Depression and self-care

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Health Assured team

16 June 2023

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities that one would normally enjoy. As such, it is important to implement self-care practices to combat depression and improve mental health.

Self-care comprises the practice of taking care of oneself, both physically and mentally. It involves taking deliberate, purposeful steps to maintain and improve health and wellbeing. Self-care can involve a range of activities, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in regular physical activity.

For people with depression, self-care can play a crucial role in managing the disorder. Here are some ways in which self-care can help those with depression:

 

An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) can support your employees by providing help with personal issues that my be affecting their performance at work.

How can an EAP help employees with depression?

 

 

Physical activity

Research has shown that regular physical exercise is beneficial in reducing symptoms of depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals that trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercise also improves sleeping patterns, which is vital in managing depression. Even low-intensity exercises like walking, yoga, or stretching can help boost mood and combat depression.

Healthy eating

Eating healthy foods, rich in vitamins and minerals, has been shown to improve mood and overall health. Eating nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help maintain a healthy balance of chemicals in the brain that affect mood. Conversely, consuming processed or sugary foods can negatively affect mood and lead to inflammation in the body. By prioritising healthy eating habits, individuals with depression can improve their mood, energy levels, and overall wellbeing.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep deprivation is a common symptom of depression, and it can exacerbate symptoms such as fatigue and irritability. Practicing good sleep hygiene, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and avoiding electronics before bed, can help improve sleep quality and quantity. Good sleep hygiene can also help regulate mood and reduce symptoms of depression.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment and paying attention to one's thoughts and feelings without judgment. This practice can help individuals with depression reduce negative self-talk and develop a more positive outlook on life. Mindfulness can also help manage stress, which is a significant contributor to depression.

Social support

Having a strong social support system is essential for individuals with depression. Receiving social support, whether through friends, family, or professional therapy, can improve mood and reduce feelings of isolation. Engaging in activities with others can help foster feelings of connection and belonging, ultimately reducing the symptoms of depression.

Conclusion

Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it is essential to experiment with self-care strategies to determine which practices work best. It is also important to acknowledge that depression is a complex disorder that may require therapy and medication, in addition to self-care practices, to manage effectively.

In conclusion, depression can be difficult to manage, but self-care can be a crucial part of the healing process. Engaging in self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, healthy eating, and spending time doing things one enjoys can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem. However, it is important to also seek professional help and have a support system in place. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish, but a necessary step in managing depression and leading a fulfilling life.

How can you support your employees with depression?

Our Employee Assistance Programme provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and in life. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support employees mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.

For every £1 invested in an employee assistance programme, organisations can expect to see, on average a 10x return on investment.

Find out more about EAPs

 

 

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