9 Ways to Cope with Depression
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living.
Before learning ways to cope, although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day, and may include:
Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even over small matters
Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, hobbies, or sports
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships, and friendships with others. Those who face depression may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
This puts these people in a drowning state of negativity. Without the proper will, strength, and support it could potentially worsen their depressive state, therefore coping with depression requires being outreached by others as a form of assurance and comfort. As a reminder that mental health can’t be rushed, it is among the individual’s timeline to get progressively better.
How to cope with Depression
However, there are ways of learning on coping with depression. 9 ways that an individual could try coping with depression would be:
1. Setting a lifestyle Take control of your life and manage your treatment even beyond medications. Making some lifestyle changes can boost your mood and help alleviate many of your symptoms, including low self-esteem. Minimizing stress as much as possible is a good idea, especially unnecessary or avoidable stressors that people can be pulled into when they're depressed.
2. Express yourself in writing (Journaling)
Writing in a journal is great therapy and can help you manage depression. It can relieve stress by being open about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns in your writing to yourself. Stress management is an important part of living well with depression. Writing down your feelings and challenges with depression can release pent-up emotions.
3. Boost your self-image
People with depression often experience low self-esteem, so finding ways to feel better about themselves is an important aspect of treatment. Practice positive thinking by focusing your thoughts on your best qualities. Make lifestyle changes that can improve your self-esteem, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and spending time with friends who accept and make you feel good about who you are.
4. Stick to a schedule
Maintaining a healthy and regular routine may be helpful for people with depression. Many times, with depression, people's motivation drops, making them feel unproductive and fuelling feelings of low self-esteem. Scheduling a daily activity that you enjoy would help you stay involved and balanced.
5. Stay Involved
Experiencing depression may feel like wanting to withdraw socially and keep to yourself, either because of low self-esteem or a lack of interest. Social life, however, is important. Social connections can help keep you from spiraling downward into deeper depression and from becoming isolated and alone with your thoughts. It might lift one’s spirit by doing activities together with friends such as going to the movies, catching up, or simply going out.
6. Sleep well
Getting plenty of rest every night is a must for your mood. People with depression often have noticeable sleep disturbances; they either sleep too much or not enough. Set a regular schedule to wake up. Without proper rest, feeling restless may exacerbate your symptoms of depression making it more difficult to socialize, exercise, and manage stress.
7. Enjoy the emotional benefits of exercise
Exercising offers physiological benefits that can help people going through depression. Physical activity relieves stress and can make you feel great. Additionally, the satisfaction from finishing an engaging and challenging workout can boost your self-esteem as you get stronger and more physically fit. When you fight depression with a regular exercise routine, you’ll feel better emotionally and physically.
8. Talk to a therapist
Working with a therapist is often an important part of successfully managing depression. "Psychotherapy will focus on helping people adjust their lifestyle in ways that are possible, minimize their stress, and cope with stressors," says Dr. Nelson. Among the issues that you can address together are how to improve your self-esteem, switch from negative to positive thinking, and practice stress management.
9. Assure yourself
The most important yet most neglected part is missing out on acknowledging on some days you have given your best in tries and energy. Assure yourself on your coping journey that not every day would feel as productive, however, the small steps taken to achieve a set goal were being worked on.
Depression can be difficult to cope with, but you are never alone. Resources are available and there are many ways to practice self-care.