Anyone who has ever faced a battle with their mental health knows that it’s a tough thing to face. The brain is just like any organ in the body: it needs care and attention to remain healthy and whole. If you scrape your knee, you dab on some alcohol to clean it and you add a bandaid to capture any bleeding. You take care of the scrape; so why don’t you do that when your brain is hurting? Depression is not something you can wipe up and add a bandaid to to fix it. Depression requires so much more time and attention than that, and what works for you one day may not work for you the next day, which makes depression one of the hardest things that you can cope with.
Trying to cope with it is a process and it takes time to learn what will work so that you can have the best possible mental health. Understanding how to cope with depression is important, but it’s equally important to know that this is a process. You will need to take your time to figure out the best course of action for your depression. Some people go down the medicated route with their doctor and others find themselves asking “what CBD should I use?”. Then you have others who follow some of the coping steps below to make sure that they can feel their best as much as possible.
- Challenge your negative thoughts. One of the hardest things to do when you have depression is to let go of the negative thinking you are coping with. Knowing what depression is is important, and once you recognize that it’s depression that is pulling you down, you can start to recover. Depression creates a whole range of negative thinking that can be stuck in your head and that can be seriously tough to get out of. Whatever the depressed thoughts are that you are having, challenging these can help.
- Embrace distraction techniques. One of the most helpful things that you can do for yourself when you’re dealing with depression is to learn which distraction techniques work well for you. Distraction techniques and mindfulness exercises can help you to shift your attention away from the negative and into the positive as much as possible.
- Keep to smaller goals. Depression is a mountain and not many people get to the top of it let alone over it. The best thing to do is make some little goals and start to manage them one by one. Small goals like getting out of bed, having a shower, eating some food – all of these can help you to climb that mountain. Give yourself the credit every time you overcome one of those baby steps.
- Stay focusing on the basics. The very basics of eating, sleeping and movement should be your basic fundamentals. You can do your best to keep on top of these and when you do that, you can manage your depression better. Think movement, not a workout. Think sleeping, not tossing and turning. The basics may be all that you can do for now, and that’s absolutely fine. You need to know how to function and going back to basics can help you to do that.
- Keep doing it. Whatever it is that you’re doing to keep moving through life day to day, don’t stop. Yes, your energy will feel depleted and you will find it hard to focus on continuing on, but continue you must. To fight depression, you have to concentrate on anything but the negativity and depression you are feeling. When you slow down and think about how you are feeling, you can end up not moving for a while, but when you keep going, you don’t have time to sit and essentially wallow.
- Reach out and ask for help. Whether you get it from your friends or your family, you need to ask for help. The people who are closest to you are going to know how to be there for you and whether that’s just sitting and being quiet with you, or they bring you food, they can be there. Let them feel like they can help you even if all it means is that you need someone to sit next to you and hold your hand.
- Speak to a specialist. A therapist is going to help you to manage the scarier thoughts you’re handling in your head. Depression isn’t something you can get over in a few sessions, but unloading your thoughts and feelings to an impartial person can make a world of difference. There is no substitute for professional help when it comes to depression, and therapy can make the world of difference to you.
- Try to keep some humor going. It’s very difficult to smile when you are in the middle of dealing with depression, but if you can keep some humor in your life, you’re going to be able to break away from all the negative thoughts and depression in your life. Keep on top of the comedy in your life and make sure that you are doing what you can to find humor everywhere. Laugh when you can and make sure that you find a reason to smile at least once a day.
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol can cloud the mind and it’s something that people use as a crutch to get through the day. This doesn’t have to be a thing for you and if you want to ensure that your mind stays clear, staying away from alcohol is a smart plan. Alcohol doesn’t have to be something you rely on, so try to avoid things that can screw your thinking up.
- Pat yourself on the back. It’s difficult to fight depression but for every day that you get through it without tripping up, you deserve a pat on the back. You should be proud of any of the steps that you make and even if they are tiny steps, take that and roll with it.