Depression really sucks. But not to worry. These coping skills for depression can help you better manage your symptoms.
1. Talk to a Therapist
A good therapist can be difficult. But if you can connect with the right person, he or she can help you heal and work with you to manage your symptoms.
2. Write In Your Journal
Journal writing can be incredibly useful when fighting depression. It gives you an outlet to express your thoughts and feelings. Getting your feelings out on paper is especially useful if you have a hard time opening up to others. Pent-up feelings only serve to worsen your depression.
When journaling, concentrate on problem-solving and use techniques like Cogitative Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to change negative thoughts to positive ones.
It’s also a good idea to focus on the good things that happen in your life. Yes, I know it may not feel like it. But there’s always something good happening.
3. Slay Those Negative Thought Dragons
Depression often colors the world in a negative shade by feeding negative thoughts, low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness.
But negative thoughts can be defeated with a few techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Use CBT along with the techniques in this article to help rewire your brain to resist negative thoughts.
Mindfulness techniques also offer great coping skills for depression. Practicing mindfulness helps you focus on the present moment. As a result, worries will melt into the background. But it may take some until you see some results.
4. Boost Your Self Esteem
Many depression sufferers suffer from low self-esteem and low self-worth. But improving self-esteem can also help you improve your symptoms.
Start by focusing on your strengths. Don’t think you have any?
Sorry, but you’re wrong!
Everyone is good at something. Usually what you’re good at is also the thing you connect with in a positive emotional way.
Work on your strengths. As for the things you want to be good at but aren’t…
Well, there’s only one thing to do.
Practice, practice practice until you get better.
5. Stay Connected
Depression will make you want to push away friends and family. But being around people who love, value and understand you are one of the best coping skills for depression.
Find ways to connect with those you love.
6. Move More, Move Often
I’ll keep this brief because I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of getting regular exercise. I’ll just say that doing heart-pumping aerobic activity boosts your mood by releasing feel-good chemicals into your brain. For more info check out this article: Can Exercise Treat Depression?
7. Stick with the Right Foods
You already know you should eat a healthy diet. But eating the right foods for depression is so much more than that. You’ve got to consider other nutritional factors. Read Nutrition and Depression: 4 Simple Mood Boosting Nutrition Hacks for more info.
8. Say No to Drugs and Alcohol
When it comes to self-medicating, alcohol and drugs are the top contenders. Unfortunately, while using these substances may lighten the burden of depression, the relief only lasts for a very short time. Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can lead to substance abuse.
9. Count Those Sheep
If you’re suffering from depression, a good night’s sleep may seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Get the sleep you need to help you relieve your symptoms.
10. Get Some More Sun
Are you getting enough sun? If not, you may be more prone to depression. Try to get at least 20 minutes a day of sunshine. If this isn’t possible, or if winter makes getting adequate sunlight impossible, try using light therapy.
11. Herbal Remedies
Herbs offer fantastic mood-boosting effects. St. John’s wort is a popular option. This is no surprise because in 2015 sales skyrocketed to over $57 million in the U.S. alone.