Depression can affect many different areas of your life. As a result, your doctor may recommend specific lifestyle changes that include exercise, nutrition and proper sleep. Another good idea may be to reach out to friends and family for support, as well as taking the time to be social with others.8,11
Although it may be difficult to start, becoming more physically active may help you manage depression. Regular physical activity is related to improved mental and physical well-being. Recent research indicates that physically fit people are less vulnerable to depression, and that regular exercise can greatly reduce symptoms of depression for many people.
Exercise affects mood in four ways:11
Depression is an illness which tends to disrupt appetite. This is why maintaining a balanced diet can prove difficult. But, the potential positive effects of a healthy, balanced diet on overall health and even on depressive condition cannot be overlooked.
Stress, anxiety and depression often have a disruptive effect on sleep, and poor sleep itself can exacerbate anxiety and depression. In other words, sleep disorders are both a cause and effect of mood disorders.
The anguish experienced during depression can prompt the consumption of alcohol or other substances that trigger dependency (such as tobacco, cannabis, amphetamines and cocaine). Initially they may seem soothing, with a tranquilizing or calming effect, but these immediate effects are deceptive: the impression of improvement dissipates quickly and these substances become toxic.