10 effective ways to overcome depression without ‘expensive’ therapy

Zintle Nkohla - 08.06.2021

Affording therapy is a stumbling block for many who seek help with depression. Here are 10 no-cost methods to overcome this mental illness.

Depression contributes to more than half a million deaths in the world each year. According to World Health Organisation, close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.

According to South African Depression and Anxiety Group, 81, 2 % of South Africans cannot afford healthcare, and more than 50 % of people are oblivious of the importance of taking care of one’s mental health. However, there are so many ways in which you can take care of your mental health and chase away from the dark cloud of depression without spending a penny or popping any pills.

10 ways to overcome depression without therapy

Here are 10 effective ways to overcome depression without having to blow thousands on therapy.


1. Try to get out of bed every day
It may sound easy but getting out of bed can be really difficult, especially when you are sunk deep into a depressive episode. It can be really difficult to will yourself to do it.

2. Ensure a balanced diet
What you eat has a lot to do with your mental health. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet and cut junk food. Spinach is one of the vegetables that actually induce the release of serotonin, one of the happy hormones released in the brain to prevent depression.

3. Stay away from alcohol and illegal drugs
Alcohol and illegal substances will make your depression worse.

4. Establish a healthy sleeping schedule
One of the most effective ways to ensure a healthy sleeping schedule is to reduce your caffeine intake. Consuming too much caffeine can make you develop anxiety, which will make your depression even worse, and you can kiss your sleep goodbye.

5. Get out of the house
Take a walk around the block. Get some sun. A lack of Vitamin D is associated with depression.

6. Journal
Writing your thoughts down on paper can do a lot for your mental health, especially if you don’t feel comfortable with talking to anyone yet. You don’t have to worry about anyone judging you or giving you unsolicited advice. Sometimes you just want to vent, and there’s no better way than journaling. So, go on, grab that notebook, and pen down those thoughts.

7. Ask for help
A lot of times when we are going through stuff we tend to think that we are alone. You might be surprised how many people care about you, and most of the time you don’t even have to ask, they are and have always been there. Let friends and family help you.

8. Surround yourself with positive people
You might not realise it, but the people you keep in your circle do influence your state of mind. Some people might push you to do better, and some people might actually drive you to your worst.

9. Break large tasks into small ones
You don’t have to do everything at once; pace yourself.

10. Set personal boundaries
You should know when to say ‘no’ to people. Do not over-extend yourself to please the other person and compromise your mental health. Self-sacrificing leads to fatigue.