What to do When Stress Leads to Depression

When you feel depressed, you just want to lie on the sofa while the television drones on in the background. You aren’t really watching anything that takes too much energy. But you don’t even feel like reaching for the remote to change channels.

The last thing you want to do is go outside - but that’s exactly what you need to do. The challenge of depression is acting against what you feel inclined to do.

Yet if you get moving, you’ll find surprising relief from the stress and depression that seems to choke you.

Repeated medical studies show that exercise is necessary to regain a sense of self-control. And while you exercise, you’re thinking of something besides what’s stressing you.

It also provides a better night’s sleep, which helps your immune system rally against your stress factors.

One thing you don’t want to do when you feel stressed to the point of depression is to place too many demands on yourself. You’ll feel overwhelmed.

So you have to start with simple, specific steps, such as:

• Begin with basic self-care.
Set your alarm clock and get out of bed without lying there thinking about it. Then go directly to take a shower and get dressed in clean clothes. No pajamas - real clothes.

• Set a place with real dishes at the table for your breakfast.
Even if you only eat a bagel and drink juice, don’t do it standing up in the kitchen. Sit down and eat as if you were in a restaurant. And if you have good china, use it.

• Choose one activity outside the house to complete before lunch.
That might be something as simple as walking around the block or going outside to water the flowers.

• Drive to a nearby mall or large discount store.
Start at one end and walk up and down every aisle. When you get to the other side, start aisle-walking again until you’re back where you started. Then you can go back and look at anything that seemed interesting. The key is to get moving.

• Go to a park in the late afternoon.
Find the swing set and swing. It’s amazing how this activity makes you feel like a child who is happy to be outdoors. If you want to, slide down the slide or climb on the jungle gym.

Exercise to relieve stress and depression doesn’t have to mean marathon training or aerobics. You don’t even have to go to the gym unless you’re ready to go. Even simple activities will make a big difference in your mood.

Learn more about how to manage stress on my page with all the information you need on this subject: How to manage stress

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