Disclaimer. This article is not a license to self-treat or self-diagnose. Please reach out to a medical health professional for a proper diagnosis and a therapist for treatment.
At times, living with depression can be too much. The unpredictability of a depressive episode can make living with depression feel overwhelming and seemingly inconvenient. There will be moments where you feel that your depression has more control of you than you have of it.
However, depression is manageable. By minimizing your stressor and being a bit more in tune with yourself, you can begin to manage your depression little by little.
Below are additional steps you can take to manage your depression.
Reach out to a therapist.
I believe that this is one of the most effective ways to manage your depression. While you can try many other techniques such as grounding or journaling to manage your symptoms, reaching out to a therapist is ideal. They have tools to help you manage your depression.
Living with depression has a way of making you feel isolated. It makes you feel as though you can’t connect or make others understand how you are feeling. This is where a therapist is helpful. A good therapist will create a space for you to unload your emotional baggage. You will cry, laugh, and talk about the things you are not ready to open up to others. Hopefully, this process will provide you with catharsis and closure.
Therapy is not like a subscription nor does it have an expiration date. Therapy is a tool for whenever life feels too heavy.
Express yourself differently.
In behavioral psychology, there is something called sublimation. Sublimation is a type of mature defense mechanism where you take unacceptable impulses and channel them into something else. The concept of sublimation played a viral role in Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory.
In the context of depression and other mental health afflictions, sublimation can be helpful. During a depressive episode, your mind is flooded with negative disruptive thoughts. These thoughts can come at random and make you feel worse. Whenever that happens, take those thoughts and turn them into something else. Use them as fuel to create a world better than the one your mind perceives. Being creative is a great way to sublimate difficult emotions. You can put those emotions down in writing, dance them out, or draw them.
Boost your self-image.
Depression lowers your esteem. It makes you doubt your capabilities and positive attributes. While it may feel hard to do so, try to find wonderful things about yourself. Recall positive things about yourself. Practice self-love and do activities that will help you feel better and more confident in yourself.
Take care of yourself.
It’s easy to forget about your well-being when your mental health is not great. Your mental health takes up so much of your energy that you just don’t have it in you to care about your well-being. I understand. I’ve been there. But, you must take care of yourself. Eat food that will make you feel better in the long run, work out or do yoga, and make sure you get enough sleep.
Follow a routine.
Routines may sound mundane and dull, but they can be helpful when you start to feel depressed. Depression has a way of eating away your days, making you feel lethargic and unproductive. Hence, a routine can be helpful. In an article published on Everyday Health, Dr. Nelson states that establishing a routine can help you be and feel productive. A routine may seem like it encourages you to be high functioning, but it can help reduce stress. Stress is a common trigger for depression. We, humans, are creatures of habits, so routines have a way of making us feel safe because we know what to expect. So, find a routine that you works for you. If you need help, reach out to a therapist for help.
People tend to be less sociable when they are depressed. Understandably so. It’s been less common now, but there was a lot of stigma surrounding mental health disorders. The history of how depression was perceived can sometimes make it difficult to socialize with others. There is also the additional perception that others will not understand what you are going through. While it may be right, it is still a good idea to reach out to someone you trust. If you do not have someone, reach out to a therapist.
Once you feel better, connect with some friends. Connecting with good friends fills you with oxytocin, and it makes you feel better.
Depression may be difficult, but you are much stronger than you think. If you feel like things get too difficult, reach out to someone. A therapist, a friend, a family member. Please reach out to someone. You do not need to suffer through your depression alone. Take care of yourself! Please reach out to a hotline if you do not know where to turn to.
Everyday Health Staff. (2021, September 22). 10 ways to cope with Depression. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression-photos/ways-to-cope-with-depression.aspx.
Better Health Staff. (2021). Depression – treatment, and management. Depression – treatment, and management – Better Health Channel. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/depression-treatment-and-management.
Griffin, R. M. (2021, October 1). 11 natural depression treatments. WebMD. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/natural-treatments.
Mokrue, K. (2020). Tips to manage depression. Tips to Manage Depression | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression/tips.
Plata, M. (2018, October 4). The power of routines in your mental health. Psychology Today. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-gen-y-psy/201810/the-power-routines-in-your-mental-health.