Better Than Pills – The Best Natural Antidepressants Out There
Depression is hard. I’ve been there a few times and I never want to go back. It’s difficult to be told “just cheer up” or forcing yourself to do something fun.
That’s the trick, though. Forcing yourself to take some action.
Antidepressants can make everything more difficult, especially because of the side effects.
They often take a few weeks to start working and, in that time, you’ll find differences to your libido, you’ll get headaches, you may even feel nauseous.
Sometimes, it’s not practical to start taking antidepressants.
I got put on them once just before exams and as I’d taken them before I knew I had to find ways to delay when I started taking them. I found a few things that worked.
Now I’m off antidepressants and I find it easier to get out of bed in the morning, cook, and work.
If something goes wrong I’m much more likely to go for these healthy coping mechanisms and remedies.
They really do help!
St John’s Wort (Be Careful!) Or Other Supplements
When it comes to St John’s Wort, you have to be careful. It can work wonders and is great for anxiety too.
But you don’t have to just look at the side effects to know if it’s right for you.
St John’s Wort can also affect other medications, such as birth control pills. Also, if you’re on antidepressants now and are looking for a switch it’s a big no.
When it comes to antidepressants, St John’s Wort is like Grapefruit.
As grapefruit also supresses serotonin re-uptake, it can be dangerous to have it on SSRIs.
Yet the benefits of grapefruit are still plentiful.
It’s great in a cocktail, it can help you wake up in the morning and its swimming in healthy, natural sugars.
This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to have some when you’re on something else, though.
So, look at other supplements.
They may not be as effective, but nothing on this list works on its own.
Even antidepressants don’t work by themselves!
St John’s Wort is generally not worth the risk, but there are others that are certainly worth a try.
Curcumin, Turmeric, Saffron, Fish Oil, Tryptophan, EGCG, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Kava and Arctic Root are all perfect ones to look at.
What’s best about these is that they’re also found in foods!
Some are spices, some are oils. It can help you want to cook if you’re taking a supplement with meals and see the ingredients.
If you’re taking Curcumin supplements, for example, it might excite you to make a curry, too!
Make sure you are buying the supplements, however, and not just extracts or the spices themselves.
Living Your Best Life
This is an especially difficult one when you’re suffering with depression.
If it’s difficult to get out of bed, it’s difficult to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle.
The trick to this is keeping an eye on the natural ups and downs of depression. If you’re down, you’re not going to be down and out all day.
When you level out, your appetite comes back a little and you feel ready to leave the bed, seize the opportunity with all of your might!
I promise if you do this it’ll be easier the next day.
There’s a lot to be said about looking after yourself and concentrating on your mental health.
If you don’t feel like you can shower, don’t, just have a small wash. If you don’t feel like you can cook, get a takeaway.
There is a limit, though. So, when you’re absolutely ready to get out of bed and tackle a shower and a cook you should.
Takeaways are expensive and unhealthy and can make you feel worse, and if you’re marinating in your own sweat then a shower will always help.
Save this kind of self-help for the worst days and not every day.
Healthy living after this can help immensely.
You’ve seen the supplements and how they’re found in foods. If you cook a meal high in fish oils then it’ll help in exactly the same way, and you won’t be going hungry.
If you don’t feel like leaving the house, put your headphones in and pump up the volume to 11, then get some fresh air.
You are strong enough to live a healthy life filled with eating amazing meals, fresh air, and laughter. How you get there is up to you.
Yes, it’s exhausting to do everything the first day you feel slightly below average.
Yet if you do it all at once it’s done, and you’ll feel much better for it.
Or you could simply work your way up slowly and methodically, because the progress you make can really help too.
Exercising Hard, But Not Too Hard!
This has to be outside. Yes, that’s scary. Do you know the trick? It’s in part forcing yourself and in part embarrassing yourself.
Yes, that’s right!
Why would it be embarrassing?
Because you can get a lot of motivation from YouTube videos.
Look up celebrities who used to smoke or who have tackled depression and look at the positive effect going for a run has had on them.
You may feel silly sitting down and watching Harry Potter say that running helped him get through a lot of tough times, but it’s worth it.
The benefits are plenty.
Running gets you fresh air and increases your oxygen intake. It releases dopamine and gives you a “runner’s high”.
You may ache, but you’ll feel amazing.
Green Tea, The British Solution
Green tea naturally contains EGCG, one of the supplements mentioned before.
This is why green tea can be such a life saver. It naturally fights depression!
The best thing about green tea is easily this: it gets you out of bed to make it, and then you can go straight back.
But when you go back you have a tasty, warming drink in your hand.
Reading and green tea is a life saver, whether stressed out, anxious, or down in the dumps.
Oiling Your Brakes
I’m not talking about lathering yourself up and sliding down the corridors. This can help, it can be fun. But no, I’m talking about vegetable oils, olive oils, coconut oil and fish oils.
Your brain needs natural oils to help it function and to help it go above and beyond when it comes to emotions.
This is because of what the alternative is: trans fats.
These can have a negative effect on you. Natural oils do the complete opposite.
If you love cooking or loved cooking. This is the best opportunity to get back into it!
Another difficult one. When you’re depressed it can be difficult to enjoy old activities.
If you used to play guitar you can find yourself staring at it longingly but unable to pick it up.
The solution: take up a new hobby.
When you’re learning something new your brain is stimulated as new synapses are being created.
Sooner or later a new hobby can be instrumental in picking up your old ones again, if you pardon the pun.
Meditate – It’s Great!
Meditation is great because it’s personal.
You’ve looked up the best ways to meditate and you’ve set some time aside, so now what?
You just lay out some candles, put some relaxing music on, and do it.
It’s that simple.
Anything that’s as relaxing as meditation will help your mood, but meditation has something unique to it. It can improve your breathing.
Getting more oxygen can improve both anxiety and depression as it can help clear your head right out.
Talking Therapy – Say How You Feel
I know you may not want to. I know you may feel like other people deserve it more. But if you can afford it let me let you into a secret: it’s there for everyone.
Talking therapy doesn’t exist for the top ten saddest people.
You can have had a relatively happy and fulfilled life and be completely blindsided by your depression. Talking therapy is still right there for you.
It’s well worth trying to set some time aside to talk to a professional about how you’re feeling.
It’s up to you whether you yourself draw a line in the sand and say: “here’s my limit, I’ll try everything else and if it doesn’t help, I’ll go to a professional.”
Talking therapy doesn’t have to be with a professional, though.
The only risk is that while family and friends and an incredible support network can work wonders, they won’t necessarily understand.
It’s certainly a risk worth taking, though.
Everything on this list can help. Some things on their own and some things with others.
There’s no one rule, though.
There’s no possible way of saying “taking up a hobby will save you from your depression.”
It may be the one thing that makes you feel better, but it may not.
So, try all of these out, experiment. Find what works best for you.
All there’s really left to say, then, is that you do deserve to get better, and you certainly do deserve to be happy.