Get Regular Sleep:
A huge contributor, and in some cases a cause, of depression is lack of sleep and irregular sleep. Studies show that people who sleep for at least 6 hours a night at a regular time are much less likely to become or remain depressed.
Unfortunately, a symptom of depression that many of us are all too familiar with is insomnia. We get depressed, so we can't sleep. Lack of sleep makes us more depressed. It's a horrible cycle.
Fortunately, there are ways to help you sleep that don't involve addictive sleeping pills. Here are three of the best/most common ones:
1. Go to sleep and wake up at a regular time, and get at least 6 hours of sleep a night.
2. Try Melatonin. You can buy it in most drugstores. It is a safe supplement that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
3. Try Valerian. This herbal supplement from the Valerian root is very useful in falling asleep. I would recommend the pills, but if you don't mind the taste there is also tea.
Get Regular Exercise.
Exercise releases endorphins into your brain, causing you to feel better. Regular exercise will also help you get in shape, which will make you feel better about yourself.
Start Light Therapy.
One of the largest causes of depression is Seasonal Affective Disorder, which happens in the winter months when people don't get as much sunlight as they're used to. If you live in an area which doesn't get a lot of sunlight, consider purchasing a therapy lamp. Of course, it is better (and easier) just to go outside in the sun more often.
Talk to a Therapist.
One of the most helpful things for me was talking to a therapist for an hour once a week. If you can find a spare hour in your week to talk to a psychologist, it is definitely worth it. Therapists can give you lots of different methods for coping with your depression, and it's always helpful just to talk to somebody who won't be judgmental.
If you don't like your therapist, find a new one. I went through several before I found somebody who I felt I could talk to.
Write a Journal.I have been struggling for many years with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (aka clinical depression), which has affected every aspect of my life. Until about a year ago, I was on a different medication every few months and nothing seemed to be working. The constant withdrawal symptoms and side effects were really taking a toll on me, and it wasn't easy to cope.
These days, I'm doing much better and am completely off prescription medicine. Here's how I did it: