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Anxiety and depression are common mental health concerns. About one in eight Americans experience symptoms that qualify as a clinical disorder, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). These conditions can seem overwhelming when you’re first exposed to them. But with the right support and treatment, you can recover. Coping with anxiety and depression is an active process of changing your habits and mindset to prevent these issues from resurfacing. By recognizing triggers and making small changes in your daily life, you will be able to manage your anxiety and depressive thoughts on your own. Here are some helpful tips on how to cope with anxiety and depression.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms
This may sound obvious, but talking with your doctor can help you cope. Many people with anxiety and depression don’t talk about their symptoms with their doctor. A diagnosis without treatment is much more harmful than any symptoms you experience on your own. So if you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, you must talk to a medical professional. Your doctor can help you figure out why you’re experiencing symptoms and help you begin treatment. This can help you feel more in control and prevent the condition from worsening. Plus, if your doctor notices a pattern of flare-ups, you may be able to prevent a more serious condition from developing.
Pay attention to your body
There are so many things you can do to help manage anxiety and depression. But the best thing you can do is pay attention to your own body. This means realizing when your anxiety or depression is getting out of hand. By constantly checking in with yourself, you can avoid triggering a relapse. This can be as simple as taking a break from stressful situations. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break from your normal routine by avoiding social media or staying home. It may feel awkward, but it’s important to keep yourself from overthinking and burning yourself out. As you get use to checking in on yourself you will begin to notice small anxiety or depressive symptoms that you may do subconsciously, like picking at your fingers, yawning excessively or shaking your leg when in a situation. The author of this blog, Esha Kode wrote all about her new anxious discovery that she noticed in herself after paying attention to her body.
Exercising regularly has been shown to improve anxiety and depression symptoms. It can also help prevent these conditions from worsening. If you don’t currently engage in any form of physical activity, start small. For example, if you normally walk for exercise, try walking for 30 minutes at a slow pace. If you do yoga, that’s great. Just choose something low-impact. The key is that you make the activity your own. If you normally participate in an exercise class, consider switching to a different one. Or, challenge yourself to try a new form of exercise, like running or swimming.
Eat a balanced diet
If you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, you may not need to worry about this tip. Nonetheless, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy can have a positive impact on your mood and mental health. Additionally, eating a balanced diet low in saturated fat and sodium can decrease your risk of developing conditions like anxiety and depression. If you feel like you could benefit from taking supplements, talk to your doctor. However, there’s not enough evidence to support taking dietary supplements for anxiety or depression.
Take a walk or do yoga
If you love spending time outdoors, a walk outside or a hike in the mountains can be incredibly helpful. And, if you’re not an outdoor person, you can take a walk or do yoga indoors. Even a few minutes of movement can boost your mood and help alleviate symptoms.
Don’t succumb to isolation
There are points when isolating from friends and social media can be beneficial in improving depression and anxiety. However, if you find yourself feeling more isolated than usual, try to get back out there as soon as possible. Social media, television, and even daily walks can be used to meet new people.
Stay connected with loved ones
If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, it can be easy to shun friends and family. This can be dangerous, though. Remember, you’re not alone, and you have people who care deeply about you. Reach out to your loved ones; they may be able to help you get through a difficult time.
Anxiety and depression are common mental health concerns. If you notice these symptoms, talk to your doctor to figure out why they’re occurring. You can also try these helpful coping strategies, like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and taking time to relax. It may take a while to feel better, but it’s important to stay active in your recovery. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to talk to your loved ones or seek support. It can be difficult to cope with anxiety and depression on your own. At the end of the day all that matters is you and your health so putting yourself first in all aspects is the best tip in coping with anxiety and depression, never forget to treat yourself!