Have you ever experienced depression symptoms but weren’t exactly sure how to make yourself feel better? Have you ever had trouble staying above water that is trapped inside of your own head? I know that feeling. Sometimes it feels like there is no way out. But I’ve managed to find 5 ways to cope with depression that actually helps.
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Before we get started, I’d like to just lightly inform some of you who may not know exactly what depression is. Depression does not have a specific look(like any other mental illness) and not all smiles are genuine. Depression is when someone has feelings of emptiness, loneliness, increased or decreased appetite, hopelessness, etc. There are many other symptoms but those are known to be the most commons ones. But depression isn’t always sadness and isolation, and that’s the first thing people think of when they hear depression.
Depression is also feeling numb at 2AM but smiling and laughing with friends at 2PM. It’s showing up to work every day pretending that nothing is wrong. Depression is also loving too hard or not at all.
Depression can be easily hidden in happiness.
5 ways to cope with depression
1. Stay connected and involved.
Depression has a way of forcing you to stay away from your loved ones. Don’t do it. Don’t give in to isolation. With everything going on right now with Covid-19, a lot of us are practicing self-quarantine and social distancing, so hanging out may be out of the question for right now. But something as simple as calling up a friend or even face timing them could help cope with depression.
Your family and friends are a part of your support system. And you need them. Don’t push them away.
2. When you’re feeling depressed, WRITE.
My absolute favorite thing to do. Writing/Journaling helps a lot with my anxiety and depression. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you cope with depression easier. I say this because whenever you see your thoughts written down on paper, you are able to understand and process them in a better way.
There are so many different types of journals you can choose from including healing, self-care, and open-ended. Writing can be so comforting and you can actually feel a sense of peace after getting all of your feelings out on paper.
3. Be more active.
When you’re depressed, you immediately feel the need to just lay around and not do anything. Whether it is bundled up in front of the television or under the covers in bed scrolling on social media.
Take up some form of exercise. Exercising can lift your mood and there is evidence out there to prove this. If you don’t really work out much, you can start off slowly by just walking 20 minutes a day. You can even lookup different beginner exercises on google that will most likely come with tutorials. Anything that you find comfortable and fun will definitely work out.
Get out and get some sunlight. Vitamin D is key! Sunlight can lighten your mood and boost your serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body. It is sometimes called the happy chemical because it contributes to well-being and happiness.
Do you have a dog? Going for a short walk is a great way to bond with your dog and also take in sunlight. The walk doesn’t even have to be long – a few blocks would do it!
5. Give yourself credit.
As hard as it is having depression, you have to give yourself credit. You should be proud of any steps and progress that you may have made. It’s okay if it is taking longer than hoped.
Don’t sabotage yourself for something you have no control over. All you can do is just find ways to better manage it. Love yourself and be kind to yourself.
Recovering from depression takes time. The new habits and skills you learn now will you help throughout your life later.
References: Medical News Today