Dealing with Depression: Tips to Help You Cope

Depression is a difficult condition to live with; it can sap hope and energy, and make it difficult to handle everyday tasks. There are some things you can do to mitigate its effects and take more control of your life. Follow these tips to help cope with living with depression, and seek a reliable counselor you trust to learn new skills and mitigate damage from this condition.

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Tips for Depression:

  • Have a routine - A healthy routine can bring stability to life and help you feel in control. Give yourself a goal and make a daily routine to help you achieve it. Having depression can make it difficult to think about future aspirations, but structuring your life this way provides small achievements to help motivate you.

  • Stay connected - When depressed, the first impulse might be to retreat from friends and family. Instead, try to reach out. You may think others don’t want to hear about your problems, but they may want to help and not realize you need support. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.  

  • Do something satisfying - One effective way of fighting depression is spending time doing something you find relaxing. Depression can rob a person of enjoyment, so actively do things that bring pleasure (read a book, visit a museum, take a bath, watch a comedy -- you name it). This may not lift your depression immediately, but it can help alleviate some of its negative effects.

  • Eat a healthy diet - Depression interferes with appetite, leading to undereating and weight loss, or overeating and weight gain. Foods like alcohol, coffee, and anything containing preservatives can affect mood. Eat foods rich in B vitamins and omega-3 acids to help stabilize your emotions and reactions.

  • Get plenty of sleep - The body needs enough sleep to rest and recharge. Fatigue contributes to depression, so get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Develop a bedtime routine to get your body used to sleeping at a specific time. Avoid electronic devices an hour before going to sleep to allow the brain to wind down, and try to keep them away from the nightstand.

  • Challenge negative thoughts - When we are depressed, we can interpret everything around us negatively. Spend time with a counselor to identify intrusive and negative thoughts. Sometimes they get into our head for no reason. Professional help can help you achieve balance.

Depression can seem impossible to cope with, but withdrawal and accepting that terrible feeling leads to worse feelings. Start taking control of your life again and call a reliable counselor and caring mental health provider in your area.

Contact Living Well by Design for therapy and to build on the suggestions listed here. A counselor can guide you through many of life’s challenges; contact me at (780) 246-8100 to make an appointment.

Wendy Hart