Depression is a monster. It’s like this parasite that sucks the happiness and light out of your life, leaving you cold and miserable. Unlike normal sadness, depression lingers and becomes stronger over time. And the more you try to snap out of it, the more it drags you down. But even if your demons are challenging to fight, there are still ways you can do to weaken or defeat them. You have more control of the situation more than you think. Believe it or not, there are a lot of self-help coping methods that can take depression down and will allow you to start gaining back the things that this disorder took away.
“Depression and anxiety are like flip sides of the same coin,” says therapist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD. “Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often makes us depressed.”
Speaking of coping methods, written below are some of the simplest ones you can do to help yourself. Yes, not all of them will work because we are all different, but they are still solutions you can try when you feel like things are getting heavy.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Our lifestyle sometimes affects our emotions, and the way we deal with everyday struggles can be very exhausting. And since depression thrives on things that can impact our lives negatively, a change in lifestyle is preferred. For example, you can try to sleep earlier than your usual bedtime. You can also do other things like drinking water instead of alcohol or spending less time at work and more on doing helpful stuff like working out. It doesn’t have to be drastic, just change it bit by bit every day so you won’t have a hard time adjusting to new things.
“Literally,” Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW wrote, “If you force yourself to look up, there are a variety of objects in the room to observe and ponder—a bookcase; lamps: paintings; a window with sunlight streaming in… It’s not that my office is so fascinating, but there is so much you miss when you refuse to look.”
Give More Time To Yourself
Another way to deal with depression is to practice self-love. It’s hard, but at times like this, being able to look after yourself when you feel all alone is vital. Try to change your perception of negative things and work on the things that can make you happy. Focus on the enjoyable activities that can make everything lighter. You can continue an old hobby, travel to different places, hang out with friends, and more. Also, always remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t stress yourself up over the things you can’t do. Progress is still progress, no matter how slow or how fast you are. Make yourself a top priority, and soon enough, you’ll be fine.
“Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness. Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person.” – Deborah Serani, Psy.D.
Reconnect or Talk with People
Whether it’s your family or a licensed professional, talking to other people about the things that are going on in your head can help a lot. Letting your emotions and thoughts out will make you feel weightless and satisfied. The people you are talking to can also provide essential support and useful advice that can help you with your situation.
These three are just some of the many practical yet straightforward ways you can deal with depression. We know the battle is not easy, but taking one step forward at a time and not giving up will do a lot. Keep these in mind and know that things will get better someday.