Learn new ways to reduce and manage stress
Stress is common in daily life, but exposure to prolonged stress can start to affect your mental and physical health. Whatever the cause, here are some simple steps that can help you to reduce and manage stress:
- Making major changes medication for depression side effects in your life can be stressful at any time. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s probably a good idea to try to avoid moving house or changing jobs. Leave them to a time when you’re feeling better.
- Ongoing stress in personal relationships often contributes to depression and anxiety. Learn how to let people know about your feelings so that you can resolve personal conflicts as they come up. Talking to a counsellor or psychologist can help you find ways to address your problems.
- Learn to relax. To do this, you need to allocate time to do the things you enjoy, such as exercising, meditating, reading, gardening or listening to music.
- Take control of your work by avoiding long hours and additional responsibilities. This can be difficult, but small changes can make a difference.
- Learn to say ‘no’. Create a balance between work and the things you enjoy doing. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by new commitments.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Eating healthily, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and avoiding harmful levels of alcohol and other drugs can help a person to manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Tips for eating well
Having a mental health condition can make it difficult to eat well, but keeping things simple can help. Here are some tips:
- Keep a daily timetable and include food-related activities such as shopping, cooking and eating.
- Learn to prepare simple meals that don’t take too much time or energy to prepare. If you live on your own and aren’t eating proper meals, consider using frozen or home-delivered dishes.
- Make use of the times when you feel good to prepare meals ahead of time (e.g. if you’ve got energy in the morning, make dinner then) or cook large quantities of food and freeze it.
Tips for getting active
Physical exercise such as walking, swimming, dancing, playing golf or going to the gym can help relieve the tension in your muscles, relax your mind and distract you from negative thoughts and worries. Try to do some physical exercise every day, even if it’s just going for a walk. Keep it simple and enjoyable. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Increase activity levels gradually. Start by planning simple daily activities such as shopping, driving, gardening, writing emails or completing simple household tasks. Completing these activities can increase a person’s self-confidence and build the motivation needed to take on more energetic activities.
- Plan activities that are enjoyable, interesting, relaxing or satisfying. These activities are important in overcoming depression and anxiety. At first, they may not feel as enjoyable as before, but with persistence, the pleasure should eventually return.
- Participate in activities with family members and close friends, and accept social invitations, even though it’s the last thing you may feel like doing. Keeping connected with people helps increase levels of wellbeing, confidence and opportunities to participate in activities.
- Planning a routine can help you to become more active. Make sure some form of exercise is scheduled in for each day. Try to stick to the plan as closely as possible, but be flexible.