As you probably know all too well, depression can sneak up on you and before you know it, you are struggling to keep your head above water. It can feel like you were just standing on solid ground. And, maybe you were. Because depression is often a slow and steady progression, it is harder to defend your mind against it. However, there are things you can do to prevent it, and ways to catch it early. When you take the initiative, you can stop it before it gets worse.
You already know the importance of daily routines, but did you realize they can be a way to measure where your mental health is? Take sleep, for example. If you are getting enough sleep at night, you are fortifying yourself mentally. Both the sleep and the routine of sleep help you to be healthy mentally and physically. However, if you miss a few hours one night, it can impact you, possibly even right away. Getting back into the daily routine of nine hours of sleep is important.
If you miss sleep for more than one night, it can have an effect on where your mental health is going to be. Similarly, with diet, exercise, and all of the things you do each day to stay healthy. If you stay on schedule, you can be reasonably sure of staying healthy. However, if you start missing things from your daily routine, then you put yourself at risk of depression.
You don’t have to wait for a whole week to go by to determine if you are getting into a danger area. You can check in every single day, morning and night, or more often if needed. Ask yourself how you are feeling. How is your mood? Did you sleep well? Or did you toss and turn? Were your reactions typical given what was going on around you? Did you feel sad? Did you feel too sad? Or did you feel numb? Do you remember what happened? How does your body feel? Do you feel more tired than you should?
This may sound tedious, but asking all of the important questions about the causes or symptoms of early depression will help you to be more aware of your mental health in general. Checking in daily gets easier, and soon it becomes a habit, just like checking to make sure you locked the door or turned off the lights. When you have a number of days in a row where your check-in is not satisfactory, then you can reach out and get some help before you crash completely.
Another important part of your personal depression prevention plan is to identify some of the things that you know cause you to become depressed. For example, sleep deprivation is a very common one. You should guard your sleep like you would your family, because changes in sleep, either sleeping too much or not enough, are proven to impact moods and can cause or indicate depression.
Other causes may be stressful situations or people, things like accidents or loss of someone, financial stress, relationship stress, or even things like the changing of the seasons. However, it doesn’t have to be any big event or people in your life. It can be things like not exercising or other changes in your routine. If you are also in recovery, you will know that there are triggers, and it is similar to the triggers that lead to depression.
Plan to Prevent
When you know what causes your depression, then you can make plans to prevent the situations or circumstances which cause it. For example, if you have a former friend or relationship with a person that really causes you a lot of stress, then make plans to not be around that person as much as possible. If going without food regularly makes you physically and mentally ill, then try keeping a snack around and stick a schedule for your meal as much as possible. If your friends want you to go out and stay out late all of the time, then find other ways to spend with them so you don’t miss that needed sleep.
You don’t have to ruin your life or take all of the fun out of it, but if you guard your mental health care, you will have more fun in life. By keeping your mental health, you can find ways to truly live. Not temporary ways to have fun which causes you to crash and risk everything, but genuinely finding joy out of life by staying mentally healthy.
Live Happily Ever After?
We would all love to have that fairy tale ending. But even Cinderella had to endure so much before she found her prince. By protecting your mental health habits small and large, it may not be easy, but you can prevent so much depression. Checking in daily and asking for help when you start to slip can help you to live reasonably happily ever after. More importantly, you will still be alive, and mentally healthy. After all, you have been through a lot, and those things in and of themselves can seem like a fairy tale, and you get to control the magic wand.
Take control over your mental health and learn to prevent depression. Embark Behavioral Health can be a reference for you. For questions call 1-855-809-0409. Make all of your dreams come true.