What can I do to help myself overcome depression?

If you are suffering from depressive symptoms it will be difficult to find the energy to look after yourself. However in this situation it can be extremely effective to take an active role in your treatment. There are small things you can try to look after yourself which can make a big difference to the way you feel.

It’s easy to slip into un-regular eating patterns during periods of depression. In many cases this leads to skipping meal times and snacking of unhealthy food varieties. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you to feel well, think more clearly and increase your energy levels. Why not try homemade vegetable soups, salads, beans, pastas, nuts, fish and wholegrains in your meal choices?

Sleep can become an issue when suffering from depression, either sleeping too much or too little. It is more evident in people who become withdrawn and isolated. Getting a good night sleep can help to improve mood and increase energy levels.

Exercising is difficult to do whilst mood and energy levels are low during depressive episodes but even the most gentle of exercises like walking and swimming can really help to improve your mood.

When experiencing depression it is easy to forget about your own personal hygiene. Even the smallest things like taking a shower and getting dressed in the morning can make a big difference to how you feel.

Drugs and alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are often people’s go-to medication when trying to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings however they will often make you feel a lot worse in the long run.

Do the things you enjoy
It is often a good idea to list all the things which make you happy. This could be activities, people and places that make you happy or feel good. Once listed you should try to incorporate these into your daily routine.

Treat yourself
It can often be difficult to feel good about yourself when you are feeling down. Treating yourself on a daily basis can help to improve mood. It can be small things such as taking a long bath, spending time with a favourite pet or reading a favourite book.

Keep active
One of the most common traits when depressed is to become isolated and lazy. Keeping active, whether that be doing your daily chores, joining a club, trying a new hobby or just cooking yourself a meal can keep your mind and body active and increase your mood levels.

Speak to your GP about therapy at St Andrew’s
If you are struggling with your feelings, thoughts and behaviours and feel you need additional help and support, then we encourage you to talk to your GP about receiving therapy at St Andrew’s Therapy.

Depression can be managed successfully with talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, support and medication.

Living with depression can be difficult but diagnosing depression will help you to understand the reasons for your symptoms, help you overcome your current feelings and move forward with your life.