11 Effective Tips for Coping With Depression

Did you know that over 300 million people around the world are currently coping with depression? Depression is a mental illness that develops when your brain is under stress, you lack certain chemicals, or you are actively grieving.

If you are currently living with depression, you may feel hopeless and sad about where you are at in your recovery process. Here are some tactics to try so that you can alleviate your depression symptoms and start feeling better.

Surround Yourself With Support

When you have depression, it is natural to want to isolate yourself from your family and friends. However, that is the worst thing that you can do for your mental health when you are going through a depressive episode.

Being alone can cause you to ruminate on your thoughts and exacerbate your depression symptoms. You will not have anyone to bring positivity and joy into your life when you feel at your lowest.

Even if you do not feel up for it, try to see your family and friends as much as possible. If you do not have the mental stamina to leave the house or hang out for long periods of time, let them know so that they can adjust their plans.

One of the easiest ways to see your loved ones is to have them come over to your home for a movie or another activity that requires low energy. You can talk, socialize, and not have to worry about your depression symptoms for a while.

Your friends and family are often the ones who may notice if your depression is worsening. They can be a good indicator as to whether you need more depression treatment or you are in a darker place than before.

Find a New Hobby

Sometimes learning something new can bring your perspective on depression into a whole new light. A hobby is a great way to get your mind off of your stressors, produce something fun, and enjoy yourself without having to worry about work.

Social media is a great place to find other people who are interested in your hobby. For example, if you love needlework and yarn work, there are plenty of groups for knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and any other type of craft that you can think of.

Hobbies are also a great way to meet up with new friends in person. Exercise can be a fun hobby, so if you want to start taking better care of your body, you can nail two birds with one stone by taking a hike or swimming at the beach.

Take It One Step at a Time

One of the biggest depression symptoms is that life can seem overwhelming. This is one of the main reasons why it may seem easier to just stay in bed and ignore all of your problems when you go through a depressive episode.

If you have a lot on your to-do list or you have trouble accomplishing basic tasks, then you should remember that one step at a time is better than no steps at all.

Do you have trouble keeping your room clean when you are going through a bout of depression? Even doing something as simple as putting in a load of laundry can help you feel more accomplished and put you in a better mood.

Design a Sleep Routine

There are many different types of depression, and sleep is a major factor in all of them. Depression can either keep you sleeping for large parts of the day or cause problems like insomnia, where you have trouble falling and staying asleep.

Try to make a sleep routine that works for you and helps you to get the best quality sleep possible. This could involve changing your environment so you sleep more comfortably.

Eliminate noise with a sleep noise application on your phone or a white noise machine. If you like to sleep during the day or you work the night shift, then it is a good idea to invest in blackout curtains to keep your sleeping area totally dark.

You should also try to get up and go to bed around the same time every day. Even if you feel like you want to sleep in on the weekends, it can actually disrupt your sleep schedule when you are trying to make positive changes in your life.

Treat yourself to some things that will help you feel more comfortable while you sleep. A satin pillowcase is a great way to feel luxurious and take care of your hair while you get some much-needed shut-eye.

Try Meditation

When you are living with depression, it can seem hopeless to try and battle negative thoughts and overwhelming emotions. One depression treatment that is often overlooked is the power of meditation.

Meditation involves centering yourself and focusing on a mantra, such as positivity, or even just emptying your mind of thoughts so you can be at peace with yourself.

If you are new to meditation, it may help you to start out with a guided meditation so you do not get distracted. You can find these on sites like YouTube, or even download a meditation app to your phone, where you can track your progress.

Take what you learn from meditation, such as transforming your negative thoughts into positive ones, and apply it to your everyday life. Once your mind produces a negative thought, you can actively switch it out for one that makes you feel better.

Sweat It Out

Exercise is a great way to release endorphins, which can elevate your mood. This is commonly known as the runner’s high, and it can last several hours after you are done with your sweat session.

Although it may seem like a slog to try and get up to exercise, once you start, you will notice that your mood improves drastically. Try to find a form of exercise that you like so it does not feel like exercise, but a fun hobby.

You can join a gym and find group exercise classes for activities you are interested in. Yoga and pilates are two that are low-impact but can still burn a lot of calories and improve your mood.

Do you like to get outdoors? There are plenty of forms of exercise that you can take advantage of. Try going on a hike every once in a while, taking the dog for a walk, or simply going on a stroll with your family or friends.

Visit a Therapist

Sometimes you may feel like you need extra help with your depressing treatment, and this is where a therapist comes into play. A therapist who is qualified to help you with your depression can give you the tools that you need to treat your depression symptoms.

One of the most common depression symptoms is negative thought patterns, where your mind likes to obsess over the same types of thoughts in an unproductive way. A therapist can help you to overcome those negative thoughts and redirect the energy into something that is beneficial to you.

Your therapist may also want to talk to you about past trauma or issues that you have. This discussion may help them to identify the root cause of your depression. Many people who are grieving will visit therapists when they start to see signs of depression.

Sometimes your therapist will give you a proposed treatment plan that involves a designated number of weeks or appointments. Other therapists will simply want to keep seeing you until they notice your signs of depression are lessening.

Consider Antidepressants

Many people who have mental illness struggle with multiple problems at once. For instance, depression and anxiety often go hand in hand, despite the fact that they seem to contradict one another.

If you have mental health issues that are not getting better with lifestyle changes alone, it may be time to think about an antidepressant. Your doctor will likely refer you to a psychiatrist who specializes in prescribing these types of medication, so you are in the hands of an expert.

There are many different types of antidepressants, so it may take a while to find the medication that works for you. The onboarding process will take several weeks, but once the chemical is in your system you should start feeling your symptoms alleviate.

Your doctor may warn you to watch out for side effects, especially during the first few weeks of taking the antidepressant medication. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • dry mouth
  • sleep problems
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headaches
  • reduced sex drive
  • dizziness

If you find that a certain medication is not working, you should not stop taking it cold turkey. This could cause major problems that could land you in the hospital. Instead, talk to your doctor about weaning off of the medication by reducing your dosage every few days so you can safely try something new.

Sometimes you may start to feel the effects of the antidepressant wearing off as you have taken it for long periods of time. Consult your psychiatrist to see if increasing your dose will help you to maintain your current state of wellbeing.

Know the Signs of Worsening Depression

Although you may feel awful living with depression, you should know when you are getting worse. If you feel like you are a danger to yourself or others, it is vital that you let someone know and go to the emergency room.

It is also a good idea to track your symptoms, especially if your depression comes in waves. For instance, if you start to not take care of your personal hygiene, you may be heading into a depressive episode.

Once you start to see the signs of depression, sometimes you can stop it in its tracks if it is early enough. Try using methods and techniques that you learned from therapy, or increase your medication dosage if permitted by your doctor.

You can also ask your close friends and family to let you know if they notice that you are getting worse. Sometimes when you are deep in depression, they may be able to see signs and symptoms that you do not realize or know about.

Make Chores Easier

Household chores can be tough to keep up with when you suffer from all types of depression. When you are just barely able to fulfill your basic needs, it can seem downright overwhelming to complete other chores.

If you have a spouse or a teammate, try to come up with a system where they can help you out if you feel your depression symptoms worsening. For example, if you have trouble getting dressed in the morning, you can ask them to pick an outfit out for you so you do not have to worry about choosing.

You should not have to take on the full burden of responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare, so ensure that your partner is willing to pull their weight when you need to rest and relax.

Reduce Stressors

Extra stress in your life can exacerbate your depression symptoms and make everything feel worse. Even if it seems difficult, try to reduce the stress around you as much as you possibly can.

If you cannot do anything permanent, try temporarily removing yourself from a stressful situation. For instance, if your children are driving you crazy, leave them with your partner and go take a short walk so you can reset.

Try These Methods for Coping With Depression

If you are struggling with depression symptoms, you should not have to suffer in silence or alone. With these tips for coping with depression, you can still live a fulfilling life and manage your mental illness effectively.

Would you like to learn more about taking the best care of your mind, body, and soul? Take a look around our site for more advice and inspiration for being the healthiest version of yourself.