Tips on how to handle depression
Feeling helpless, useless and having little energy can signify a state of depression. Your thoughts may travel in circles, keeping you standing still rather than moving forward. Apathy and pessimism feel like a black cloud around you Sometimes life feels just too much. If you are feeling low and unable to cope with any stress, then you’ve probably switched into a protective mode of depression just like a computer that switches off when its overloaded. If you are feeling low and depressed there are a number of ways you can overcome it
1 – One Step at a Time
Life can feel overwhelming when you are suffering with depression. It is important to tackle only one thing at a time when you’re trying to get better. Remember these feelings of lack of worth and hopelessness are transient and will eventually pass. Do something productive each day that will give you a sense of achievement
2 – Talk/Reach Out
Depression can cause you to isolate yourself. However, when your thoughts are tightly locked up, they can blossom into monstrous fantasies. Talking to a trusted friend or professional can alleviate some of your worries and problems. Simply expressing how you feel and being heard will eliminate some of the fears you may be experiencing.
3 – Do at least one thing you enjoy daily
Make the effort to do something that you enjoy at least once a day. Go out with a friend. Take a day trip to a museum, a park or watch a funny movie. This will give you more energy to attend to other tasks that must get done. Be realistic and don’t put too much pressure on yourself
4 – Reality Test
When your mood is low you may have a tendency to jump to conclusions. If someone is late for an appointment, you may feel immediately rejected instead of taking into account that they may be stuck in traffic or have mixed the dates up in their diary. Ask yourself how would you feel if you weren’t depressed. Think about how others would deal with this situation?
5 – Exercise
Research has shown that physical exercise actually helps your mood in that it releases endorphins, your body’s natural uplifting chemicals. Find some type of physical activity that you truly enjoy so that it doesn’t become a chore. For some this can be swimming, for others it could be salsa dancing or just going for a long walk on a regular basis You might even meet new people who will become good friends.
6 – Be creative
While you can’t force yourself to have fun or experience pleasure, you can choose to do things that are creative. Try expressing yourself creatively through music, art, or start a diary writing down your thoughts and feelings .
7 – A good diet
When you feel depressed you may lose your desire for food and find that every thing tastes bland, but not eating can make matters worse .The food you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Aim to eat regularly and follow a balanced diet of protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid junk/fast food as you will be missing out on essential vitamins needed to recover
8 – Know when to get professional help
If you try the above and find your depression is getting worse seek professional help. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Sometimes the negative thinking can make you feel like you’re a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you will get better!