Living with depression is not a piece of cake. Going through the motions of daily life can feel impossible. How do you work, maintain good relationships, and live a fulfilling life when you feel hopeless, anxious, or very sad? We are here to encourage you. You can live with depression. Read this advice and choose your strategies for living a fulfilling and productive life.
1. Take Your Medication
If your doctor has prescribed antidepressants, then it is important that you take them. Don’t stop taking them the moment you start feeling better. Your depression could return. If you have problems or questions about your medication, be in contact with your doctor. Take your depression symptoms seriously, and be vigilant with your prescribed treatment.
2. Keep Going to Your Therapist/Counselor
Depression counseling goes a long way to help you keep tabs on your condition and to change the way you think. If you already see a therapist, make sure you continue your appointments. Your therapist or counselor notices things you don’t and can gently guide you toward a better path of living.
3. Maintain a Routine You Can Follow
Routines add structure to your life. If you are already accustomed to getting up, eating breakfast, taking a walk, and getting ready for work, then you are more likely to do it when you are feeling depressed. Sometimes getting up and doing things is the toughest part of the day, but once you are in the middle of your routine, you find yourself feeling better. Be sure your routine is one you can easily follow. Don’t expect yourself to do ten things in ten minutes every morning.
4. Be Mindful and Heartful
Rushing through your days without paying attention to yourself isn’t good for you. Practice mindfulness. Are you feeling depressed right now? Then take note of that. What else do you feel? What are you thinking? Mindfulness is more about being aware of your present moment than trying to solve your problems. When you practice mindfulness often, you begin to notice patterns in your thoughts. You can be aware of when your thoughts become irrational and you can help yourself get back on the right track.
Heartfulness is another form of meditation that allows you to be more aware of yourself. Because depression is a mental disorder (of the mind), it may be better to listen to your heart. When your mind says, “I can’t do this anymore,” then listen to your heart. Draw your strength and peace from what your heart knows to be true, not what your mind thinks.
5. Build Your Resilience
Resilience is your ability to bounce back from difficult situations. When you build up your resilience, you can get back on track easier after a depressive episode. How do you do it? PsychCentral offers these tips:
- Make connections with friends and family. Good relationships are important.
- When the present situation seems too much to handle, look forward to how the future can make things better.
- Accept changes. It’s all part of living.
- Set realistic goals, and move steadily toward them.
- Nurture a positive view of yourself, and trust your instincts.
- Keep a long-term perspective. Don’t blow your present situation out of proportion.
- Care for yourself. Exercise. Do the things you enjoy. Eat healthily.
6. Keep Self-Soothing Objects Nearby
What objects bring you small amounts of comfort when you are depressed? Do you have a favorite pillow? Music that never fails to relax you? Do candles help calm you down? Maybe there’s a work of art that you can gaze at for a while. Any amount of soothing comfort is worthwhile when you are depressed. Keep them available, and soothe yourself.
However, be aware if your self-soothing object is really something harmful, like alcohol or cigarettes. These things will make matters worse in the long run.
7. Help Other People
Depression does tend to draw people inward. You might isolate yourself, which is not healthy. Do take care of yourself, but also take care of others. Reach out to family and friends. Volunteer for a worthy project. Other people have needs, and when you serve them even through your depression, you are truly living!
The trained professionals at Real Life Counseling can help you live a better life. Contact us today for more information on how we help people who live with depression.