Everyone feels down now and again. However, if you have been feeling low for a number of weeks, if your sleep pattern is disturbed and you do not take pleasure in things which you use to enjoy, then you may be depressed. If it isn't properly managed, depression can have a significant impact on your life, your career and your relationships. Below is a guide to 2 things you can do to help to combat depression.

Create a routine

If you are depressed, you should take some time off work so you can recover. It is important to remember that even though it cannot be outwardly seen in the same way mental illness is just as real as a physical illness. If you are depressed, you should take some time off work so you can recover.

During your sick leave, it can be tempting to retreat under the bedcovers. While this might seem to give some temporary relief, in the long run, it could actually make your depression worse. Staying in bed all day can lead to you missing meals, not washing and becoming isolated from the world. To combat this, you should create a routine which you follow every day, no matter how low you are feeling.

For example, your routine could look something like this: Set an alarm clock for a reasonable time in the morning and force yourself out of bed. Eat a healthy breakfast. Go for a walk. Walking is a great form a gentle exercise which will get your muscles moving. Studies have shown that exercise releases 'feel good' transmitters in the brain. Going for a walk will also get out of the house so you can interact and engage with the world. After lunch, you should spend some time on another activity. Useful activities may include meditation, painting, listening to music or reading a book. Any activity which allows you to relax and creatively engage with yourself will help to lift your mood.

See a counsellor

Sometimes, it can be tough for a depressed person to talk about how they are feeling. If you are depressed, you may not want to talk about your thoughts and feelings with your friends or family members. However, talking about your feelings will allow you to process and deal with them. A professional counsellor is someone who is trained to listen and respond to a client. The counsellor may ask you questions as you talk so you can explore possible sources of your low mood or process events from your past so you can reach a point where your mood lifts and you can move on with your life.

By making a routine and seeking counselling, you can take the first steps to overcoming depression.