Coping Skills For Depression
Being prescribed antidepressants that may or may not work for your depression is almost a slap in the face. When your doctor does not offer any practical advice for helping your depression and dismisses it with trial and error medical treatments, it can leave you feeling worse off than you were before. You already dont have hope now, it seems like the external world is validating that concern.
You are not told that depression does not have to be insufferable for the rest of your life. You dont have to accept medication that alters your brain chemistry as your reality. Instead, there are many coping skills for depression you can gain and practice throughout your journey for improved mental health.
Each skill aims to provide solutions to depression. This list offers practical solutions for depression that can be used as preventative measures or during the height of a depressive episode.
Be open-minded and understand that taking action sparks reaction. Be kind and patient with yourself.
Depression Coping Skills For The Paths To Wellness
The relationship path is about ending isolation and loneliness that are too frequently a part of depression. A few relationship-building coping skills include:
- To cope with depression, pick one person you feel comfortable with to confide in. Having someone to talk to safely about your experiences with depression helps the healing process its powerful to know that someone else gets it.
- Commit to connecting to this person at least weekly, and more often if its practical.
- Reciprocate. Friendship is about giving and receiving, so make sure the other person feels heard, too.
The lifestyle path involves living fully. Its about intentional choices made, starting right now, to use coping skills to create a quality life that you can enjoy. The lifestyle path involves using positive coping skills for depression, such as:
- Eating well for brain and body health
- Having a sleep routine so you feel energized during the day
- Balancing your life
- Engaging in pleasurable activities.
The spiritual path is about pulling yourself out of depression by connecting you to a deep sense of self and the world beyond you. Its about feeling connected to something greater, whatever it is that you find deep and greater than yourself . For some people, spirituality is a religion. For others, it might be nature or the universe. Spirituality isnt a particular belief but instead is a way of thinking beyond yourself. Some specific coping skills on the spiritual path include
Stay On Top Of Your Priorities
Depression can make it difficult to stay on top of priorities like going to work, attending appointments and maintaining your home. However, it is important to stay on top of priorities to prevent depression from having a negative impact on your daily life. A depression daily schedule may be necessary to help you manage your priorities.
Keeping a daily schedule can prevent you from forgetting important events in your life. Mark meetings, appointments and commitments such as volunteer activities or childrens sporting events on your schedule. Following through with these priorities can help you to maintain a sense of normalcy in your life.
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Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
Other Tips For Coping When Feeling Depressed
In addition to challenging negative thinking and connecting with others, the following strategies can help you cope with feeling down or depressed:
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What Can You Do To Deal With Depression
Short answer: do something. If you are beyond sadness and think you may have depression, consider these ways of coping with it.
Also, consider getting competent care in the form of professional help. If depression is not dealt with decisively, it can last for a long time and make other illnesses worse. Depression counseling is an integral part of a successful treatment approach.
If you are reading this because someone you love is battling depression, encourage them to complete the depression test below, take steps to alleviate the feelings they struggle with, and, ultimately, seek out a therapist.
Are you depressed? Take our depression test and find out.
Keep Your Connections Close
Its said that the opposite of addiction is connection, and the same concept can translate to mental wellness. If you notice youre feeling isolated, reach out to the people who lift you up. This does not mean you should attend every holiday event that is requested of you. Rather, look to those select friends or family members that provide camaraderie and calm during stressful times. In the same regard, learn how to say no to the occasions that add stress to your plate.
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Use A Mood Tracker To Track Your Mood
Tracking your mood over time can be a very helpful way to monitor your mental health, especially if you are struggling with depression. Its important to identify patterns in your moods and to know when to reach out for more help when you notice depression symptoms increasing. People often dont realize the severity of symptoms of depression until it becomes difficult to manage. In the U.S., 25% of the population suffers from a mood disorder and can often make people feel that they are isolated and alone.
Meaning & Valued Living Masterclass
This masterclass on Meaning and Valued Living aims to help individuals find meaning in everyday life. People with depression often struggle to find meaning or value in themselves or their everyday actions, as they are caught in a cycle of negative thought patterns and experiences.
This course aims to help them regain a sense of purpose and find value in the contributions they are making, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
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How To Reach Out For Depression Support
Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.
Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find waysboth big and smallto help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.
Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being neededboth powerful antidotes to depression.
10 tips for staying connected
See Your True Personality Separate You From Your Depression Symptoms
When depression is severe, it becomes part of your identity. Everything you think about and do centers around your ailment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you understand depression and sift through these distortions to see how depression has affected your behavior. This will help you rediscover your true self the person you once were.
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Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
Take One Step Toward Your Goal
Do you feel that you are unable to reach your goals? Is this causing you to stay in bed and tell yourself youll never get what you want? Passive thinking like this causes us to believe we have no control over our lives. A mind that says I can fires us up and pushes us forward while a mind that says I cant gives up on itself before it even tries.
What is one thing you can do today to achieve your goals? Start a website? Type a tweet? Read an article? Ask a friend? Just reaching out in some way, whether for help or for knowledge, moves us towards the things we want. Take small steps. Eventually, those steps add up. Once they do, youll find youre closer to your goals than you think.
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Easy Depression Coping Skills To Increase Satisfaction
The goal behind these easy coping skills for depression that increase satisfaction is that they give you a sense of accomplishment. It is easy, when pursuing a sense of satisfaction, to get wrapped up in big projects and grand ideas.
However, when depression enters the mix, everything starts seeming like a big project or grand idea. These satisfaction-specific depression coping skills are easy peasy, but will also help you feel like you have done something. Effort is not always equal to effect, especially in the case of the following easy coping skills for depression.
Wash Your Face
Showering is a whole ordeal when just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. So give yourself permission to skip the shower today and just wash your face instead. It is amazing what a difference splashing some warm water on your face can make.
Just like taking a shower can help you feel more put together and ready to face your day, washing your face can help you feel like you are more prepared for whatever the day brings your way. Additionally, it does not take even close to the amount of effort that showering takes.
If you are starting to feel like one day runs into the next and like you have become one big pile of blah, try washing your face. Or just brushing your teeth, or just giving yourself a quick sponge bath in the stinky spots. Pick one hygiene task and give yourself permission for that to be enough today.
Wash One Dish
Make a Cup of Tea/Hot Cocoa/Instant Coffee
Treatment For Depression In Older Adults
If youre an older adult and youre experiencing symptoms of depression, consider reaching out to your medical doctor. They may be able to refer you to a mental health professional who can help.
You may be given a screening test such as the Geriatric Depression Scale or the Mini-Mental State Examination to help determine if you may have depression.
Treatment for depression in older adults is similar to that for any adult living with depression: medication, therapy, or a combination of both. However, there may be some special considerations.
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When To Use Coping Skills
As we develop emotional muscles, we develop greater capacity to accept and resolve issues that come up for us. However, there will be times when we cant process the whole issue all at once.
One definition of trauma is something that happens to us faster than we can process it. If we react immediately when we havent had a chance to work through our thoughts, feelings, and physical reactions, then our actions often make things worse. On the other hand, if we just avoid the problem, we also suffer.
When an issue is just really big or perhaps the time or place isnt right or safe for processing, we can use coping skills to keep ourselves calm or safe until we can go back to the problem and resolve it.
As you go through this list, its important to find a few coping skills that work for you in various settings. So some that you can use at home, some for work, and others for when youre in a group of people.
Multiple Paths Many Coping Skills For Depression
Something very important that you need in order to battle depression is openness and flexibility to try many different coping skills as well as a willingness to take many paths to get over depression. Depression is complex, and it takes multiple approaches from multiple fronts in order to conquer it .
The journey to a depression-free life can be divided into six different roads :
- The thoughts-and-actions path
- The spiritual path
- The mindfulness path
The article “Stop Being Depressed. Use These Self-Help Tools Now” examines important tools for use on the thoughts-and-actions path. The biology path involves medications. Having a conversation with your doctor about depression medication and whether its right for you will help you decide whether to travel down the biology path or take a detour.
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Set Small Goals Daily
Goals help keep you grounded. Make them something you can handle. It doesnt have to be anything huge.
Try to complete specific tasks around your home or stay involved with responsibilities at work. Take one step at a time and pace yourself.
Give yourself positive feedback when you accomplish them! If your goal is to go for a short walk, or make a phone call, reward yourself by taking the time to enjoy something you like. Take things slowly and meditatively.
Identify Options And Set Realistic Goals
A trained therapist can help depressed clients enhance their mental and emotional well-being. Therapists also help them identify how they have successfully dealt with similar feelings if they have been depressed in the past.
Having one episode of depression increases the risk of having another. There is some evidence that ongoing counseling for depression may lessen the chance of future episodes or reduce their intensity. Through therapy, people can learn skills to avoid unnecessary suffering from later bouts of depression.
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Coping Skills For Battling Depression: Heres What You Need
Using coping skills for depression can be very effective, but battling depression is an active process that takes patience, practice, and persistence. Because depression impacts all facets of lifehealth, relationships, work, leisure, and moreits important to know what you need for the battle, the weapons you’ll need for when youre really depressed. Successfully battling depression requires proper weapons, or different coping skills for depression, that will help you conquer it.