Sleep and exercise are important in helping symptoms of depression. Exercise can elevate your mood and sleep can help you deal with tough situations.
Did you know sleep can be very restorative? This means that when we get a good night of sleep, we are better able to handle tough situations that might be presented to us the next day. This helps particularly people with depression, who may already be experiencing some amount of disruptive sleep, whether they're sleeping too much or too little.
For people with depression, exercise may not be a cure, but it may elevate your mood through naturally produced endorphins. Dr. Samuels' recommendation is to stay active five times a week, 30 to 60 minutes at a time. This includes doing anything that you really enjoy doing, whether it's walking on a treadmill, gardening, or anything that really gets you up and going.
Even if you are having trouble feeling motivated or have very low energy levels, if you just get started and think about what the benefits might be and how you might feel at the end, you might be a little bit more motivated to get that exercise in.
Dr. Samuels is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and clinical pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and an assistant attending psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
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