Accepting It Is There
It can be difficult to accept living with depression. Sometimes people feel forced to append their identity or apply a label they didn’t want. It is actually only an illness. It doesn’t need to be part of an identity. Struggling to accept its existence might only bring more pain. Accepting depression can also have some value; it helps you more quickly become open to figuring out what led to the depression. Depression may be one of the mind and body’s ways of saying you need to make a change, so accepting it and listening to it will help facilitate that change.
Trying Not to Beat Up on Yourself
When people have depression, they sometimes feel like it’s their fault for having it. Then they beat up on themselves for the supposed mistakes that led to the depression. This makes the depression worse. If it makes them feel or act in ways they don’t find acceptable, they might criticize themselves for this as well. Again, this only exacerbates depression. When you’re struggling with depression, it’s OK to not be performing as well as you want. Remember that depression isn’t your fault nor is it a sign of weakness.
Identifying and Challenging Negative Beliefs
A series of negative beliefs about oneself, the world, or other people can induce and maintain depression. These beliefs are usually irrational. By examining them on your own or working with your EAP Assist counsellor, you can transform them into rational, positive beliefs that will ease your depression.
For example, let’s say you believe you are the worst person in the world. This can’t possibly be true. To challenge this belief, you can ask yourself questions like, “Would I believe this about anyone else? Would that be fair?”
Behavioural activation is the practice of gradually increasing activity to experience more pleasure and mastery in life. Practicing behavioural activation by engaging in one healthy activity each day that results in pleasure (taking a walk, visiting a friend, etc.) and one that provides a sense of accomplishment (paying a bill, grocery shopping, chores, etc.). Remember to acknowledge the completion of these activities.
Depression can make you feel paralyzed. It is the bane of productivity. Behavioural activation is helps to break you out of this paralysis. Rather than putting tasks and activities off until you feel better, it utilizes the logic that doing something — anything — will make you feel better. These actions set up the feeling of, ‘I can do this’.
Developing a Positive Routine
Developing a routine can help you stay active and out of the mire of depression. This routine can involve scheduled activities or a daily repetition of mental health strategies. For example, you can start your day with a positive affirmations and end it by writing down something you are grateful for.
Social Interaction and Involvement in a Community
When you are dealing with depression, especially during the worst phases, try to surround yourself with loved ones. Their presence might alleviate the feelings of loneliness and isolation that tend to come with depression. If you are part of a community, try to be active or stay active in that community.
Exercise can ease symptoms of depression as it releases brain chemicals that provide pleasure and calm the mind. You can incorporate exercise into a healthy routine and use it to feel a sense of accomplishment during depression.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness-based therapy, self-practiced mindfulness, and meditation can reduce symptoms of depression and be effective coping tools. By living in the moment and getting in touch with your external surroundings, you can temporarily detach from the internal strife of your depression. You can also do this as part of yoga, another technique frequently recommend.
When you’re suffering with depression, it can be difficult to be grateful. Nonetheless, acknowledging small aspects of your life you can be grateful for has mental health benefits, including an increased sense of well-being.
Creating and Viewing Art
Creating and viewing art has positive effects on mental health, according to research. People can experience this as part of art therapy, create something individually, or participate in a group. The process of creating can be healing. It is a sort of escape from oneself, giving you a break and release from my present state of mind.
Being in Nature
Being in nature, including taking hikes or walks through forested areas, has mental health benefits. It can give you a break from parts of your life that may be contributing to depression. If you live in an urban area, try regularly walking through parks that offer a sense of nature. Try to spent around 90 minutes in nature if you have time.
Taking the Next Step to Treat Your Depression
All of the above will help you deal with depression, but you don’t need to try all of them, even one is a great start. Develop a pace and set of tactics that work for you. Dealing with depression is an enormous challenge, one you might need to approach in many ways. By learning and opening yourself to methods of coping you’re taking the first step toward a happier life.