Of course you are not alone! There are lots of people who are fighting depression just like you- And there is lots of help and support available out there- Here are some ways to fight depression without outside help, if these ways do not get the depression to leave, then it would be a good idea to reach out for outside help.
Regulate your sleep schedule and make sure you're sleeping enough. Recent studies have shown that when you sleep, your brain gets a deep cleaning. Your body uses this time to flush out toxins and other dangerous material. When you don't sleep enough, this puts you at risk of all sorts of mental problems, because that buildup makes it hard for your brain to work properly. Make sure that you get enough restful, continuous sleep to ensure that your brain has its best chance. •Most adults will need around 8 hours of sleep but plenty of people need more while some people may need less. You'll have to experiment to find what works for you.
•You also need to watch out for conditions which interrupt your sleep. Waking frequently interrupts your sleep cycle, like stopping a wash-machine while it's in the middle of a load of laundry. If you snore or only sleep for a few hours at a time, this can make your problem worse.
Get plenty of daylight exposure. Though no one fully understands why, sunlight exposure seems to play a role in preventing or controlling depression. For some people, it's possible to suffer from a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is when the lack of sun during the winter season throws you into a deep depression. For others, staying inside too much may be the root of the problem. Whatever the case, try to make sure that you get several hours of sunlight each day. •You can take your lunch outside, even when it's cold.
•Try walking to work or school, at least part of the way (and busing the rest), as another way to fit more daylight into your day.
•You can also invest in a daylight lamp or get one covered by your insurance with the help of a doctor.
Start by introducing exercise into your life. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals help you to not feel the pain of the strain on your muscles but they also do something else: they make you feel happy. An inability to regulate these chemicals has been implicated in studies of depression and many depression medications work by controlling them. This means that exercising really can help you manage your depression. Of course, there's a trick to it: you have to exercise consistently over a long period of time to really enjoy the effects. •One good way for you to exercise while also managing the feelings of depression is to go for a jog or a swim. Both of these exercises are known for helping you clear your mind, as you focus on your environment and the physical sensation of what you are doing.
•The associated studies found that thirty five minutes of exercise every day or an hour three days a week were the most effective schedules.
•You can find more information on exercising and different ways that you can get and balance exercise on our exercising page.
Try to improve and regulate your diet. What you eat can affect your brain in a lot of ways. Not getting enough nutrients, either through eating too little or eating mainly unhealthy foods, can cause problems with brain function. Some people also feel that certain ingredients in our modern diet, like the hormones in commercial meat or gluten and sugar, can cause hormone imbalances which affect our moods. Either way, you may want to experiment with dietary changes and see if that helps you manage your symptoms. •Make sure to get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These play a role in brain health and there is some limited evidence that a diet rich in this nutrient can help manage and prevent depression. Good sources of omega-3s include fish and eggs, although you can also take fish oil supplements.
•If you want more information on eating a healthy, balanced diet, get more information here. Generally, you want to be sure to eat nutrient rich vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and get complete proteins from meat or by eating a wide variety of alternative protein sources.
•You can also try removing coffee and other caffeine sources from your diet. Many people find that caffeine aggravates their symptoms.
Try to regulate your schedule. Maintaining a regular schedule is a common practice when combating depression. When you have depression, time tends to blend together, responsibilities go by the wayside, and you have a whole lot of life piled up before you know it. That can be very overwhelming. By sticking to a schedule of sleeping, eating, working, and socializing, you can help carry yourself through the darker days of your depression.  •Make a schedule of when you're going to sleep, eat, and do activities for every single day. Plan your days down to the minute. Avoid surprises and try to stick as closely as possible to your schedule. Like learning to put one foot forward when you learn how to walk, you'll be teaching yourself how to walk through life by learning the "steps" of the day.
Try a new hobby. Combating depression takes time and in that time you'll need to keep your brain focused on something else. Different activities can also give you a shift in perspective or a greater sense of meaning, both of which can help you learn to cope with your depression. One good place to start is by picking up a new hobby. Choose something that you've always wanted to do and do it.
Volunteer with a local cause that means something to you. Choose a cause that means something to you, even if that cause is depression, and find a local organization. They'll have volunteer opportunities and other ways that you can help out. When you volunteer and get involved with helping others in this way, you increase your sense of connection to other people. It will also give a greater sense of meaning and purpose to your life. These feelings can all help keep you afloat while you get your brain under control. •An example of a good organization to volunteer with is Big Brothers, Big Sisters. This organization will pair you with a kid who might be struggling and who certainly comes from a tough situation. You in turn help the kid to see their potential, making sure that they don't fall through the cracks. This is good when you're feeling depressed and alone because you'll end up opening your own eyes by giving someone else the advice that you yourself need.
Create goals. Goals often give us hope when we have few other sources of hope. By working hard and working towards something that matters to you, you can gain greater control over how you think. Find a big goal, something that is really important to you, and then break that big goal down into smaller goals that you can reach one step at a time. As you progress through your goals, you may find that you have greater confidence, greater drive, and more hope than you did before. •For example, let's say that you want to become a nurse. In order to do that, you have to go to school and in order to go to school you need to get money. Make a few financial goals, such as applying for financial aid and getting a job. Once those are out of the way, work on getting into a school. Eventually, you'll find yourself reaching your goal and you'll have gained greater control over your depression in the meantime.
Increase the feeling of purpose in your life. A common feeling that comes along with depression is feeling like your life has no purpose. When you live a very quiet, basic life, it's not hard to feel this way. Introduce more purpose into your life in order to combat the negative feelings associated with purposelessness. •For example, maybe you're really into reading. You read a lot of books and you know what makes a good book. There are communities online for budding authors who could all use some feedback on their first books. By lending your skills as a reader, you might be helping the next Hemingway develop their true potential.
Spend some time with kids or animals. Young kids and animals have one major thing in common: they're both really good at being happy. As you get older, life tends to beat you down and many people forget how to be happy along the way. By spending time with these masters of happiness, you can learn a lot about how they see the world, helping you develop skills you can apply in your own life. •For example, maybe your niece needs watching on weekends, so that your sister can go out and relax with her husband. This is a great opportunity for you to play with your niece and experience how she views the world.
•You can also try volunteering at a local animal shelter. Shelter animals not only need feeding and cleaning, they also need to be loved and played with. Volunteers for shelters are always appreciated and you'll be surprised at the impact it has on you.
Combat stress in healthy ways. Having an unhealthy response to stress and negative situations in your life can also exacerbate feelings of depression, disconnection, and loneliness. If you find your depression getting much worse when things get rough, you might want to try some different practices for calming yourself down, in order to put you back in control of your emotions. •Try meditation. Though you might think meditation sounds silly, this technique works really well for many people. Give it a try and see if it changes things for you.
•Crying and shouting can also help. Bottling your emotions, a common response to negative feelings, is very unhealthy. Get some alone time and then let your feelings out. Cry. Shout into a pillow. Write about your feelings in a journal or blog. This can make you feel much better.
•Every time you find yourself worrying about your own problems, do some reading on an issue close to your heart and then find a way to help. Write a letter to your representative, start a Kiva.org fundraising group, or write a blog post and help to educate others.