By: Maribel De Jesus
It is no secret that depression is common around the world, yet, people still do not talk about it as openly as you would think. Many people believe that depression is not really an illness, or they think that it only affects weak and lazy people. That is NOT at all true. Depression hurts physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people are suffering from this illness worldwide. If you are suffering from depression, “you are NOT alone.” There are many factors as to why people suffer from depression. Factors such as stress caused by a job, family problems, financial difficulties, sexual abuse, and just simply hereditary. Whatever the reason may be, I will make three simple suggestions to be able to cope with depression.
#1: Talk about it.
I know that it may be hard to talk about the way you are feeling for fear of being judged. It is hard to let others see you at your most vulnerable, but it is one of the most helpful things you can do when you are depressed. You can talk to a family member, a friend, a therapist, or join a group. Surrounding yourself with positive and energetic people is very important for overcoming depression. Do not be afraid to be yourself and allow yourself to be vulnerable when needed. Always remember that you can go back to your circle of friends/family to find the comfort and support you need.
#2: Take care of your overall well-being.
Taking care of your overall wellness is fundamental. I’m talking about physical and mental health. Both go hand in hand to living a healthy life. When you take care of your physical health, you are telling your brain to focus on being healthy. I know that sometimes this is easier said than done but keep pushing. Get your body moving. I recommend practicing yoga and meditation simply because it is an activity that focuses on both physical and mental health. Although, there are many exercises that you can practice along with eating healthy to become a happy and healthier version of yourself.
#3: Do what REALLY makes you happy.
Although it may seem like this is part of taking care of your well-being, it’s more than that. Focus on what REALLY makes you happy. Life is too short to stay in a place or a situation that makes you unhappy. Maybe you are in a job that is slowly draining you. Perhaps you’re in a toxic relationship, whether sentimental or with a family member. Choose to live a happier life for yourself every day. Take those salsa dance lessons, take a vacation, travel around the world, or start your own business. Whatever it may be, it’s not too big or too small of a dream. If it makes you happy, then go for it. YOU are worth it, and you deserve to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Please remember; Although these are simple steps, they’re not always easy. It may be difficult for someone dealing with depression to even get out of bed. If you or someone you know is dealing with depression and can’t seem to find any way out, please seek professional help. There IS a way out.