Strategy #2: Supplement your mood. A B-complex vitamin and the amino acid tryptophan are a good combination to take; they help increase the brain's release of serotonin, which is a natural anti-depressant. Foods that are high in typtophan include bananas, soybeans, nuts, turkey, and tuna.
Strategy #3: Don't overdo protein. Too much protein can inhibit the brain's intake of tryptophan and increase feelings of depression. Don't eat more than one protein-rich meal per day.
Strategy #4: Don't forget to breathe. It is common for you to breathe shallowly when you're depressed, which tends to create a physical depression. You can help to get yourself out of this depressed state by taking full, deep breaths more often. Alternate nostril breathing creates a rhythmic profusion of air which further enhances oxygenation of the body. To do this type of breathing, sit comfortably with your back straight, exhale fully, close the right nostril with one finger and inhale slowly through your left nostril. After you have inhaled fully through your left nostril, close it and exhale through your right nostril. Keep your left nostril closed and inhale through your right nostril and so on. Repeat this process for a couple of minutes.
Strategy #5: Befriend a friend. When you're depressed you tend to keep to yourself and wallow in your depression. Don't suffer alone, extend yourself; talk to someone--go visit a friend.
Strategy #6: Help someone else. Being with, talking to, and helping others less fortunate than you will not only take your mind off your depression, it will help make you feel better about yourself.
Strategy #7: Befriend a pet. Having a pet cat, dog, unicorn or whatever is wonderfully therapeutic. You have someone to talk to, someone who will listen to your every word, someone to provide you with unconditional love...and a pet is cheaper than a therapist.
Strategy #8: Give yourself credit for something, anything. When you're depressed you tend to blame yourself for everything; you rarely acknowledge anything good about yourself or your life. Don't. Look for what is going right. Be proud that you've acknowledged your depression rather than ignored or denied it. Be pleased that you are trying to do something about it rather than wallow in it. Appreciate your home, family, friends, work, or any simple kindness you did for someone recently. By shining a little light onto the positive side, perhaps you will find that invincible summer in your midst of winter.
Strategy #9: Swear off sin. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs (recreational and therapeutic), sugar, and junk food can all depress you, physically and psychologically. Perhaps your depression is telling you that what you are doing to your body is bringing you down.
Strategy #10: Join the coffee generation. Coffee, like sugar, can lead to various problems, but small amounts can also be beneficial for some people, especially during depression. Caffeine molecules have been shown to displace certain neurotransmitters and help to keep the "good-mood" chemicals in circulation. Coffee is fast-acting and the effects can last three to six hours. Despite these benefits, though, be aware that coffee is like a drug; it has side effects. Because of this, safer methods should be considered before resorting to this strategy. Don't drink more than one cup per day during depressed times.