There are many ways to deal with depression, natural or otherwise.

depression

Depression, unfortunately can strike at any time. This is especially true during the winter months, as the cold weather forces us inside, where there is nothing to focus on but our thoughts.

Seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as seasonal depression affects 10 million Americans every year, a number which will probably only increase, as the winters become more harsh.

Everybody goes through minor depressions and funks sometimes, but I want to point out that this is very different from clinical depression, which is much more severe, long-lasting, and may require diagnosis or treatment from a doctor. For the purposes of this post, we are talking about more minor depressions, which definitely affect your day-to-day life, but aren’t as complete and debilitating as clinical depression.

Obviously there are medical ways to deal with any depression, but there are natural ways too. Here are a few natural ways to help combat, or survive through your depression until the clouds clear.

Exercise is one of the easiest ways to combat depression naturally, as it creates endorphins that lighten your mood. Regular exercise can even rewire the brain to think more positively, because it causes you to associate exercise with feelings of happiness.

READ MORE: Can Yoga Help Heal Depression?

Setting a routine for yourself and keeping at it can help fight depression, because it keeps you moving, if even at a slower pace. Depression makes us want to stay in bed and do nothing, but creating a schedule and sticking to it will force us to stay on track.

Getting the correct amount of sleep every night is paramount to fighting depression naturally, because sleeping too much or too little will normally only exacerbate the problem. If you have problems doing this, shut off all electronics 45 minutes before bed, and go to bed and wake up at the same time every night during your depression.

Eating healthy is very important during depressions, even though your inclination will be to do the exact opposite. Unhealthy eating or overeating during a depression will only make you feel worse, whereas eating healthy foods high in omega-3 acids and folic acid can actually help ease your symptoms.

Pushing yourself to try something new during a depression can be one of the best ways to defeat it. Even something small as going to a new art exhibit or exploring a new part of town by yourself can have a good effect on your general mood and sense of worth. Also, going by yourself takes the pressure out of having to entertain anyone else, which you probably won’t want to do.