How To Cope With Depression
Depression can often leave us feeling hopeless and unmotivated. Sometimes we experience depression frequently or it can be triggered by situations and seasons (i.e., "winter blues). If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, below are 7 coping strategies to help improve depressive symptoms and help you build a life worth living.
Rely On Your Support Network
Leaning on loved ones during periods of depression can give you a safe place to feel heard and understood, helping to relieve depressive symptoms.
Behavioral activation is about creating a schedule and picking a time to engage in the activity. This can be as simple as picking a time each day to go for a walk. If you pick a time you’re more likely to engage in the activity. This can be helpful to reduce withdrawal and isolation and make it easier to fulfill your responsibilities.
Good Sleeping Patterns
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep nightly is helpful in reducing irritability, increasing clarity, and reducing symptoms of depression.
Eating three balanced meals daily has a direct impact on improving both your physical and mental health.
Exercising releases happy hormones which will relieve your depressive symptoms. Try to engage in at least 20 minutes of physical activity daily.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
With depression comes intrusive negative thoughts that may exacerbate your symptoms. Challenging negative thoughts with evidence, or counteracting them with a positive thought will help you think more clearly, improve your relationships, and improve your mood.
Opposite to Emotions
When feeling sad it can be extremely difficult to engage in activities that used to be enjoyable. However, staying in the depressive feelings makes the feelings more intense. Do the opposite to how you feel in order to reduce your depressive symptoms, and reduce incidences of isolation and withdrawal.
Writing down your feelings can be helpful in processing and understanding them which will also improve clarity around the situation. Journaling has been proven to be a healthy means of expression.