Paralyzed by depression? Use these sure fire depression coping skills to beat the blues.
Depression can cause undue stress and make your existence close to unbearable.
If left unchecked, it can interfere with your life, work, and relationships.
Many of us cope with depression in our own unique way as we attempt to resolve the issue.
But in doing so can be like a road journey without a map.
Depression, like any illness, requires help, support, guidance and a clear direction to salvation.
Here are some sure fire depression coping skills that will make life more bearable during your road to full recovery.
They won’t provide instant escape; but they will offer a glimmer of distant hope.
And often…that is all that’s needed.
10 Depression Coping Skills:
1. Don’t Isolate Yourself
One of the best depression coping skills is to stay connected to others.
When you have a support system, overcoming depression begins to look a lot more possible.
This in itself, provides the much needed comfort and reassurance that you are not alone.
One of the first things that depression does, is erode your healthy perspective.
If you have relationships that matter to you, then you will be able to sustain healthy, optimistic outlooks.
However, keep in mind that depression also makes it much harder to reach out to others.
You will have to work hard to overcome that effect in order to connect with people.
2. Remain Active
If you keep yourself physically active, it will prevent your mind from falling into the same pattern that is characteristic of depression.
Many patients dealing with depression have expressed that exercise brings positive changes in their lives.
Exercise, such as going on walks can help improve your state of emotional well-being.
When you exert yourself physically, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that can improve your mood and boost your energy.
Relief from stress, better sleep, and improved memory are other side effects of regular exercising.Depression, like any illness, requires help, support, guidance and a clear direction to salvationClick To Tweet
Whether it is through mindfulness or prayer, meditation can help you relax and is one of the best depression coping skills.
If nothing, relaxation will take the edge off any associated stress.
And when you are less stressed, you will be more open to positive thoughts and feel calmer.
If you are already receiving therapy for depression, you might feel its effectiveness increasing, as well.
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4. Divide Tasks into Manageable Sized Pieces
Depression can make ordinary tasks seem insurmountable.
Before a spell of depression hits you, you may have been dealing with the same tasks capably.
However, you start becoming overwhelmed by them when depression hits.
Simple actions, such as getting ready for work can seem unmanageable.
And as the severity of depression increases, you become more sedentary and unable to function.
Overcome this feeling by dividing each activity into small chunks that are more easily achieved.
If you want, you can make a list of the steps and then perform those actions in the right order, but slowly.
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5. Take Responsibility
While this piece of advice might antagonize you at first, hear me out.
You can dispatch mild or moderate depression a lot quicker, if you start taking responsibility.
This doesn’t imply that you should simply ‘pull yourself together’.
Anyone struggling with depression will tell you this is impossible.
Instead, it refers to making each decision in your life yourself and standing by the consequences.
This leads to feelings of greater control and ultimately happiness.
And happiness stems from the degree to which we feel we are in control of our lives.
Taking responsibility, is taking control.
When you blame someone or something else for your problems, you essentially remove the option of being able to do anything about it!
It’s important to note however, that taking responsibility is not the same as admitting fault.
It is highly unlikely that it’s your fault that you’re depressed. But it is your duty to take responsibility to do something about it.
6. Enjoy Life
Doing things that used to give you pleasure, or that still do, can make a huge difference.
It might seem difficult, and you may have to push yourself to do them at first.
However, you might end up being pleasantly surprised when they make you feel better.
Don’t expect these tasks to completely or quickly lift your depression, they’ll work more gradually.
But they will work.
You can start playing your favorite sport, go out with friends, take up a hobby again, or go hiking, etc.
As difficult as it may be, don’t simply stew in doors.
Get up and do something!
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7. Eat Better to Feel Better
Depression and your diet are directly linked.
Diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, have been tested and found to be effective depression coping skills.
If you reduce the amount of food you consume that can have a negative impact on your mood and brain, you will be changing the way you feel.
Examples of such food include caffeine, trans fats, refined carbs, sugar, and alcohol.
Skipping meals can also have a negative effect on your mood, leaving you feeling irritable and tired. Try to supplement your diet with B vitamins because their deficiencies can trigger depression. Omega 3 fatty acids, on the other hand, will help stabilize your mood.
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8. Think Positive
When you start having negative thoughts, you will need to shift your focus to keep from obsessing about them.
This is a common symptom of depression and can only be countered by changing your perspective.
Be grateful for the blessings in life and take responsibility for your thoughts.
Focus on the positive in your life and challenge the negative thoughts even as they arise.
Keep yourself from over-generalizing because doing that can skew your perspective from reality.
9. Indulge in Journal Writing
Journal writing can be a constructive activity in the face of depression.
When you maintain a journal, you are actually expressing your thoughts.
Writing about yourself can be good for your mental health.
It can help you keep track of the positive and bring yourself back when you veer off track!
If the depression you are facing is the result of a tragedy, writing will help you deal with the loss more quickly.
It will also provide a boost to your ego, which can increase the power of your resilience.
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10. Keep Learning
While you might need to undertake a mental shift for this one, it will help you in the face of depression.
Thoughts of things that have gone wrong can become an obsession when one is depressed.
What makes it worse is thinking that what happened was your fault.
Instead of focusing on what went wrong, you will have to shift your focus.
Think about what you might do in the future so that what went wrong in the present won’t happen again.
When you face any kind of disappointment in life, things can get doubly difficult due to depression.
Don’t give in to the negative thoughts and patterns of behavior.
Instead, do something that will help you learn from your mistakes.
Don’t think you aren’t good at your job just because of a minor setback. Use it as a learning experience to succeed in future.
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On a personal note, I have suffered with depression numerous times in my life due to problems with relationships.
And without exaggeration, I felt like every second was an eternity of mental anguish.
It can be incredibly difficult to be proactive in this state, let alone, remain positive and upbeat.
It’s as if something breaks inside us and we can’t function as human beings anymore.
But every day, I’d eat well, exercise (I recall gushing with tears whilst on the exercise bike, but I kept pedaling!).
I also made it a habit to get out the house, even if just for a (decaf) coffee at the local supermarket where I’d be surrounded by other people.
Eventually the depressions lifts. It always does.
And now I’ve never been happier.
That’s not to say my life will be a bed of roses from here on out.
Such thinking is entirely unrealistic and I know there’ll be plenty more times that I’ll face challenges and obstacles.
Dare I say, other episodes of depression?
Yet, ultimately, it’s confronting our suffering head on that imbues us with a greater sense of pride, resilience and self-esteem.
I’ll leave you with these words from Sigmund Freud. He knew a thing or two about mental health:
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle, will strike you as the most beautiful.
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I just wanted to thank you for these tips for dealing with depression. I’m glad that you mentioned that it’s important to get up and do something outside, and to not to stay inside. I’m kind of interested to learn more about how long you should stay outside to get the most benefits, like if you need an hour or something like that.
Hi Taylor. You’re most welcome and glad you’re finding my content helpful and useful. That’s an interesting thought and has now got me thinking also! Cheers for reading, Peter.
I never knew that simply by reducing the amount of food that you eat, you can change your negative habits. My brother has been experiencing some feelings of depression lately, and he has a very bad habit of eating a lot when he is depressed. I will be sure to tell him that he should try and eat less to see if that helps.