a consistent schedule by setting your alarm to go off after 8 hours. If you need a nap later in the day, then, by all means, take one, but try to resist the urge to sleep your life away. If you’ve been dealing with insomnia for a while, talk to one of our experienced naturopaths about how to better understand the root cause and provide alternative sleep aids.
Serotonin is a vital chemical and neurotransmitter. It regulates our moods, behaviour, libido, sleep, and memory. Keep your serotonin levels elevated by getting your fill of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Cut down on coffee, which can reduce serotonin levels. Instead, try green tea which has L-theanine, an amino acid that has a relaxing effect. L-Theanine boosts neurotransmitters and helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. Rhodiola rosea and St. John’s Wort are other natural supplements that many individuals have had success with for treating depression. We DO NOT recommend self prescribing these agents as they interact with birth control or other medications. This is why it is always important to get professional guidance on which supplements and what dose might work best for you.
Get Your Hormones Balanced
Our hormones have an impact on our entire bodies. They can be the reason behind depression, chronic fatigue, weight gain, and more. Think of your adrenal, sex and thyroid hormones as Jenga blocks. When certain blocks become imbalanced, it can send our whole life tumbling out of control. The longer you take to correct the imbalance, the more difficult it will be to heal. Getting your hormones tested is an easy and effective way to assess the issues so that you can effectively identify what your options are to get back into balance.
If you think you are dealing with depression or can’t shake the blues, I invite you to reach out to one of our experienced team members. Our team of Psychotheraspists and Naturopathic Doctors are here to help you. Please feel free to book an appointment online. You don’t have to battle depression alone. We can help you get your life back!