Experts Suggest Tips To Deal With Depression

Be mindful of what you’re doing – stay in the present.

The first step is often the most difficult to take as a result of the low energy and anhedonia (loss of interest in things previously enjoyable) that one experiences as a symptom of depression. However, taking small steps towards recovery helps a long way.

- Ensure you look after your basics –

- Eat healthy, nutritious food: don’t skip meals, eat foods rich in omega-3

- Get adequate sleep – about 8 hours

- Sleep hygiene: avoid the TV & mobile for 2 hours prior to bedtime, dim the lights in your room once you’re ready for bed, and try to do some deep breathing/ relaxation exercises prior to bed

- Exercise daily for about 30 mins – if you find it difficult to do 30 mins at a stretch, start with 3 blocks of 10 mins each. If you find walking difficult, you can do your exercise through fun mediums like dance

- Do activities you enjoy – they are likely to energise and relax you. While this may seem a little difficult, start small and build it up.

-  If you feel that you don’t currently enjoy anything, then try doing activities that you previously enjoyed.

 - Be mindful of what you’re doing – stay in the present

- Practice relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, progressive relaxation, mindfulness breathing, etc

- Set yourself some SMART goals – start small and build on your goals

- Create a support network for yourself – it may seem difficult to ask for help at first, but try to remember that your loved ones care about you and want to help, even if they don’t seem to know how to.

- Reach out to people who make you feel safe and cared for: they may not be able to ‘fix’ you, but they can listen to you and just be there for you

- Join a support group or group therapy sessions to connect with others in a similar situation as yourself 

– you’ll realise you’re not as alone as you think

- Consider joining your friends in a few social activities that you enjoy or previously enjoyed

- Remember its ok to ask for help – we all need a little help sometime or the other

- Consider volunteering/ being of service to others – sometimes helping and being there for others can boost one’s self esteem and feelings of worth; it can be a small gesture as well

- Spend time with your pet – they are known to boost your mood, make you feel less lonely, and give you a feeling of being needed; if you don’t have one, you could volunteer at a shelter close by

- Spend some time surrounded by nature if you can

- Spend some time sitting in the sun: open your windows and let the sunlight in

- Challenge and Reframe your negative thoughts: its usually a pattern of thinking that has been established over some time, so just trying to think positive thoughts is not necessarily helpful. However, identifying the type of negative thought and then challenging and reframing your thoughts can be helpful.

- Express gratitude: consider maintaining a gratitude journal or gratitude jar for yourself and/or for the family

- If you find that you’ve tried all these techniques, but the depression doesn’t seem to be getting better, consult a mental health practitioner.

About the author -

Consultant Psychologist, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre

Area of Specialisation: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Music Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy: Anxiety, Depression, Alcoholism. 

Tags assigned to this article:
depression handling depression


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