Design Ideas for Small Spaces and Flats

If you have a flat or a small house, interior design can be a bit more challenging than usual. After all, the last thing you want to do is make your home look even more cramped. You need to concentrate on interior design that is going to make your home appear and feel more spacious. Read on for some ideas to help you get started.

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  1. Unclutter – There is only one place to begin, and this is with clearing any clutter. Clutter can easily accumulate when you are living in a small apartment, as you don’t have as much storage space. You are going to need to be strict regarding what items you keep and what items you throw away. You should also look for some clever storage solutions. For example, you could opt for a divan bed, which has storage options underneath it.
  2. Choose airy pieces – You will be much better off going for a table with an open metal base or a see-through acrylic one, rather than choosing a solid-wood coffee table. This will weigh the space down.
  3. Let there be light – Dark spaces look more cramped. It’s important to let as much natural light into a space as possible, as relying on harsh overheads can result in a lot of headaches. You could get skylights installed if you have a top floor flat. Or, why not go all out and have new, bigger windows put in? Of course, this is a large investment, and so you should only go down this route if you can afford the expense and the hassle.
  4. Embrace the floating design trend – Your small flat will appear closed off if you incorporate bulky and large pieces of furniture. One way to open things up is to incorporate floating elements into the design, as this allows the eye to travel all the way through the space while also ensuring you benefit from the same functionality. Opt for a floating sink instead of a traditional vanity, for example, or switch your bookcase for floating shelves. Also, when it comes to furniture, don’t go for anything that sits directly on the floor, and instead choose furniture pieces that have legs.
  5. Add depth with layering – Depth is something that a lot of small spaces seem to lack. One easy way to add this is with layering. Layer your bed with throw pillows and multiple blankets to keep you cozy and warm while adding depth. Why not add a fluffy rug to your living room or use shadow boxes for wall hangings?  
  6. Select furniture that is scaled-down – Petite tables are going to be much better than bulky furniture. Make sure you buy items that suit a smaller space.
  7. Use décor and furniture to add curves – A lot of small flats tend to be box-shaped, which is why it is a good idea to add some curves with your furniture and décor. This will stop the interior design from appearing monotone. Think about using a sofa and chair set with angled sides, for instance, or go for a round dining table. Once you have found furniture pieces that match your personal style and your needs, make certain to complement those curves by choosing accessories that have similar shapes. There are many different ways you can do this, for example, you could go for a table lamp with a rounded shape or an oval shaped mirror.
  8. Match your curtain colour to your walls – Your room will feel a lot bigger if you match the colour of your curtains to your walls. This is because your curtains will blend in, which results in an unbroken line.
  9. Purchase a statement mirror – One of the best ways to open up a space and make it appear a lot bigger is to invest in a statement mirror. This can become the focal point in the room. The reason why a mirror comes highly recommended is because it will ensure natural light bounces around the room. This makes the space appear a lot bigger, and it will be more comfortable and welcoming too. The bigger the mirror is, the better!
  10. Choose a light colour palette – When choosing colours for your flat, it is a good idea to keep things light. Light shades will open up the space, whereas darker and richer colours have a tendency to make spaces appear a lot smaller. It is a good idea to go for two lighter shades and then use a darker colour for accenting. This will ensure your home is visually interesting.
  11. It is all about scale – One thing you need to remember when decorating a small space is that it is all about scale. Your small space will look larger when you choose furniture that is small. Unless you want to make a bold statement, you should stay away from overstuffed and dramatic couches!
  12. Find an organisation system – As mentioned above, dealing with clutter is of paramount importance when decorating any type of small space. When it comes to small apartment living, everyone knows that storage is king. You need to choose the right systems to help you deal with clutter. To keep you on track, invest in some organizers. There are plenty of clever solutions available for purchase today. You could use small baskets to line shelves, for example, or why not buy back-of-the-door shoe hangers for extra storage without taking up more space?
  13. Fake larger windows – You can make your windows seem taller than they are by placing curtain rods just below the ceiling, rather than placing them just above the window frame. This is because it draws the eye upward, which makes a rather big difference. You can also use this to make your windows appear bigger in terms of width.
  14. Go vertical with storage – Don’t only think horizontally when it comes to making use of space in your apartment, you need to think vertically too. When trying to get the most storage out of the least amount of space, narrow and tall storage systems are the best way to go. For a built-in shelving look, one great idea is to place two identical bookshelves at either side of a doorway.
  15. Figure out your priorities – One thing you need to accept is that you can’t have it all when you have a small flat or a small space to deal with. There may be many different furniture pieces and ornaments you want to include, but you are going to need to be more choosey. Take the time to figure out your priorities, as small spaces are limited. Once you have done this, allocate these priorities accordingly. For example, some people want a living space and, therefore, would prefer a bed that folds up. There are then those that would rather have a desk space than a dining area. Think about what you need, and make your home work to this. Don’t feel forced into decorating your home traditionally – it’s your home, it must work for you!
  16. Rethink spaces that aren’t being used at the moment – It can be easy to get stuck in a rut when you have been living in the same place for a substantial amount of time. It’s time to think about whether you are using your space in the most efficient way that you can. Challenge yourself! Identify spaces that currently do not have a useful purpose. Once you have done this, think about different ways you can use these spaces to your advantage. You will be surprised with what you come up with. Plus, you are bound to find plenty of inspiration on blogs and social media.
  17. Invest in dual-purpose furniture – Every inch counts when you are dealing with a small space. Invest in furniture that has more than one purpose in order to make the most of a room. Focus on pieces that are going to work with you, rather than trying to work your space around the furniture you want. There are so many clever dual-purpose items that are available for purchase today. Sofa beds aren’t the only option!
  18. Sprinkle in some Metallics – Not only do metallic accessories look incredible, but they will make your flat appear a lot bigger too. They will have a similar impact to a mirror, meaning they will reflect light off the surface and open up the space. Plus, metallic accessories are bang on trend at the moment, so it’s a great way to ensure your flat looks super stylish.

So there you have it; plenty of suggestions that you can use to make any small space or small flat appear bigger. You will be surprised by how much of a difference these changes can make. Plus, a lot of them don’t cost a lot or require much effort either! It’s a win-win. You will feel like you are living in a brand new home.

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Why You Should Focus On Fitness (Beyond The Perfect Bod)

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You want people to turn their heads when they see you on the high street. You want your clothes to fit within an inch of their life. You want to be healthier and fitter than ever before.

Okay, so the usual reasons for focusing on fitness revolve around obtaining a perfect body. Let’s face it – the idea of hitting the beach with a toned stomach is appealing. Still, vanity alone isn’t the only reason to get fit. It’s a good start, but it’s only the beginning. You see, it’s easy to quit once the results don’t show within a short space of time.

No, what you need is something long-term that will drive you to stay fit forever. Maybe not forever, but you get the drift! So, here is a selection of reasons to focus on fitness that doesn’t include toned arms and a washboard stomach.

Enjoy, if that is physically possible!

Mental Fitness

Don’t forget that the mind is just as important as the body. In fact, a quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger on azquotes.com says that the brain is the key. And, that comes from a guy who made a living out of bulging pecs. If he understands the distinction, then you can too. Without a healthy mind, it isn’t possible to maintain a robust body. Even though you would love to, the negative thoughts in your brain prevent it from happening. By hitting the treadmill or retreating to the weights room, the negative attitude turns into a positive one. It’s down to a healthier chemical balance which is a result of increased hormone activity from exercise. Of course, there are alternative ways to blow off steam, which is essentially what happens in the gym. But, none are as accessible and wide-ranging as working out two to three times per week.

Heightened Concentration

Once the brain goes into training, the body begins to experience the benefits. For example, blowing off steam keeps cortisol levels low and stops the buildup of stress. Or, it boosts adrenaline and oestrogen and testosterone creation and keeps you feeling happy and content. But, probably the principal benefit of increased mental health is a sense of heightened concentration. When you can focus more, it affects nearly every aspect of your life. From work to relationships, it is easier to spot the small things and solve problems. Add the fact that you are no longer tired or stressed and the effect is multiplied by ten. For all you goldfish out there, this is reason enough.

Ability To Say Yes

How many times have you wanted to say yes but said no? For most people, it’s too many times to count and it’s because of their health and fitness. Say someone asks you on a hike, the odds are you will say no if you’re not in shape. Even if it’s only a short trip, people don’t like to go out of their physical comfort zone. So, instead of saying “Hell yes,” lots of us will respond with a “no thank you.” The effects of this are not just physical, but, yep you guessed it, mental. FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is real and occurs every time you decline an invite you would love to experience. Would you like to go on an adventure holiday? Or, would you like to backpack across a continent of your choosing? Believe it or not, the key to ticking your dreams of a bucket list is a foundation of mental and physical health. It’s only three letters, yet they’re hard to say when you’re unfit.

The Joy

Flogging your body up a mountain never seems like a good idea. Indeed, it’s one of the worst ideas in history when you’re halfway up and about to suffer a cardiac arrest. Then, something miraculous and inconceivable happens when you reach the summit. Yep, a smile stretches across your face. As weird as it sounds, it’s scientifically sound according to the boffins at webmd.com. To begin with, the majority of folks on this planet only do the things which they find enjoyable. Running a marathon might not appeal to you, but some people find it exhilarating. Plus, there are the hormonal changes which occur when a person exercises. Dailyburn.com points out that there is a flood of endorphins after the fact which leads to a “runner’s high.” If that isn’t enough, everyone experiences a feeling of achievement when they complete a difficult task.

Addiction Aid

When you hear the word, it makes you think of heroin and hardcore drugs, yet that isn’t the case. There is a good chance you know someone with an addiction. Does a family member or close friend smoke? Do you like an occasional crafty fag? If so, you are both hooked on nicotine and can’t go a day without a hit. Okay, the impact on lifestyle might not be as harsh, but cigarettes are just as dangerous from a physical perspective. The good news is that focusing on fitness can help get the monkey off your back as working out helps you to forget. When you don’t think about smoking, there is no reason to fill your lungs with tar. In conjunction with quitting alternatives, there is an excellent chance of stopping. Ecigwizard.com has an array or e-cigs to help cut down, and smokefree.gov has tips on nicotine replacement. Nhs.uk has the “Smokefree” app, too. Use them together and the odds of cutting down and quitting are much higher.

Feeling Of Accomplishment

Smokers, drinkers and junk food eaters want to cut down but never think it will happen. Then, the results come in thick and fast and they can’t believe their eyes. Aside from the obvious health benefits, there is a feeling of accomplishment which shouldn’t be understated. For one thing, cutting down on the things that harm your health is a big deal and deserves praise. Some might say you should never take health for granted, but don’t let them get you down! An achievement is an achievement regardless. Then, there is the knock-on effect in every other aspect of your life. Once you realise you can exorcise your demons, no task seems too daunting. After fighting an addiction and winning, the world is at your feet. And, you can say yes when someone asks you to explore it this time around.

Confidence Shot

We are all plagued by doubt and self-confidence issues. Whether it’s the way we look or out skill set, no one is cock-sure of themselves. They might appear that way, but they need a confidence boost as much as anyone. Quite simply, everyone needs to feel good about themselves and their body to function. Sometimes, a person will make eye contact with you on the tube, or your boss will praise you in front of the office. But, on the rare occasions it doesn’t happen, a contingency is essential. As you can see from the above, working out has a plethora of advantages which are easy to quantify. But, just looking at the results in a mirror is enough to encourage your best Ron Burgundy impression. “I look good. I mean, I look really good. Hey, everyone, come see how good I look!”

The Social Network

The truth is that working out is not about the exercise for many people. It’s a means to an end, but they hit the gym and pound the pavement for different reasons. The leading one is meeting up with friends and socialising. Human beings – that’s men and women – love to gossip and chew the fat. “What have you been doing?” “How’s work going?” “What’s new?” These aren’t questions you only hear at the dinner table because friends want to engage and interact in your life, too. And, they often have a role which is impossible for your family to replicate. Sure, you can tell your partner anything, within reason! Some things are better left to the wise sages who you call your BFFs. The truth is that lots of people would stop exercising altogether if it wasn’t for the company they keep. Come on – everyone needs a break from reality now and again.

Lead By Example

Mothers understand the importance of setting an excellent example for their kids. After all, a child’s parents are their heroes in the early stages of their lives. So, whatever mums and dads do, kids imitate on a regular basis. From a health and fitness point of view, this is a positive as it encourages kids to exercise. In a world where childhood obesity is rising, more children need to grasp the value of exercise. Non-mothers might think this is a paragraph they can skip, but you’d be wrong. Every woman has a female figure in their life that needs guidance. From a younger sister to a niece of a work colleague, they can be as impressionable as children. Hopefully, your lifestyle will rub off on them and encourage them to respect their bodies.

A six pack is nice, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Essentially, keeping fit has an array of positives which have nothing to do with the body.

Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

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Renovating your home is incredibly exciting. Whether you’ve bought a new house and are preparing it before you move in, or making significant changes to give new life to your current home, there is a lot you can do, and you are sure to have a lot of fun. However, many people make the same mistakes during renovations. They get carried away or forget to consider things. Here are some of the mistakes to watch out for.

Not Having a Strict Budget

Renovating is exciting. This means it’s easy to get carried away. Many people rush in, with a basic budget of how much they want to spend. They then make additions and change their minds as they go and end up hugely overspending.

To avoid this, sit down before you start and make an in-depth budget. Have an overall number, the final amount you want to have spent. Then, look at everything you want to do and assign a proportion of your budget to each part. Making sure you leave 10% for extras, to give you a chance to run over, change your mind or deal with problems that arise. Then, as you go, if you want to spend more on something, look at your budget and find somewhere you can save that money.

Not Preparing for Waste

Even renovating one room can lead to a massive amount of rubbish. Often, people don’t think about this and end up spending their evenings making trips to the tip, trying to squeeze everything into their cars. Even if you are using a building team who bring a skip, there will be a lot left that you need to deal with. www.samedayrubbishremoval.com.au can offer you a fast and efficient way of getting rid of any left-over rubbish, without adding to your stress.

Spending on the Wrong Things

This is another problem that comes with getting carried away. You’re spending a lot of time and money on your home improvements, so obviously you want it to look great. This often leads to people spending a fortune on things like appliances and bathroom fittings, leaving less for the more important structural changes. Remember, appliances, taps and other small fittings can easily be upgraded later on, style over substance is never a good idea. Instead, spend more money on flooring, structure, and brickwork to make sure it lasts the distance.

Choosing the Wrong Help

If you are making substantial home improvements, you will need help. For bigger jobs, you may want to hire a designer, architect, and contractor. But, don’t hire the first person you meet that seems to share your view. Remember, they know how to pitch for work and what to say to get the job. Check out http://www.homeadvisor.com, meet a few people, ask the right question and make sure you get someone who fully understands what you want and you can see yourself working with without any issues.

Making changes to your home can be wonderful, but mistakes like these can be costly or even ruin a project. Being prepared for them will help you to avoid them and have a successful home renovation.

Is Falling Asleep a Nightmare? Try These Relaxing Techniques

You will probably be only too aware of the restorative properties of sleep, and if you don’t get enough of it every night, there are all manner of negative side effects. But in today’s busy world, it can be difficult to drift off at night, particularly with so many competing responsibilities and other things on your mind.

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If you do have a persistent sleep disorder, it is important that you try to deal with this as soon as you can. Sleep apnea is one of the most common and MyCPAP Machine has been shown to have certain positive effects. In terms of ways that you can relax yourself before bed, here are a few of the most common which get positive results.

Set Yourself a Pre-Sleep Routine

Getting into a regular sleep-wake cycle is a great way to get your body ready for sleep each and every night. So, try out different pre-sleep routines until you find one which suits you. For example, you may decide to have a warm bubble bath every night to relax your muscles. Alternatively, you could do some gentle stretching or try listening to music. Try to avoid watching TV or playing on your phone as these activities tend to be more stimulating and can therefore be disruptive.

Write Down Your Worries

One of the things that often keeps people tossing and turning during the night is being fixated by the worries which are rushing around their heads. So, try writing these down when they come to you. After all, there is nothing you can do about them while you are trying to sleep and once they are written down, you can remember to come back to deal with them the next morning. In fact, you may come back to find that many of these worries were not such big issues after all.

Create the Right Environment

If you want to go to sleep easily, you need to create the right sleeping environment so you feel totally comfortable and at ease. So, start by tidying up your bedroom so there is not too much clutter on display as this can end up stressing you out. Depending on the season, make sure that you don’t have too many or too few duvets and blankets on the bed so you are at a comfortable temperature. Try to create a cool environment and you could also make things dark with a blackout blind.

Occupy Your Brain with Simple Mental Activities

One way of falling asleep that has been shown to get results amongst certain people is by occupying your brain with simple mental activities when you are falling asleep. For example, you could think of a category like ‘food beginning with the letter A’ and thinking of as many as you can. Alternatively, try focusing on a particular object and thinking about all its individual details closely. This way, your mind is not tempted to go back to bigger and more stressful issues in your life.

Staying Safe On Holiday Should Be Your Main Priority

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While looking forward to and enjoying your holiday should be of total importance to you, it’s also important to put plans in place to keep your safety guaranteed. The world can be an unpredictable place depending on where you go. Staying respectful and wise about the cultures you are visiting helps, but so do the following tips to help you stay secure and safe on holiday. While most societies these days are wonderful and accepting of outsiders wishing to enjoy tourism, that doesn’t mean it’s offensive to those who are hospitable to make sure you feel safe and secure while there.

Know Where You’re Going

Sometimes, reading the news in advance regarding a select location can be helpful in figuring out whether to postpone or place your stay elsewhere. For example, some societies while beautiful culturally might be suffering from financial ills or societal troubles that could promise to create a turbulent visit for the budding tourist. For example, Venezuela is currently experiencing plenty of problems, and the economy is experiencing fraught difficulty. While the culture is intrinsically beautiful, avoiding societies facing troubles like these, or even in proximity to troubles like these might be worthwhile in helping you assign your holiday destination wisely. Of course, you will always know best regarding your intent for visit and whether or not it’s worth visiting.

Help Your Health Issues

When you have a beautiful visit all ready made to enjoy, it’s important to make sure that all of your health needs are taken care of for the transport process to the location, as well as for the full remainder of your stay. For example, making sure that your medicines are able to pass customs of the country you’re heading to, as well as ensuring you have access to it at all times. If you have limited mobility, bringing a helper or friend along with you in order to enjoy the experience might be necessary.

Before you’re even in the location, making sure that you enquire ahead of time to have the required equipment waiting for the second your feet touch foreign soil can be of tremendous benefit. For example, if booking a sun filled and exciting holiday in Tenerife, hiring the rental services of a firm like Blue Badge Tenerife ahead of time will not only help you acquire the mobility equipment you need, but will help inform you of the standard law when driving motorised chairs on the road, or good habits in keeping the equipment safe and useful during your stay.

Secure Your Cash

There are many ways to help you overcome robbery during your holiday, and all of them are useful. For the best results, you’ll need to use a combination of them. Traveller’s cheques allow you to transport currency across borders without cash being easily redeemable and useable. Wearing fake belt with a money pouch sewn into the interior can help you keep your value in a pinch if you are robbed. Bringing a portable safe in the hotel room can allow you to avoid the prying hands of thieves in your hotel. Sometimes, your card might be able to work internationally without charge, completely eschewing the need to carry around large sums of cash in the first place. No matter which method you choose, you will surely feel the benefits if the low probability misfortune does target you.

Keep on top of these tips, and you’re sure to have a safe and healthy holiday defined by peace of mind.

Having One Of Those Days? 30-Minute Solutions To Lift Your Spirits

Are you having one of those days? We all go through times when it seems like everything is a challenge or we’ve got too much on our plates. If you feel like you’re juggling responsibilities or you’ve woken up feeling low or stressed, here are some 30-minute solutions you can try to lift your spirits. Next time you’re having one of those days when nothing is going right, these simple techniques could help to turn your frown upside down.

Fresh air

If you’ve been cooped up inside all day, take half an hour at lunch or a break during the afternoon to get some vitamin D, stretch your legs and clear your mind. Take some deep breaths, have a walk and enjoy being out in the open. Your serotonin levels are affected by the amount of oxygen in the body, so inhaling clean, fresh air will do your mood a power of good. If you take a break in the sunshine or go for a brisk walk on a chilly day, this will also energize and refresh you, and you’ll be ready to take on whatever the rest of the day holds.

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Massage

Have you had a stressful day? Have you been feeling tense or fraught? Are you spinning plates at work or have you been dealing with tantrums at home or trying to get through a to-do list that seems like it has no end? Sometimes, when you’re busy, you need to take time out to rest your body and mind and release tension, and having a massage is a great way to do this. Massage is proven to boost the circulation, reduce muscle pain and make you feel relaxed. For half an hour, you can forget about whatever’s happened earlier in the day and just chill out. Close your eyes and enjoy a bit of pampering.

Exercise

Do you feel angry or frustrated or do you want nothing more than to collapse into bed and sleep for hours? Whatever your mood, fitting in 30 minutes of exercise a day can have incredible benefits for your physical and mental health. When you work out, your serotonin levels increase, and your body also releases happy hormones, known as endorphins. If you’re tired and you need to unwind and shut off, activities like Pilates and yoga are an excellent choice. If you need to burn off excess energy, try something more intensive like boxing, kickboxing, spinning or martial arts. Hitting balls on a tennis court or a golf course can also be cathartic if you’re looking for an alternative to going to the gym.

Talk

If you’ve got thoughts swimming around your mind or you feel like you’re ready to explode, call a friend or speak to your mum or your sister. Offloading helps to prevent you from bottling things up and enables you to deal with your emotions. Often, getting things off your chest can make you feel better in an instant.

If you’re having one of those days, don’t let it ruin your mood for the rest of the day or the week ahead. Try these simple 30-minute solutions to lift your spirits, reduce stress and get you back on track.

DIY Ways to Diminish Your Depression

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While, if you’re struggling with depression, you should certainly make seeing your GP a priority because a combination of medication and therapy has shown to be the most effective treatment for depression, there are a number of things you can also do for yourself to help you recover faster.

Here are some simple  DIY ways to diminish your depression that you might want to try:

Take Some Time Off

Work can be stressful at the best of times, but when you’re depressed, it can be torture. So, if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask time off, it could make all the difference, especially if work is a contributing factor to your depression.

If you’re worried about the money side of things, remember you should be entitled to sick pay, and take a look at this statutory sick pay guide to put your mind at ease. Getting your depression under control should be your first consideration, and it may be harder to do that when you’re working.

Exercise

Believe me, I know it’s the last thing you feel like doing when you’re suffering from clinical depression and just getting out of bed in the morning is a cause for celebration sometimes. However, on your better days, when you’re able to get up and about, doing a little exercise, even if it’s only walking around the block, will do you the world of good. It’ll get your endorphins pumping, and if you exercise in nature, it will sooth your stress too.

A Little Ray of Light

If you get depressed in the winter months when the days are short and the nights are long, it could be that the lack of sunlight and the lack of vitamin D that it results in could be causing your depression. If that’s likely, investing in a light therapy box and sitting in front of it for 15-20 minutes each morning might help to diminish your depression.

Keep a Mood Diary

Keeping a mood diary is another one of those things, like exercise, that you scoff at when it’s suggested to you, but which really can make a big difference and ease your depression more quickly than medication and therapy alone.

To keep a mood diary, all you have to do is keep track of your positive moods, writing down as many positives as you can find. You might also want to write down negative thoughts and issues and then look at ways of reframing them so that they aren’t quite as troubling to you. If this sound like something that could be helpful to you, you might want to look into CBT. You can also find mood diary apps online and via your smartphone.

Acupuncture

There is some controversy surrounding acupuncture and whether it’s effective for treating anything, let alone depression, but there is one study from the University of Arizona that seems to suggest that acupuncture can lead to remission in depression symptoms 64 percent of the time, in women at least. This was a small study, but you have nothing to lose and if nothing else I can guarantee you’ll come out of your session feeling a lot more relaxed, which is great for depression in itself.

Join a Support Group

Again, please don’t throw anything at me! I understand the idea of spending an hour every week in a room with other depression sufferers spilling your guts sounds like a nightmare right here on earth to a lot of people, but going to a support group – check out this support group guide for more info-  is actually a really good way to get support from people who really do know what you’re going to. The social aspects of support groups are great for depression sufferers who often tend to isolate too.

Omega-3

Omega-3 oils, which are most commonly found in fish oils, but which veggies can get from flax and algae supplements, may be able to prevent mood swings and low moods. If you add them to your diet, it may give you the boost that you need to take on your depression with gusto, but you may have to wait a week or two before you start feeling the effects.

Meditation

There is a lot of promising research around meditation, specifically mindfulness, and its ability to help people suffering from depression. A technique called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has helped countless people to tackle their negative thought patterns, stop ruminating and reach somewhere approaching equilibrium AND it has been shown to be as successful as antidepressants in some studies at least.

Yoga

I didn’t include this with exercise because, although yoga is certainly a good way to keep fit, that doesn’t have to be the main focus of this ancient technique. In fact, yoga’s combination of long slow stretches and calming breathing techniques are perfect for relieving stress, getting more in tune with yourself, sleeping better at night and, yes, managing your depression more effectively, according to many people who have tried it.

Arts and Crafts

When you’re depressed, as you will probably know, you can be prone to rumination. You can spend hours and hours thinking about that stupid thing you did five years ago, or telling yourself that you’re worthless. It’s a symptom of the illness and something that can cause your efforts to get better fail.

One thing that is pretty effective at taking your mind off the constant barrage of negative thoughts your brain is subjecting to you is arts and crafts. Things that require a little focus, like crocheting and painting, which also give you something physical to do provide a great distraction which will give you the space you need to start getting well.

St. John’s Wort

If you’re the kind of person who only ever takes prescribed medication as a last resort, try St John’s Wort. It’s a natural supplement that is actually prescribed for depression in Germany, and which has been found to benefit sufferers of mild depression without any nasty side effects.

If you’re interested in taking St John’s Wort, you should always see your doctor first because, although it’s pretty safe, it can react with other medications.

Fighting your way out of depression is rarely easy, but if you see your doctor, take their advice and try out some of the DIY suggestions above, you may find that your depression starts to diminish faster than you thought it would, or could.