It can almost seem impossible to think of how to help yourself when you’re in a depressed state and when nothing seems to be going well in the first place. Sometimes all you want to do is just lie down, cry, scream, or take a few moments to recover and that is perfectly okay. It is okay to lie down and rest. It can be rather soothing and healthy as well. When it comes to coping with depression, it can be complicated because not all coping tools will work in certain situations. For example, a tool that helped a depression episode last week may not work as well for this week’s episode.
Some Questions To Keep In Mind:
- Can you tell when your moods have suddenly shifted?
- Are you able to catch yourself and cope before it escalates any further? Maybe you’ve notice that all of the sudden your thoughts have turned negative, or that you’ve suddenly become irritable or emotional. Try to look for the first big clue that would give you an idea that a depression episode has begun. After you have identified the mood change, act quickly using some coping skills. Try not to let it escalate as best you can.
- Did something trigger this episode? Was it random?
- What would help you calm down or feel better? Speak what works. Share your feelings. If no one is around, write them down!
- Is it serious enough to call your doctor and inform him/her? It is generally always important to keep your doctor up to date with your mood patterns. It may be worth calling your doctor if the episodes keep recurring and are interfering with your daily life.
Coping Skills For Depression:
First, figure out what would help you the most. What do you need? What would help you feel better? If it means lying down and doing nothing at all, then do that. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and safe.
- Take deep, relaxing breaths. Slowly in through your nose, out through your mouth. Remember to breathe slowly.
- If at work or in class, get up, take walk, or excuse yourself to the restroom for a few minutes. Take a break.
- Talk nicely to yourself using self talk. Try to talk yourself down. Examples: “Everything will be okay.” “Hang in there.” “This too shall pass.” “The depression doesn’t last.” etc.
- Lie down and listen to music.
- Watch a favorite movie or TV show.
- Go outside and take a walk. Get some sun.
- Exercise. Do some stretches and workouts to overcome the feelings of tension.
- Lie down and rest with the lights off or with candles.
- Take a relaxing bubble bath with candle light.
- Talk with a counselor, trusted friend, family member, or your partner.
- Snuggle or lie down with a pet. A cats purr and a dog’s love and loyalty can be quite soothing.
- Do something you love to do. Draw, write, make crafts, or paint.
- Play video games.
- Squeeze a stress ball.
- Sing! Singing is a positive activity because it reduces negative thinking. When you sing, you aren’t focusing on the negative thoughts, you are focusing on the words and the act of singing itself.