Coping with depression is very important. Depression can make you feel hopeless, fatigued, and unmotivated, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. But while overcoming depression is far from impossible and there are some coping skills that can make a difference.
The key is to take a small step and persist in it. You can gradually get better by making positive choices for yourself each day.
Here are some tips to reduce emotional vulnerability and increase resilience:
- Setting up daily challenging yet achievable goals on self-care and on things that you can do. Try to focus less on problems and things that you could not change.
- Take good care of yourself:
- keep good physical health.
- Healthy and balanced eating: vegetables will be good for your mood and energy. Do not skip your meals.
- Avoid mood-altering alcohol and substance.
- Keep 8-9 hours of sleep: Once you sleep better, your mood will get better. Take melatonin (Natrol company makes good melatonin) if needed.
- Exercise regularly and stay in a routine. Exercise can boost your mood. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. It’s okay to start small and a 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.
- Opposite action and stay active: instead of lying in bed, try to go for a walk, even just 5-10 min. Getting up and dancing to your favorite music, or taking a hot bath.
- Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it: You may call your friend or family member to have a coffee, breakfast together, or schedule a weekly dinner date. Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club. Being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
- Have a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life. Walk with a dog.
- Develop new hobbies: gardening, painting, and playing puzzles.
- Music therapy: collect some music. Try to listen to music for 30 minutes daily and sing along with the music.
- Find ways to support others. You get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find ways—both big and small—to help others. Call or check your friends and do some volunteer work.
- Write down a journal: List what you like about yourself and the good things in your life.
- Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing throughout the day, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
- Collect and watch some funny movies, Youtube, or TV shows.