Depressed? Not

Can you help me with some self-help strategies for depression? I live alone and feel upset most of the time.
Name unknown, New Delhi

Track your thoughts by writing them down. It’s a good way to express your feelings and it can also help you figure out which thoughts make you feel worse.

Learn relaxation. Relaxation is great for reducing stress. Take some time out to do things you enjoy. Exercise regularly and maintain a balanced diet.

Eat well, keep active. It can make a difference to your energy levels, and helps stimulate hormones (like endorphins) that help you feel better about yourself.

Learn something new. Developing new skills and achieving things lifts your mood.

Get back into nature. There’s research that shows that when you have contact with pets, plants, gardens, parks etc. It reduces stress and boosts your mood. Go for a walk outside.

Talk to someone you trust. Talking to a family member or friend is a great opportunity for you to express how you’re feeling. They can also provide you an outsider’s opinion on what’s going on.
Develop a healthy sleep routine. Sleep has a huge effect on our physical and emotional health. Get some tips to help you get into a sleeping routine.
My parents are against my choice of partner. How to 
convince them?
Dhiraaj Saxena, Noida

Find the correct moment to talk to your parents. Avoid situations when they are tensed or irritated. Try to explain to your parents why you love your girlfriend. Even though it may sound like a business proposal, list out the reasons why you love her and what are the things that made you fall in love. 
Search for marriages in your family which are inter-caste or unconventional and were successful and use them as examples to prove your point.

Get some people like your married cousins to support you when talking about your marriage.
Never pressure them by saying that you will move out with your partner. This would create more hatred towards your relationship.

Try to get at least one of your parents on your side. But try not to cause a rift between them on this topic since they will attribute that to you and your lover.
If nothing else works, tell them firmly and politely that this is the person you have chosen for yourself and they should try to accept it because at the end of the day it is your life that is at stake. 
I have a very conservative family. I’m in 10th standard now and they still escort me everywhere and never allow late nights or outing with friends! I’m very unhappy. How can they change?
Chanda Bhargav, Haryana

People differ and we always tend to be the way our life has been. The past plays an important role to mould our present. Probably they had a strict upbringing and hence they have this attitude towards you. You must try and have an open chat with them where you should explain your problems in detail. 

Parents do take time to understand that we have grown up. Just don’t lose heart and be good. Trust time and everything will fall into place. Do not try to convince them with your arrogance. Be patient and act wisely. 

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