I hear a lot of people talking about how hard it is to get motivated when you’re depressed but I barely ever here anyone mention how much it physically hurts your damn body. It’s not just sleeping all day and despondency, a lot of the time it can be really freaking painful. Depression is different for everyone but for me it is accompanied by a lot of physical symptoms. Here are the some of the symptoms I have experienced and some of the things I did to cope with them.
When I am depressed I have a really hard time sleeping. I’ll lie awake all night but I’m so uncomfortable I can’t sleep. The first thing I do to help me fall asleep is take a low dose of melatonin. Melatonin helps your body sync your sleep wake cycle with light and darkness. It makes you very sensitive to light so I put up blackout curtains in my room to keep out any light pollution. Another thing I do to try and fall asleep is to turn the thermostat down and make it a little cooler in my room. After I get into bed I listen to a sleep meditation. I usually just find one on YouTube and play it on my phone. Finally, if I still can’t sleep I start waking up really early and make sure I get a good workout in. Getting up early and staying awake all day helps make me really tired at the end of the day.
Depression is a really physical pain for me. I get achy all over my body and usually get sharp pain in my chest. I like to soak in lavender epsom salts. Lavender has been shown to be relaxing and epsom salts can help with sore muscles. When I get out of the bath I rub icy hot on the areas that hurt (usually my chest and my legs). I have found that stretching helps so I try to do easy stretching videos on YouTube. A lot of times if my chest really hurts I’ll use a heating pad before I go to bed.
When I’m depressed I usually lose my appetite. It’s important to try and eat a little bit even if you don’t feel like it. Recovery is going to be that much harder if you don’t eat. If I’m really not hungry I’ll make a smoothie. I keep buy bags of frozen fruit so I always have the ingredients on hand. I mix some supplements like vitamins, flax oil, fish oil and protein powder in with the fruit to try and get an extra boost. I also try and eat a little bit of fish. Omega 3 has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression. You can checkout my super easy salmon recipe here.
When I’m depressed I get relentless headaches. The first thing I do to try and get some relief is chug a bunch of water. I’m really bad about drinking enough water. I bought a water bottle that keeps water cold forever and that seems to be helping. The second thing I do for headaches is peppermint oil. This stuff is a godsend for headaches. If you get headaches you have to try it out.
Depression and anxiety go hand in hand for me and I always struggle with both of them. Whenever I’m struggling with anxiety I cut sugar and caffeine from my diet. This makes a huge difference for me and I really recommend you try it if you struggle with anxiety. The second thing I like to do to help anxiety is drink chamomile or peppermint tea. I also like to use lavender essential oil to help with anxiety. When I’m feeling really anxious I like to curl up in bed with a cup of tea, lavender oil and a book and try to let some of the worry go.
I hope these little tips can help you get more comfortable while you recover but if you’re really struggling please go talk to a therapist or a Doctor. Remember this is only one of many phases of your life. There have been so many times when I felt like I would never recover but these days I live a (mostly) happy and joy filled life. If it’s possible for me then I know it is possible for you too.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
Radical Transformation Project is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.