Depression – Get away from me!

After waking up to the sound of the heavy rain and loud thunder this afternoon, I felt a little down.Not sure if it’s actually about the rain or the said stories coming from my fellow survivors I fell asleep on while reading,that brought me to this negative mood. So instead of getting consumed by it, I turned it around by playing a feel -good music and started searching for tips on what to do when this dispiriting depression comes to visit.

Here they are:

Treatment alone is not always enough to fight depression. A variety of practical management strategies can help you fight depression and other difficult emotions. Some tips to manage depression include:

  • Communicate. Talk about your feelings, post-stroke issues, and concerns with your caregivers, family, and friends. Relationships may change after a stroke and it may take time to adjust to new roles.
  • Improve nutrition. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin B, and complex carbohydrates can help improve mood and fight depression.
    • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish, flaxseed, walnuts) promote brain health.
    • Complex carbohydrates (brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat) boost neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain that affect mood.
    • Dark chocolate helps fight fatigue and reduce stress.
    • A deficiency in folic acid (found in beans, oranges, and broccoli) is linked to depression; folic acid boosts neurotransmitters and promotes cognition.
    • Vitamin B12 (eggs, milk, liver) increases energy and alertness.
  • Set realistic goals and prioritize. Break up larger tasks or projects into smaller ones.
  • Practice stress and anxiety management techniques. Deep breathing, squeezing a stress ball, guided imagery, aromatherapy, meditation, and taking a walk or journaling can be very helpful.
  • Be patient with yourself and loved ones. Stroke can be traumatic and recovery takes time.
  • Stay as active as possible. Adaptive equipment and aids such as canes, braces and walkers can help stroke survivors improve physical fitness. Walking, yoga, and swimming, are low-impact and promote recovery.
  • Get out into the community. Volunteering for a cause you believe in, returning to work, taking cooking classes, or joining a club can be exciting.
  • Minimize or eliminate alcohol consumption and smoking.

Source: National Stroke Association

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