You’re doing the therapy thing but still feel some lingering depressive symptoms. Or perhaps, you just can’t seem to fit therapy into your calendar or budget but want to kick the familiar pings of overwhelm and exhaustion that are surfacing again.
Whatever the reasons, if you are feeling a bit more run down and want to improve your mood, try these three tips.
Guard your sleep
Sleep deprivation puts you at significant risk for depression, illness, and increased
emotional distress. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you are getting
the recommended hours of sleep, you should wake up feeling refreshed. If that isn’t happening, it may be time to look at your nighttime routine or schedule an appointment with your doctor to explore underlying medical conditions or get a referral for a sleep study. The best nighttime routines ditch the electronics (at least an hour before bed), are consistent, and allow your body to gradually wind down.
Bright Light Therapy
- If every year fall to winter, you begin feeling run down, irritable, depressed, or hopeless, then bright light therapy could help significantly reduce your symptoms. Bright light therapy remains one of the treatments of choice for seasonal depression because it impacts brain chemicals known to be associated with sleep and mood. Bright light therapy is generally safe and non-invasive therapy, but if you have any medical conditions or are on medication, be sure to talk with your doctor to rule out any potential concerns.
- While studies do not compare acupuncture to conventional treatments (e.g., therapy and medication) and many experts still consider acupuncture an experimental treatment option, published case studies and some experimental studies presented in psychological literature support the possible benefit of acupuncture. Acupuncture is generally a well-tolerated intervention to try. It is a relatively quick way to release endorphins (the hormones responsible for giving you a “runner’s high” after a good workout) and lull the nervous system into a state of calm. Acupuncture may also headaches and migraines, a common physical symptom of emotional distress, by increasing blood flow throughout the body.
Dr. Debra Rezendes – Resident in Marriage and Family Counseling
Debra has over ten years of community and clinical work experience with individuals, children, parents, and families. She has been published in the Journal of Happiness Studies and Autism Research and Treatment. Debra received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University. She has skills in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), strengths-based therapies, self-compassion training, attachment-based therapies, play therapy, and solution-focused therapy. Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Rezendes.