10 Self-Help Tips for Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Self-Help Tip #7: Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep Each Night – It sounds simple and it is. Sleep is a basic human need. Without sleep, we cannot function optimally and we cannot survive in the long-term. While both Depression and Anxiety often involve sleep disturbances (either trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and sometimes both), you need to try to ensure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep each and every night. Eight (8) hours of sleep per night is ideal, so try to aim for this. Any more or any less will only worsen your symptoms, and likely make you feel very fatigued. I recognize that it is difficult to sleep for this recommended amount of time each night, but if you try to put yourself on a schedule, whereby you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, you will eventually get into a healthy sleep pattern. Also, try to avoid taking naps during the day. Doing so throws off your sleep cycle and confuses the body. Even if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, try not to nap. By the time bedtime rolls around, you will be tired enough to fall asleep at the designated time on your sleep schedule. Set an alarm for the morning to avoid sleeping in, and try to get up at the exact same time every morning. It may take some getting used to initially, but eventually your body (and mind) will thank you!

Self-Help Tip #8: Exercise Regularly – Most of our lives nowadays are quite sedentary. We sit for long periods of time in front of computer screens at our office desks. It is imperative that you make time each day for some light exercise. By no means do you need to be working out for 2 hours a day, but try to set aside at least 30 minutes each day and designate it to exercising. If you’re new to exercising, start small with just 10 minutes a day and increase this time gradually until you reach 30 minutes. I realize that for someone who is depressed or anxious, exercising is the last thing on their mind, but it has been proven that daily exercise (as little as 30 minutes per day) has powerful effects on not only the body, but also the mind. In fact, studies show that if you exercise regularly, theeffects will be the equivalent of taking medication for your Depression or Anxiety Disorder. By incorporating even just some light exercise into your daily routine, you will begin to feel more energized and happier overall. Exercise also reduces one’s stress and anxiety levels. Here are some ways you could try to integrate exercise into your day-to-day routine: 1) Take the stairs instead of the elevator, 2) Walk your dog around the block, 3) Park your car in a parking spot that isn’t so close to the main entrance, and 4) Get an exercise partner to encourage and motivate you. Follow this link for the next page.

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