Coping with Depression: 3 Tips that Really Work

Imagine this scenario. Today is your day off, and you have a list of things you want to do. Errands. Groceries. Housework. Lunch with your best friend—basic stuff like that. Instead, it’s almost noon and you haven’t left your bedroom. Not because you don’t want to; because you feel you simply can’t. And, now you’re starting to feel guilty about bailing on your plans.

This is the reality facing people who live with clinical depression. If that’s you, we’re here to offer three proven tips, or healthy coping mechanisms, for dealing with depression on your own.

Two friends enjoy a beautiful day after successfully managing depression.

If depression is keeping you from the things you love, try these three coping techniques.

1. Managing Depression with Exercise & Physical Activity

Let’s be real for a second. When you’re feeling depressed, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do. But, if you can push yourself to get moving, there’s a good chance you’ll begin to notice an improvement. First let’s define what we mean by “exercise.” We’re not necessarily talking about hitting the gym, lifting weights or attempting the latest trendy workout. Even something as simple as going for a walk could be enough to trigger the release of your brain’s natural “feel-good” chemicals.

2. Managing Depression with Mindfulness

In simple terms, mindfulness refers to the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment and observing your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judgment. For some people with chronic depression, mindfulness allows them to break the cycle of harmful thoughts—worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt—commonly associated with depressive disorders. Through mindfulness, negative emotions like these may become less powerful and debilitating. We’ll have more information for you about using mindfulness to manage chronic depression in a future post. In the meantime, here’s a great resource to get you started.

3. Managing Depression with Social Interaction

Depression makes us want to withdraw from our friends, families and activities we used to enjoy. The more we withdraw, the more powerful our depression becomes. Research suggests a strong link between regular face-to-face interaction and a reduction in depression. On the other hand, people with limited face-to-face interaction could be up to twice as likely to experience symptoms of depression.

When Nothing Seems to Help Your Depression

If you’ve tried using healthy coping techniques like these, but you still can’t seem to manage your depression on your own, it could be time for professional help. Some people benefit from a structured treatment program where they can work together with licensed therapists to address co-occurring conditions, interpersonal relationships or develop more effective coping skills.

Find Out How Growth Extended Can Help with Your Depression

Our admission team is standing by to listen to your story and to give you the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment. We offer three levels of care to fit your lifestyle, and we are able to work with most major insurance companies. Gives us a call, or fill out our form today.

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Young depressed man leaning over balconyDepressed man on the strairs