1. Stay away from negativity. As a depressed and anxious individual, you are particularly sensitive to negative situations. Avoid the news, sad stories and negative people. You need to protect yourself until you are stronger and have more mental fortitude. Uplift yourself with inspiring quotes and stories. Focus on the GOOD in the world (there is actually plenty of it!) Surround yourself with POSITIVE people.
2. Learn about Resilience. A lot of us fall into depression and anxiety because we lack resilience, or the ability to "bounce back" from setbacks. Not everyone is born naturally resilient and that's O.K. It is proven that resilience is a strength that we can ALL learn and cultivate over time.
3. Drink Anti-Stress Tea, hot, cold or room temperature. I recommend the following (and in this order, from most effective to least effective, but still worth drinking Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea (hot), Chamomile and Lavender Herbal Tea, (hot) Lipton Stress Less Tea, (hot) Arizona Rx Stress Relief Tea (cold or room temperature, 2 different flavors) and just plain iced tea, sweet or unsweet. Teas has a natural stress-relieving effect. (If you cannot find these items at your local grocer, check online.)
4. Take Supplements: SAMe, St. John's Wart, Omega 3's, Fish Oil, Hyland's Calm Tablets, Natrol Anxiety and Stress Tablets, and Stresstabs (available in Stresstabs energy as well.) Magnesium is good for anxiety. Most of these can be found in your store's local vitamin section or natural health food store or online.
5. Diet. What you eat can affect your overall mood. Eat "mood foods." Aim for foods high in fatty acids, fish, walnuts and other nuts, seafood, nutritious smoothies, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Also shoot for dark, leafy greens, lean protein, whole grains, berries, avocados, beans and seeds. Also eat "comfort" foods for anxiety such as pasta, macaroni and cheese, hot soup, and soul (southern) foods. (Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, corn, etc.)
6. Mindfulness. Count how many red (or green, etc.) items are in the room, sit at the mall and people-watch, immerse yourself in a good book or magazine, practice meditation or yoga, breathe and focus on breathing, Count to 100, and realize that NOW is the ONLY reality. The past is over, the bad situations in the past are no longer in control over you and the future has not even happened. Do not live in the past or have "catastrophic" thinking about the future. Neither one is your current reality, only the present moment is.
7. Realize this about "Coulda, Woulda, Should've" and "What-If" Thinking: There are NO such things as What-Ifs and there is NO situation that actually happened where you followed your "coulda, woulda, should've" thoughts. What-Ifs and "coulda, woulda, should'ves" ARE NOT REAL. They never happened and they probably never will. They exist as thoughts in your head ONLY and as figments of your imagination. Avoid this kind of thinking. Of course, maybe IF this or that hadn't happened, or IF so-and-so didn't do this or that, things would be better. But they DID HAPPEN and so-and-so DID do that. And MAYBE you "coulda, woulda, should've", but you DIDN'T, so let it go. There are NEITHER right nor wrong choices; there are only DIFFERENT choices, and you simply made a DIFFERENT choice than what you think you now SHOULD have done. Release yourself from ALL judgment. This is the TRUTH. "And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free." -The Bible
8. Utilize resources like Live Happy magazine, In the Moment magazine and Calm magazine. Ask your local Dept. of Social Services for free or sliding-scale mental health care in your area. Visit NAMI.com. Sign up for depression and anxiety or life-coaching newsletters such as Every Day Health, Mark and Angel Hack Life, and Lifehacker. Read the self-help articles on WebMD and Mayo Clinic. Join an online support group. There are literally millions of resources out there.
9. Forgive. Others and Yourself especially. Show yourself compassion (the same that you would show a friend.) Unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment only lead to poor mental and physical health. Forgiveness is NOT excusing actions or letting people off the hook; it is NOT something that you do for the person who wronged you; it is something you do for YOURSELF and it is BREAKING FREE from the chains of being a victim and RELEASING yourself from the grip of the bad experience.
10. Write letters. To the people who wronged you, to the friend that hurt you, or to the parents that abused you. You DO NOT have to give it to them or even send the letter. Be your own advice guru; Write about your problem as if you were asking a newspaper columnist what to do, and answer it yourself, telling yourself exactly what you would tell a friend in your situation. Wha-la! You now have an OBJECTIVE solution!
11. (This tip is excluded from the title of this article because it involves possible Rx drugs.) Have no insurance? Join a depression or anxiety study. Research them on the internet. You can then get treatment for FREE if you qualify. You can try new therapies currently in studies. You may have to take a survey or answer a questionnaire to apply. If there are none in your area, you still may be able to participate as home-delivery pharmacy medications are now becoming commonplace.
12. If you are in the Unites States and need to find more resources or just need to talk to someone, call 211. They can direct you to any kind of social, mental, economic and other help. If you are not in the US, please research your country's Help Line, Lifeline, Crisis Line or General Information Line on the internet.