Depression can steal the joy from your days and make every hour feel like something to be endured. However, with appropriate treatment and a supportive network of people around you, you can live a fulfilled and satisfying life. Here are eight tips for coping with depression symptoms every day.
8 Tips for Living with Depression
Get Enough Sleep
You may be surprised to know how much sleep relates to mental health. Sleep disruption is one of the most common symptoms of depression, and it takes many forms. You may feel that you can’t fall asleep, can’t stay asleep, or still feel exhausted even after you sleep. To give yourself the best chance at sufficient and restorative rest, turn off any electronics at least an hour before bed.
When you’re struggling with the symptoms of depression, it can be challenging to make yourself get up and do the things you need to accomplish, like going to work or school. This cycle can lead you to put off things. Setting deadlines and managing your time can help keep you on track.
Build Your Support System
Your social support network can be as powerful as your medication in helping with dealing with depression. Identify the people in your family and your circle of friends who support you and understand the treatment plan for your depression. If you don’t have people you can count on in your family or friends, look for a depression support group in your community, either in person or online.
Practice Mindful Eating
What you eat affects your mental health. That fact has been demonstrated through clinical research for decades. Your brain takes the nutrients it needs from the food that you eat. When shortages exist, the symptoms can get worse. Eating healthier foods can help improve your mood when struggling with depression. However, you should always consult with your physician before making any drastic changes to your diet.
Make a Plan for Your Chores
Household chores can feel insurmountable when you’re dealing with depression. Laundry, sweeping floors and paying bills are difficult tasks when you feel overwhelmed or can’t concentrate. On the other hand, living amid clutter won’t improve your mood either. To keep things tidy, make a schedule for chores and do the smallest things first.
Mind Your Stress Level
Stress increases cortisol production, a hormone that helps you prepare to deal with whatever is causing the threat. While it may be helpful in the short term, exposure to cortisol over a long period can lead to depression. Reducing the factors that raise your stress levels reduces your exposure to toxic stress and may help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Don’t Listen to the Negative Self Talk
One of the symptoms of depression is negative self-talk. When you know how to recognize those thoughts, you can intervene. Therapies such as the cognitive-behavioral model teach you how to identify negative thought patterns and end them. If in-person treatment is not an option for you, consider researching books, apps, or websites on the topic.
Make an Overall Wellness Plan
Compile a list of things that help you feel better when you are down. These should be things that matter to you; there are no right or wrong things to put on the list, as long as they don’t involve self-harm. Whether it’s spending time with children and pets, reading, or listening to music, pleasurable activities can help short circuit the symptoms of depression.
Where Can I Find Help?
If you or someone you love is over the age of 50 and struggling with mental health challenges, St. Anthony’s Behavioral Health Hospital is here to help you find how to cope with depression.Contact us today to schedule an assessment.