When you are depressed you can not just tell yourself to get over it, to snap out of it. Dealing with depression is difficult because, depression drains your energy, hope and drive, making it difficult to take steps that will help you feel better.
Sometimes just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action. It is the catch-22 of depression recovery. The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do.
There is a big difference, though between, something that is difficult and something that is impossible. While recovering from depression is not quick or easy, you do have more control than you realise, even if your depression is severe and has been around for a while.
The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but call on everything you have, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favourite music for example is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hours, long enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend.
By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, you will soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier and more hopeful again.
So some tips for for coping with depression are:
1- Try to eat a healthy diet
2- Have a routine- Try to get up at your normal time and stick to your routine as much as possible.
3- Do not drink too much alcohol- Alcohol will not help you solve your problems and could also make you feel more depressed.
4- Face your fears – Do not avoid the things you find difficult. Face up to regaining your confidence by going out again, driving and travelling again.
5- Be more active – Take up some form of exercise. There is evidence that exercise can help lift your mood.
6- Stay in touch – Do not withdraw from life. Socialising can improve your mood.
7- Do things you enjoy, or used to enjoy.
8- Support your health- Aim for 8 hours sleep. Keep stress in check. Practice relaxation techniques.
Most importantly be patient and gentle and kind to yourself, you will get through this!