Most single parents experience some form of depression at one time or another throughout their parenting career. What may have begun as sadness may have developed into something far greater. There are times when extreme emotional trauma can throw your body into an extreme chemical imbalance. This isn’t your fault; it is your body’s response to the chaos going on around you. Depression is more than just a deep sadness at your situation. Most of us aren’t thrilled at our circumstances as a single parent, but when you are depressed you may feel consumed by that sadness. You may feel as if there is no way out. At times you may even wonder what the point of living is. If you or someone you know is experiencing these types of feelings talk to your physician about what kinds of treatments would work best for you. In the meantime here are some good tips to help manage your depression.
Get plenty of exercise. Being active helps boost blood flow to your brain and increases your levels of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, all “feel-good” hormones, while reducing the amount of stress hormones throughout your body.
Have a nightly routine and get enough sleep. Depression has been linked hand in hand with those who don’t get enough sleep. When you don’t get the sleep that you need it is harder to handle the everyday stresses of life. Get on a regular sleep schedule. This helps to keep your body within its normal circadian rhythms, which helps you get a more restful sleep each night.
Maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. When you are feeling depressed resist the urge to shut everyone out. You don’t have to face this alone. There are many people who love you and are willing to help, you just have to give them the opportunity to be there for you. Go out to lunch with some girlfriends, call your mom, visit you sister. The more you nurture these relationships the more satisfying they will be to you.
Count the blessings in your life. They are all over just waiting for you to recognize them. Try writing them down so you can refer back to them when you are having a rough day. We all have so much to be thankful for, you just have to look around and take notice.
Remember that you are not alone. Most people have suffered from depression at one time or another in their lives. Talk to your doctor about is best for you in your situation. You don’t have to live with depression forever, help is available; all you have to do is ask.