When individuals feel depressed they often feel helpless and low. Completing daily chores, such as cooking, showering, or going to work, are a struggle due to a lack of motivation and drive. If you feel this way or know somebody who is possibly depressed you may find these 5 suggestions helpful in overcoming depression.
When managing depression, starting with small steps is crucial. Try to determine which goal is manageable for you to achieve within the next 24 hours. Goals may include walking the dog for 5 minutes, taking a shower, or sometimes even, getting out of bed. Once you have managed to achieve your goal for the day you have proven to yourself that you can engage in activities even if you don’t feel like it.
Remember that depression can make every daily activity a struggle. When we manage to achieve something despite the activity being a struggle, we need to acknowledge this accomplishment. Be kind to yourselves by letting yourself know that you have taken one step further into the path of recovery. Short cheerleading statements, such as “well done” “I can” and “go me,” can help to boost your self-esteem, which can be very empowering when fighting depression.
When we lack sleep, we are less likely to regulate our emotions, and as a result, we may feel depleted, exhausted, and drained. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night can help us feel less drained and more motivated to do the things that fight the depression. If you think you are affected by a lack of sleep try to find your own personal ways that help you sleep better. Some of my recommendations for improved sleep are drinking enough water, eating a light meal before bedtime, and listening to soothing music in the evenings.
You may not have noticed, but when people are depressed, they are rarely in the present moment. Depressive thoughts usually involve thoughts about the past or the future. When we worry or ruminate about life, we miss out on moments in the present. Therefore, when you notice yourself thinking about the past or future, make a conscious effort to shift your mind to the present. The present moment is usually so much more enjoyable than the negative thoughts that have been maintaining our depression. Give it a go and see how it feels.
Overcoming depression is a process because it doesn’t happen overnight. One day you may notice yourself feeling upbeat and energized, and the next day, your mood may be low again. When this happens be kind to yourself rather than judge yourself with negative self-criticism. Find empowering statements that will motivate you to keep fighting the depression. For example, you could tell yourself “This is a normal part of recovery.” “I will get better.” “I must be patient.” And then, rather than listening to your low mood and letting it take control over you, start with step 1 again by finding one small achievable goal that will move you one step closer to the life that you want to live.