Q&A: I’m feeling depressed. What should I do?

Depression

Depression is draining; it drains your energy, hope and drive and this can make it difficult to do what you need to do to feel better. While overcoming feeling depressed isn’t quick or easy it can be done. The key to doing something about feeling depressed is to start small and build from there. Feeling better always takes time but you can begin to feel better if you make positive choices for yourself each day.

If you are feeling depressed and wondering what you should do remember this: Recovering from depressing requires action but taking action when you are in your depression is hard but the things that help the most are the most difficult to do. But if you can do those things you will begin to feel better and you will slowly stop feeling depressed.

Reach out to others:

Isolation and loneliness are one of the things that can make you feel more depressed. That is why one of the things you can do if you are feeling depressed is to reach out to other people. For instance you can turn to trusted friends and family members by sharing what you are going through. Also try to keep up with social activities even if you really don’t feel like it. Often when you are feeling depressed it feels more comfortable to retreat into your home but being around other people will make you feel less depressed. Another thing you can do if you are feeling depressed is join a support group for depression. Being with other people who are dealing with depression can go a long way in helping with your depression.

Challenge your negative thoughts:

Depression can put a negative rain cloud over everything including your thoughts. The trick if you are feeling depressed is to replace the negative thoughts with balanced thoughts. Here are some ways to challenge negative thoughts:

  • It’s ok to be less than perfect: Many depressed people are perfectionists and they hold themselves to impossible and unattainable standards then beat themselves up when they don’t meet those standards. Challenge this. It is ok to not be perfect.
  • Talk to positive people: Pay attention to people who are always managing to look on the bright side of things and how they deal with challenges even minor ones like being stuck in traffic. Then look at how you would react in the same situation. Change your reaction next time. Try to adapt their positivity.

Take care of yourself:

If you are feeling depressed one of the best ways to overcome it is to take care of yourself. This means learning to manage stress, setting limits for yourself, having healthy habits and adding activities to your day.

  • Try to get enough sleep- Depression usually comes along with sleep problems. Get on a better sleep schedule.
  • Get some sunlight- Lack of sunlight can make depression worse so getting enough sunlight is really important. Drink your coffee in the sunlight or enjoy a meal outside. Maybe go to the park and just people watch.
  • Practice relaxation techniques-A daily practice such as prayer or meditation or even yoga can really help to relieve depression. These techniques can reduce stress and enhance feelings of happiness and well-being.
  • Get a pet-Nothing can replace human connection but pets can bring happiness and love into your life and help with feelings of isolation. Caring for a pet can also get you to think outside of yourself and give you a feeling of being needed. All of this is a great way to combat feelings of depression.

If you are feeling depressed of course it is always best to see a doctor about your symptoms and they can either refer you to some kind of counseling or recommend medication if they find it is necessary but part of combating depression is always going to be lifestyle changes. Get back to doing what you love to do!

Source: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm

 

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