Coping with depression: how to get helpCoping with depression can be overwhelming. Depression can make you feel isolated and lonely.  Depression symptoms include irritability, isolation or withdrawal, sleeping too much (or having difficulty sleeping), binge eating or loss of appetite, loss of pleasure in previously pleasurable activities, or lack of motivation and energy. These can make daily life more challenging. Getting out of bed, going to work, or cleaning your home can feel like impossible tasks. Below is a list of coping skills that can help you manage and reduce your depressive symptoms.

Coping With Depression: How To Get Help

  1. Rely On Your Support Network: Share your feelings with friends and family to whom you can express your feelings. Having someone to talk to and validate your feelings will make you feel less alone, and reduce your depression. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, look into group therapy.

  2. Manage Stress: Stress can be a trigger for many mental health concerns, including depression. When we feel overwhelmed, it can be easier to avoid these stressors by negative behaviors that exacerbate our depression. Prioritizing self-care and stress management skills will counter your depression and reduce your stress. 
  3. Stop Procrastinating and Create A Schedule: One way to manage stress, reduce depressive symptoms, and improve your mood, is to create a daily schedule. Identify and prioritize all your tasks and responsibilities and then create a daily schedule for addressing specific items.  This will give you specific and achievable tasks for each day. In addition, you can schedule time for self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, reading, journaling, sleep, and spending time with family and friends. 
  4. Prioritize Healthy Sleeping Patterns: Lack of sleep directly affects our mental health, reducing clear thinking, and increasing irritability. Ensuring you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep will help reduce the intensity of your depressive symptoms and make it easier to cope with life stressors. But remember that depression can often encourage us to stay in bed and sleep too much. This exacerbates our symptoms of depression. Develop good sleep hygiene techniques, such as avoiding screens an hour before bed, reducing caffeine intake, and going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. 
  5. Coping With Depression: Healthy EatingEstablish Healthy Eating Habits: There is a direct link between diet and mental health. It is important to eat three balanced meals a day to improve your overall well-being. 
  6. Challenge Negative Thinking Patterns: When we feel depressed, we typically engage in negative thinking patterns about ourselves and our environment. By changing these to more positive ones you can improve your mood. You can do this by looking for evidence in your life to challenge negative thoughts,  Each time you have a negative thought, counteract it with a positive thought and write down something you like about yourself every day.
  7. Create A Self-Soothe Box: Make a box or list of things that will soothe your five senses. For sight, watch funny videos or good pictures, for sound, listen to your favorite music or podcast, for taste eat your favorite candy or a home-cooked meal, for smell light your favorite candle, and for touch wrap yourself in your fuzziest blanket. Whatever brings you comfort will reduce the intensity of your symptoms. 
  8. Exercise Regularly: Exercise has been directly linked to improving overall mood and self-confidence. Try to engage in at least 20 minutes of exercise daily. It can be as simple as yoga, going for a walk, or stretching. 
  9. Journal To Express Your Feelings: Keeping a regular journal has been proven to be a healthy and private way to express your feelings. Your journal should be candid., Don’t hold back. Take the thoughts out of your head and write them down so you can see them more clearly Remember, you don’t have to share this unless you choose to do so.

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