With the estimated number of people with depression climbing to over 120 million worldwide, more and more people are looking at ways to deal with this often crippling condition. We know how difficult it can be to deal with this disorder, so we’ve put together seven tips for managing the day to day aspects of depression. However, every person and every case of depression is different, speaking to a therapist can help you manage your symptoms, but these tips can also help almost anyone get a better handle on what can be an extremely debilitating.
#7: Focus on Supportive Relationships
Depression can make it exceedingly difficult for you to connect with friends and family, and can make maintaining those relationships feel like a daunting task. This is compounded by the fact that many people with depression find that they only have a finite amount of energy that can be spent on interpersonal relationships before they feel a need to withdraw. This makes it incredibly important to focus on supportive relationships. Find the people in your life that support you, lift you up, and help you gain that all important sense of perspective that makes it easier to distance your actual feelings from those of depression.
#6:Keep up With Social Events, or Start Attending New Ones
Social events can be difficult to attend when you’re depressed. Maybe you feel like you’ll bring down the mood, or be a burden in some way. It’s important to remember at times like this that those thoughts are the depression talking. Getting out and doing something with friends and family can help bring up your mood, increase your feelings of self-worth, and remind you that you really do matter to people. If your friends get together say, for a trivia night once a week, start making a commitment to be there and maybe get one of them to hold you accountable for being there. If you don’t have an event like this to go to, seek one out.
#5: Exercise To Improve Your Mood
Exercise has a whole host of obvious health benefits, but it can also help fight depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help increase your spirits and lighten your mood. There is also evidence that exercise encourages new brain cell growth and can help restore chemical imbalances in the brain. Exercise can also go a long way towards restoring self-confidence and building self-worth.
#4:Set Small Goals
Defeating depression is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why it’s important to set small goals, goals you think you can easily meet. This keeps your from becoming discouraged. Set goals that are easy to meet like calling a family member, or going out to eat with a friend. These types of things can help you build your relationships and meet your social obligations that can keep you from feeling like you don’t have a support group.
#3:Eat Healthier, Avoid Mood-Altering Chemicals
A healthier diet can help you feel better all over, and promotes clear thinking and overall good health. It can also help fight off obesity, which studies show is increasingly common in adults with depression. Don’t be too strict with yourself however as a single sweet dessert isn’t going to hurt every now and again, and feeling like you’ve failed your diet can trigger a dangerous downward spiral,
You also want to avoid drugs and alcohol, especially depressants or stimulants. Marijuana’s effects on depression are still being studied, so even if you’re in a state where recreational use is accepted, it’s best to leave it alone until further research is done. You’ll definitely want to avoid alcohol, because it is a severe depressant and can greatly lower your mood, even if the first few drinks make you feel better.
#2:Join a Support Group
Joining a support group can actually really help those who are struggling with depression and lack a supportive family or friend group. Many of the people you’ll find in these groups will have advice and experiences that can help you to break out of your shell a bit more, and see the good in your situation.
You may also find that being in a group with others who are going through the same struggles that you are can make it easier to talk to people and open up about your condition, without feeling ostracised or somehow lesser for admitting it. There is no shame in depression, and you should never feel afraid to talk to someone about it. Which leads to our final tip…
#1: Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
If you’re struggling with depression, or just going through a dark time, don’t hesitate to talk to a medical professional or counselor. They can often make recommendations and help you get through things using techniques specific to your situation, and can help you get back to living your life.
Studies have shown that people seeking treatment for depression will often find that their symptoms subside or even go away completely with counseling and medication. For further assistance on managing your depression, contact Caree Brown office located in Walnut Creek. There is help out there and you can feel better. Never give up when it seems you can’t go any further, because often that’s when help is just around the corner.