Depression can happen to anyone. Any life challenge, loss or setback can give rise to depression. However, it is also possible to treat and overcome depression. Self help as well as speaking to a specialist like psychiatrist or a psychologist can make you feel much better and help you learn coping skills.
Following suggestions can be a great way to start in order to address the problem and make yourself feel better and empowered. However, if even after self help methods your situation is not improving then it is extremely important to seek professional help.
1. Talk to someone: Speaking to people whom we trust and are non judgmental in their approach can help you feel lighter and will give your feelings an outlet. Just having someone to listen to our concerns and feelings can make a lot of difference. This also creates a sense of available support in our minds and we dont feel alone in our struggle.
2. Challenge your negative thoughts: A key characteristic of depression is having frequent negaitive thoughts about ourselves and the world around us. A good way to manage those negative thoughts is to challenge them. Look for evidence against the negative thought which comes to your mind frequently. Make a list of all the evidence and examples which are opposite to the negative thought you are having. By challenging our negative thoughts we channel our mental energies to a positive outlook about ourselves and this helps to rewire our thinking.
3. Physical Exercise: It is normal to not feel like going and doing any form of exercise when we are feeling depressed. However, a little put of a push to go even for a walk can do wonders to the depressive symptoms. Start with a small goal of going for a 10 minute walk and gradually increase the time. If you cannot go out for any reason, try doing a 10 minutes exercise at home, in your terrace or balcony. When we do physical activity the body releases positive hormones like dopamine, which regulates our mood and feelings.
4.Set a routine: Setting a routine is another great way to set something to do or look forward to in the day. This can be a morning or afternoon or evening routine, where during a specific time period you can engage in some activity. For example: A walk, watering the plants, chopping vegetables, doing yoga, painting etc. A routine also helps in moving your focus from negative thoughts to productive activity.
5. Journaling: Journaling or diary writing is an easy and a very powerful tool to cope and overcome depression. A simple small diary next to your bedside can be a good start. You can write down things which you did well or were able to accomplish during the day as well as 3-4 things which you are thankful for in the day. Journaling is a great tool to help you reflect on your emotions and circumstances and it also creates a data source of positive actions and events which happen around you and with you.
If you or your friends are going through depression, these suggestions can be a good starting point. Take one day at a time and be kind to yourself. Remember that difficult days do not last long.
Please feel free to ask questions or reach out for more information on mental wellbeing. You can also watch the following video on Overcoming Depression.
DISCLAIMER: If the condition is intense please seek help from a professional. This article is for eductaional purposes only.
Image Source: World Health Organization