About 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. In fact, depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide. It’s a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, too. Depression can lead to suicide as well.
In fact, about 800,000 people die due to depression each year.
Unfortunately, about 76% to 85% of people in low- and middle-income countries never receive treatment.
How do you cope with depression, exactly? Here are 10 tips that might help. With these tips, you can conquer your chronic depression and take control of your life.
Coping with depression doesn’t have to seem impossible anymore. Instead, discover how to improve your mental health with these tips today.
1. Build a Support System
Before we answer the question “how do you cope with depression,” it’s important to recognize you’re not going through this alone. Surround yourself with a strong depression support system. Lean on the people you already know and trust.
Otherwise, consider building new friendships.
Improving your support network will help you find help when you need it most.
You don’t have to feel too ashamed to talk about what you’re going through. Depression can cause feelings of guilt. You might feel too tired to talk to others, too.
Though that’s normal, connecting with people you trust can improve your mood and outlook on life.
Here are a few ways you can build and utilize your depression support system.
Turn to People Who Help You Feel Safe
First, turn to the people you already know and trust. You might find it’s easier to talk to people who help you feel safe.
Try to find people who are good listeners. You can lean on them as you work through your depression recovery.
Make sure to find compassionate, supportive people to lean on, too.
Prioritize Face to Face Communication
As you work through these mental health tips, try to make time to meet people face to face. For example, you can:
- Schedule weekly dinners
- Meet at a coffeehouse
- Take a walk together
- Go to the movies
- Join an exercise class
In-person quality time will help you feel less alone.
Try to schedule regular social activities, too. Depression can make it feel like you need to retreat. Spending time with others, however, can help when coping with depression.
Support Others in Need
Give the world a little support, too. Helping other people can help you forge new connections.
For example, you can volunteer.
Otherwise, consider doing something nice for someone else. A random act of kindness could boost your mood.
Consider taking care of a pet, too. Taking care of a pet can:
- Encourage you to exercise
- Provide companionship when you feel alone
- Ease anxiety
- Help you meet new people and pet owners
- Add routine and structure to your life
- Provide sensory stress relief
Consider helping others that are coping with depression, too. For example, you can join a support group. Talk to others about how you’re feeling.
Ask them “how do you cope with depression,” too. They might offer tips you haven’t considered.
2. Find Activities You Enjoy
Take the time to feel good about your life. For example, you might consider new hobbies like:
- Learning to play a new instrument
- Learning to dance
- Beating a world record
- Listening to music
- Learning to knit
- Reading a book
- Learning a new language
- Trying new recipes
- Starting a garden
- Playing a board game
Learn how to express yourself through music, dance, or writing. Consider keeping a journal, too.
Otherwise, try relaxation techniques. You can meditate or try yoga.
3. Follow a Good Sleep Schedule
It’s important to get enough sleep each day. Without sleep, you could experience:
- Increased risk of accidents
- Impaired ability to concentrate or solve problems
- Health problems (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.)
- Reduced sex drive
- Skin problems
- Weight gain
Lack of sleep can contribute to your depression, too.
Try to get more sleep before it impacts your mood.
4. Step Outside
Step outside and soak up the sun! Sunlight and vitamin D can help you fight seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Try scheduling a walk during your lunch break. Otherwise, try exercising outside. For example, you can go for a hike.
Ask your friends and family members to go with you as part of your depression recovery.
5. Start Exercising
Exercise can help you fight depression, too. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine.
If you have a dog, take them for a walk. Otherwise, pair up with a partner! Ask a friend to play tennis, take a class, or go walking with you.
6. Challenge Negative Thinking
Chronic depression can make you feel powerless. If you’ve started seeing the world in a negative light, try challenging your negative thinking.
Examine your thoughts. Try to avoid:
- Jumping to conclusions
- All-or-nothing thoughts
- Ignoring the positives in your life
- Emotional reasoning
- “I should have” thoughts
Instead, challenge your negative thoughts to improve your mental health.
7. Seek Professional Help
You don’t have to start coping with depression alone. Instead, consider seeking professional help.
Less than 50% of people with depression worldwide receive treatment. Look for a professional that can build a customized plan based on your needs.
There are many options to treat your depression. If you or a loved one have tried medication and psychotherapy and hasn’t seen success, TMS therapy for depression might be the solution.
8. Adjust Your Diet
You are what you eat, right? Adjusting your diet can help when coping with depression, too. You can:
- Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet to boost your mood
- Consume foods that are high in B vitamins to fight depression
- Minimize your intake of sugar and refined carbs
Try to avoid skipping meals. Otherwise, you could feel irritable and tired more often.
9. Reward Your Efforts
As you use these tips for coping with depression, make sure to reward your efforts.
For example, you can spoil yourself with a good meal or movie. Celebrating your wins can help you feel powerful.
10. Establish a Routine
As you learn how to cope with your depression, try building a routine. Creating a routine based on these tips can help you feel in control.
Get Help with ClearWave Mental Health
To recap, how do you cope with depression? These 10 tips are only the start. Consider seeking professional help to receive the depression support you need.
Using these tips can help you improve your mental health for years to come.
Eager to explore your treatment options? We’re here for you.
Contact our team today to get started.