By Karen Keller
It’s normal to feel depressed and anxious after graduation. Those first-job interviews have us buying a new stick of deodorant every week. Then, if you’re successful, you get to transition to the 9-to-5 routine as a reward. It’s the beginning of the rest of your life
But what’s the difference between stuttering when you’re on the spot and real, clinically diagnosed anxiety? And what about the blues? Is it depression, or are
Obviously, if it’s a clear case of clinical craziness, you want to see a doctor. However, even if it’s just a case of minor brain wackiness, there are many things you can do to bolster your mental health that don’t have side effects of medication (e.g., erectile dysfunction, hair loss, or worse.
For Both Depression and Anxiety
Relieves tension and increases the amount of serotonin—the happy neurotransmitter—in the brain. And a super-secret tip: exercise makes you look hotter. Check out what the American Psychological Association has to say about the positive link between exercise and depression .
Practice Relaxation and Deep Breathing
Who knows—it could be a foray into becoming a tantric sex master. For deep-breathing tips, see this Web MD blog or try yoga .
Get Enough Sleep
Good not only for staving off wrinkles, sleep makes you more alert at work and puts you in a better mood. For more information, see what the American Psychological Association has to say about sleep, or check out tips for battling sleeping problems from the American Insomnia Association.
Dispute Negative, Recurring Thoughts
“No one will ever love me once they really get to know me.” “I sound like a moron when I try to talk politics.” “Standard & Poor’s would never hire me.” Everybody’s got issues. Say something more realistic out loud and repeat as often as necessary until it starts sounding like the truth: “I’m a loveable person.” “I know quite a few things about politics.” “Standard & Poor’s would have to be smoking crack not to hire me.” Here’s what About.com says about defeatist thinking . The key is to pinpoint irrational thoughts, then beat the hell out of them.
Kick the Drug Habit
Stop drinking, smoking weed, or whatever you're doing to support the local drug dealer. Drugs can rouse psychological demons. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says there's an established link between smoking pot and both depression and anxiety.
Schedule “Worry Time”
From 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., every day, worry with abandon. That’s right. From the simple stuff like hav...