Self help for depression starts with recognizing
you are depressed! Depression can sap away energy and hope, making it nearly impossible to function.
Overcoming depression takes time, and you can't conquer it just by strength of will – you have to work at it.
Start out with just one action that shifts you from the couch or bed and gets your blood moving. Decide to clean the bathroom, or take a walk around the block. Even just committing to go and call a friend is better than nothing – it forces you to engage and interact!
Reward yourself every time you take a step. Tell yourself, “If I do this one thing, I'll do such and such for myself – ad make the reward something that also gets you interested in something other than curling up in a ball. Make dinner from scratch for the family, and reward yourself with a trip down to the grocery store to pick up fixings for ice cream sundaes for dessert.
Make sure you have support. Family is best, followed by friends – even ones who live far away can send you supportive gestures by phone or email, and volunteer to take turns checking on you throughout the way to make sure you aren't wallowing.
Be social if at all possible. Join a group that has like interests; take up a hobby. Try something outside your comfort zone! Taking the plunge and signing up for tap lessons instead of a crocheting circle might bring out a side in you didn't know existed.
You can also join a support group to touch base and draw hope from other people going through similar challenges. Advice from someone who has really 'been there' is always easier to take.
Be proactive. Make a list of things you can do, and commit to completing one each day.
・ Choose to talk to someone (either a counselor or a trusted friend or family member) about your feelings and fears
・ Help out locally at a soup kitchen or other volunteer outlet, to connect with the rest of the world.
・ Met a friend for coffee or brunch, and carry on a conversation.
・ Tell a loved one you need to be checked on, and set a time to talk for just a minute every day.
・ Make a date (it can be platonic, just with a good friend) and go out – the movies, a concert, bowling or a party.
・ Look up an old friend, Take your mind off of your life while you catch up on theirs!
・ Get a workout buddy, and go walking or jogging together.
・ Schedule a weekly dinner with a friend or significant other, and dress up nice for it!
・ Meet new people by joining a book club or online forum - rule, you can't tell your new friends you are depressed!
・ Make an appointment with a counselor, clergy or a therapist.
You have to take care of yourself when you are depressed, and that means paying attention to your mood and making time for you. Schedule specific 'me' time every day, don't take on more than you can handle (learn to say, 'No'!) and start looking after your health. That means your mental and emotional state as well as the physical! Additional self help for depression ideas:
Spend time outdoors, plan a trip to the park, play with a pet. Have fun; read a book, watch your favorite movie or listen to music. Unwind; take a long bath, write notes in your journal, or go for an aimless drive. Do something every day, even if you don't feel like it!
Self help for depression should also cover diet. You would be amazed at how eating right and living healthy can boost your energy and emotional status.
Aim for eight hours sleep per night – more leaves you fuzzy and low spirited; less makes you tired and short-tempered. If you have trouble falling asleep, try meditation or hook up a soothing noise machine.
Get out in the sun! Man was not made to hide from the sun, so go out and soak some up. Light is a natural antidepressant! You can start having your coffee on the porch, and take walks to get out in the fresh air.
Try meditation, yoga, or other stress relieving exercises. Figure out what makes you stressed, and either avoid it or find a way to deal with it calmly and rationally. Forgive yourself when you mess up, too. You can't move forward and up unless you are on your side.
Don't forget breakfast. You need energy and pep, so eat and fuel up for the day. Then, don't skip meals. Avoid anything that alters your mood, like liquor to excess.
By using these self help for depression tips, you will be able to manage your moods and lift yourself up out of the despair that seemed just a short while ago to be ruining your life!
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