Sunday, June 16, 2024

Self Help Strategies For Depression

Connect With Friends Or Whnau

Self-Management Strategies For Depression

Connecting with people can help you feel better faster and stay well for longer. Try some of these ideas if you haven’t been keeping in touch with friends or whnau for a while.

Find one of these occasions to get in touch:

  • meet up with friends for a coffee
  • help out at the local community centre or marae
  • spend more time with the children or grandchildren . Maybe you could take them to their khanga or childcare. You might like to stay around to watch them play or have a casual chat with any other adults who are there. Facebook some friends or whnau you havent caught up with in a while
  • go to whnau birthdays, anniversaries and holiday get-togethers
  • make a meal with a friend
  • go for a walk or a swim with friends
  • join online forums or chat groups
  • get help from a friend or counsellor to begin to work out any difficult relationships.

We know that when people are feeling low and anxious, they often withdraw from their whnau and friends. Its a natural response but actually, strong connections can help you get well faster and help you stay well for longer.

Your whnau and your community can be your strength, providing a strong sense of belonging and support . Getting involved, spending time with them, and even doing things for them can give you a feeling of purpose and wellbeing.

It might help to plan your outings. Decide what youre going to do and write down when youll do it. This makes it easier to ignore those negative feelings that stop you going at the last minute.

Lifestyle Factors That Affect Mood

When you have depression, you can find ways to take control of your life and manage your treatment even beyond medications. Making some lifestyle changes can boost your mood and help alleviate many of your symptoms, including low self-esteem. “Minimizing stress as much as possible is a good idea when you’re depressed, especially unnecessary or avoidable stressors that people can be pulled into when they’re depressed,” says Erik Nelson, MD, a psychiatrist and assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio.

If Youre Up For Exercise Consider A Walk Around The Block

On days when you feel as if you cant get out of bed, exercise may seem like the last thing youd want to do. However, exercise and physical activity can help to lower symptoms of depression and boost energy levels.

future depressive episodes.

Even when you have the feeling that youre unable to or have very little energy, see if youd be willing to do the opposite of what your mood is telling you to do, such as curling up in bed. Instead, set a small goal for yourself, such as taking a walk around the block.

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Think About Your Media Consumption

One thing you can do is write down all the things you see in the media you consume which makes you feel sad, anxious, or drained. Then, write down everything that makes you feel inspired, connected, and informed. Finally, think about how you can see less of the things in the first list and more of the things on the second list.

For more tips on managing your social media usage, .

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.

Also Check: Always Feeling Sad And Depressed

Volunteering Can Be A Great Way To Do Both

Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.

You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.

Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a

Check Out Depression Apps

There are a number of apps to help with depression. These apps can help users to learn more about depression, develop coping skills, shift their thinking, speak with depression chatbots and monitor their moods and symptoms. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides information about apps that can be useful for those with depression:

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Ways To Empower Your Teen To Feel Better

Aron Janssen, MD is board certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry and is the vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry Northwestern University.

Verywell / Jiaqi Zhou

According to the National Institute of Mental Health , in 2020, 4.1 million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 experienced at least one episode of depression. For teens who have depression, professional treatment is important for recovery. However, there are also strategies that teens and parents can utilize to augment and support their treatment plan.

A comprehensive approach to helping depressed teens combines professional therapy and/or medication with self-help strategies. These self-help strategies can help to shift negative patterns and provide your teen with tools they can implement and explore on their own.

Focus On Sleep Patterns

Depression Self Help: 6 Tips to Treat and Manage Depression with CBT

Sleep often plays a role in how a teen feels physically and emotionally. Track your teen’s sleep patterns for a few days to get more information.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the ideal amount of sleep for teens is eight hours to ten hours each night. However, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that 69% of teens report getting 8 hours of sleep on school nights.

In cases where more, or less, sleep is needed, learn about the factors that impact sleep and consult a health professional if needed.

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Ask For What You Need

While it might feel easiest to isolate yourself, turning to loved ones for support is usually a better option.

Just remember: No one can read your mind, so they wont know what you need unless you ask.

You might, for instance, ask a parent or sibling to bring you dinner, or ask a friend for company during a walk.

Trusted loved ones can even help you find a therapist and schedule an appointment.

supports that there are benefits to foods high in selenium, like:

  • organ meats
  • whole grains
  • Brazil nuts

Most people also have low levels of vitamin D, and increasing your vitamin D intake may improve your mood.

Besides sunshine, you can get vitamin D from foods, such as:

  • eggs
  • salmon and other fatty fish
  • dairy and fortified soy products

If you want to try some supplements or remedies as a self-care plan for depression, you can reach out to a healthcare professional about trying something like St. Johns wort for mild depression symptoms. Just be sure to ask a doctor or pharmacist before combining supplements with any medications.

Socialize And Find Support

Isolation leads to loneliness, which may lead to increased feelings of depression. Unfortunately, a common symptom of depression in teens is social withdrawal.

What often helps is to socialize and stay connected with others. A teen struggling with depression may need peers who will listen and lend their support. Sometimes other depressed teens are in the best position to do this, so consider an online support group specifically for depressed teens.

Just be cautious of too much time spent online. A 2019 study published in the journal of JAMA Pediatrics found that for every additional hour young people spend on social media or watching television, the severity of depressive symptoms they experience rises.

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Most Used Strategies And Their Perceived Helpfulness

With regard to the first research question , we found that 15 of the 50 strategies were used by more than 75% of the participants , 30 strategies were used by 5075% of the participants and only 5 of the 50 strategies were used by less than 50% of participants . Thus, 45 of the 50 strategies were used by at least half of all participants.

Relationship between the percentage of use and the perceived helpfulness of each of the 50 used self-management strategies.

With regard to the second question, we found that only one of the 50 strategies was perceived as helpful by more than 60% of the participants and that only 15 strategies were considered as such by 3560% of the participants. Most strategies, namely 35, were perceived as helpful by less than 35% of the participants of which 5 were considered as such by less than 15% of the participants. Table 2 provides a detailed overview of all 50 strategies with corresponding percentages of use and perceived helpfulness.

When To Get Professional Help For Depression


If youve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesnt mean youre weak. Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like youre a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!

Dont forget about these self-help tips, though. Even if youre receiving professional help, these tips can be part of your treatment plan, speeding your recovery and preventing depression from returning.

Also Check: How To Survive Depression Without Medication

I Stay Tuned In To My Body

Mental illness doesnât impact the mind alone: Itâs physical, too. Depression decreases my energy. I feel exhausted and have frequent headaches. Anxiety, on the other hand, speeds me up. My heart races, I sweat more, and I feel an almost uncontrollable energy.

For me, self-care starts with noticing how I feel, both physically and emotionally. Paying closer attention to what is happening in my body clues me in to what is happening in my mind. If I start to feel a persistent heaviness on my chest or a knot in my stomach, itâs an indication that I need to pay closer attention to myself. Noticing symptoms early helps me practice better care and often prevents my moment of anxiety or depression from turning into a full-blown episode.

Take Part In A Support Group For Depression

Joining a support group is a great way to connect with other people who also have depression, all while making progress towards recovery.

In a support group, youll have the opportunity to learn effective strategies for dealing with your depressive symptoms. Youll also be able to talk to other people whove experienced the same symptoms as you.

Taking part in a support group is also a great way to get some social contact and avoid making yourself isolated from others.

You can find depression support groups locally by searching for support group in on Google.

You can also connect with others and learn strategies for dealing with depression from home using our online support groups.

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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.

Know That Today Isnt Indicative Of Tomorrow

Self-help for depression 5: Strategies against rumination

Internal emotions and thoughts can change from day to day. Tracking experiences through journaling or keeping a mood diary can help to remember this.

If you were unsuccessful at getting out of bed or accomplishing your goals today, remember that you havent lost tomorrows opportunity to try again.

Give yourself the grace to accept that while some days will be difficult, some days will also be less difficult. Try to look forward to tomorrows fresh start.

Recommended Reading: I Feel So Empty And Depressed

Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected

Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.

You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.

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Make Sure Not To Neglect Your Hobbies

One of the most common symptoms of depression is a loss of interest in or pleasure from your favorite hobbies and activities.

When youre depressed, you might find that youre less interested in maintaining your hobbies than normal.

Things like listening to music, playing sports or developing new skills may just not feel as pleasurable or fulfilling as they used to.

Even if you dont feel the same level of sensation from these activities that you normally would, its always best to keep them in your life.

Simple things such as getting out of the house to play your favorite sport or finding new time for an old hobby can have a surprisingly large positive impact on your mood.

Even simple things like seeing a movie or visiting a local attraction can help you to regain some of your energy and positive attitude.

Over time, you may notice that these hobbies and activities become enjoyable again, giving you a helpful outlet for reducing stress, developing your skills and finding enjoyment and pleasure in life.

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Self Help Strategies For Paternal Depression

Youve definitely heard about postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety in women, but did you know 1 in 10 dads struggle with paternal depression? Its true. Fathers can experience depressive symptoms as early as the third trimester of pregnancy. While there is certainly a lack of awareness about this mental health condition, this article discusses the symptoms and causes, including strategies for paternal depression for any dads struggling with their mental health while expecting the birth of their child.

Find A Sense Of Meaning

Coping Strategies For Depression

If youve been feeling like you dont belong anywhere or that life has lost its meaning, these ideas might help you find your place in the world again.

Choose something that feels right for you:

  • Spend time in nature go for a bush or beach walk, or swim in a river
  • Go to places that you know nurture your soul, such as a church or a temple
  • Give yourself permission to reflect and grow
  • Learn what it is that keeps you peaceful and content
  • Go ‘home’ – spend time in the place youre from
  • Talk to a spiritual adviser, such as a priest or a thunga.

Your wairua is one of the most important yet most overlooked parts of your wellbeing. Your spiritual wellbeing is about who you are and where you belong. For some, having faith in a higher power is a big part of wairua.

A strong wairua means knowing your own identity and being content with who you are.

You can increase or strengthen your wairua by spending time reflecting on life and doing things that you enjoy.

Also Check: Depression Making It Hard To Work

When To Get Help For Depression

If youve tried all of the above and your depression symptoms are persisting or getting more severe, then it might be right to consider seeking professional help. Depression is a treatable condition, and seeking specialist support is not a sign of weakness. These self-help tips will likely play some part in your recovery and help you to prevent symptoms returning once your treatment is complete.

Priory offers outpatient, inpatient and day care treatment for depression, as well as online therapy via Priory Connect. We will work closely with you to decide on the right direction for your recovery. Use the details below to get in touch with a mental health professional today and being your journey to beating depression.

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or make an enquiry. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here.

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