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Author: Cornelius J Johnson

When you’re battling depression it’s difficult not to just let the pills do the work and hope for the best. As any good mental health professional will tell you, combating the symptoms of depression can take some self-governance and work. But when our mind is working against us at these times, where do we focus our attention?

Here are five simple areas to focus on in order to reduce the impact of depression.

Sleep

When suffering from depressive thought patterns, sometimes we are prone to staying in bed for as long as possible. We take ourselves out of the equation and enjoy the warmth and comfort of the bed. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we get good rest. Often it means lying in bed worrying or thinking about things we cannot control.

“We should try view our bed as a vehicle for sleep, rather than a retreat from the world,” writes William Cosgrove, an author at Researchpapersuk and LastMinuteWriting. “It’s important that we foster a routine for ourselves of going to bed at a reasonable hour, and waking up having had a good nights sleep.”

Eat

Depression can have varied effects on how we use or view food. For some, the thought of eating can make us nauseous, and for others, we seem unable to get enough. When going through depressive periods we may either eat one particular kind of food or binge on snacks and junk food.

This fluctuation in our diets can have radical effects on our state of mind. The more we randomize our intake of nutrients the more likely it is that we’ll find ourselves in a bad place. Regular, healthy eating is vital to a good state of mind. If you face depression, keep motivated to maintain a strong routine of eating healthy food.

Exercise

If you’re suffering from depression, the last thing you want to do is go out to the gym. Depression can be linked to body image or how we interact socially. As the gym combines both of these elements, it is understandable that those who suffer from depression aren’t likely to hit the gym any time soon. But this doesn’t mean you should abandon exercise totally.

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Exercise is a great way of releasing endorphins. Many who suffer from depression take up solo activities, such as long distance running, walking or cycling. These activities offer us an opportunity to zone our minds on the simple act of physical movement rather than the abstract thoughts that come with depression.

Socialize

Depression is a lonely state of being, and it can be tempting to fuel that loneliness by refusing to inflict on others. We get caught up with the notion that we are no fun to be around when we are depressed. It’s important to remember that our good friends are able to support us at these times.

As a society, people are becoming more open and honest about mental health, and those who suffer from depression should no longer feel they have to be secretive about it. Explain to your close circle the issue you are facing and you’ll soon find that you have allies to help you fight your corner.

Express yourself

“History is full of people who have turned depression to their advantage,” says Miranda Rhodes, a regular contributor to Draftbeyond and Writinity. “20th-century writers were often prone to depressive or anxious states. Though you need not expect yourself to write ‘A Farewell to Arms’ or ‘The Bell Jar’, writing or painting are excellent ways of channeling your depression into something beautiful.“

In getting our depression out into something we can read or view, we are able to objectify it and analyze it without being too close to it.

Cornelius J Johnson specializes in marketing and different aspects of entrepreneurship. He writes on a variety of subjects such as finance and marketing as well as lifestyle and personal development and is a regular contributor to Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, academic writing websites.