Disclaimer: If you are currently experiencing thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or 988 or text the Crisis Line at 741741. You can also go to your nearest emergency room. In Ventura County, you can contact the Ventura County Behavioral Health for crises, substance use treatment, and a foster youth hotline by visiting their website.
This blog shares 5 ways to cope with depression. We may experience negative self-talk and distorted cognition, which can leave us feeling stuck or hopeless. It could be that we’ve accepted this as our fate, and we may struggle to find relief from our symptoms. However, you may have more power over your depression than you believe.
There are ways for you to cope with your depression now. These coping skills can help you with managing symptoms on a regular basis, and may contribute to feeling relief or hope. Furthermore, there are ways to seek out professional help, such as with various treatment methods or medication, which can help you take necessary steps toward healing.
The 5 ways to cope with depression include: staying connected with others, giving yourself unconditional love and support, supporting physical health, creating a list of things to give yourself a quick mood boost, and seeking professional help. By trying out these 5 ways to cope with depression, you may find that one or more of them really work for you.
Therapy for depression in Simi Valley, CA works with ages 13 and up, providing you with a comfortable, non-judgmental space to begin working towards your personal goals.
Depression is not a one-size fits all, and can look different for everyone. Depending on your symptoms, you and your therapist can work to identify the best ways to go about treatment.
5 Ways to Cope with Depression: Stay connected with others.
Stay connected with others to cope with depression. This is not always an easy feat, as depression can leave us feeling lethargic, and unmotivated to reach out. We may convince ourselves we’re a burden or annoyance to people in our lives due to our depression. Alongside this, we may also feel shame or guilt for neglecting certain relationships or experiencing difficult emotions associated with “weakness.”
It’s important to note that you are surely loved and cared for. People that do not struggle with depression themselves may not fully understand the lack of communication or engagement that you have with others. It may be perceived as being rude or inconsiderate. In reality, it’s nothing personal against anyone.
There are a few ways you can stay connected with others:
- Sending a text message. You can keep this brief, and simply let someone know you are thinking about them. You can also invite someone to meet up and try to schedule something.
- Giving a call or video call. You can see if someone is available for a call, or schedule one. This gives you an opportunity to engage in conversation, stay updated with others, and speak with someone aloud.
- Sharing photos or videos. These can be of yourself or others in your life, or media you find to be interesting. This includes a nice photo, a funny video, memes, and more.
- Sending a letter. It’s not too common to mail letters due to ever-developing technology, but writing out your thoughts can be helpful. It can also share with others what you are experiencing, without the effort to continue a conversation.
There may be hesitation to do this in instances where you feel long periods of time have passed since you’ve last spoken to someone.
Remembering that you are deserving of having connections in your life is key. You may feel that as time went on, others have moved on as well. It can feel awkward reaching out to someone. And this is normal, and something to accept. However, you may be surprised to see other’s responses, and feel a sense of hope from your outreach. It takes vulnerability and strength to let others know how you’re feeling and how they can support you. This can have lasting, positive effects on your relationships as well.
Click here to read more about How to Validate Yourself. Therapy for depression in Simi Valley, CA treats anxiety and depression with evidence-based practices and interventions, shown to be effective in relieving symptoms.
5 Ways to Cope with Depression: Give yourself unconditional love and support.
Give yourself unconditional love and support. With depression, you most likely experience the exact opposite of this. You may feel you are not worthy. You believe that you are deserving of feeling ashamed, guilty, or worthless. Negative self-talk may contribute to keeping you stuck in a head space of feeling lonely or hopeless.
One way to give yourself unconditional love and support is through daily mantras or affirmations. These are positive statements you tell yourself meant to relay certain, optimistic information and shift negative thought patterns. Mantras or affirmations can be tailored to your personal experiences and what you are currently going through.
Repeat these to yourself, even if you don’t fully believe them at first. When we agree with negative statements about ourselves, it can be harder to believe the opposite. You may find an increase in optimism, increased self-esteem, and self-love by telling yourself these statements routinely. We have the ability to pick and choose what resonates with us, and what does not!
Click HERE to check out our blog on 3 Steps for Reversing Negative Self-Talk.
The way you speak to yourself and perceive yourself matters. Therefore, it’s important to practice viewing yourself in a positive, forgiving, loving way. Here are some examples of what you can tell yourself to work toward self-compassion and unconditional self-love and support:
- Even if the steps or actions I take seem small, they matter and are significant.
- I acknowledge that I feel sadness right now. That’s okay, and I still love myself.
- I care about myself and my well-being.
- Thoughts that make me feel shame, guilt, or regret are only thoughts – and do not define who I am.
- I am proud of myself for all that I have done today.
- I am grateful for the body I am in. I deserve to feel confident in myself.
Click here to read our blog on How to Sit With Uncomfortable Feelings. Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA helps you find ways to process and communicate difficult feelings that cause you distress.
It can feel unnatural or even uncomfortable at first when speaking positively to yourself. It may feel fake or forced; however, this takes practice. Find statements that feel right for you.
5 Ways to Cope with Depression: Support your physical health.
Supporting your physical health is one way to cope with depression. Common areas of functioning that can be affected by depression include hygiene, nutrition, sleep health, and physical exercise. With depression, individuals can feel a lack of energy with what others may feel are simple self-care tasks.
There may be difficulty in finding the energy or motivation to shower regularly, do laundry, brush teeth, or brush your hair. Struggling with maintaining personal hygiene can leave us feeling a sense of shame, but it’s important to remind yourself that these basic activities can help improve your wellbeing overall. When our hygiene practices become impeded or stalled, it can contribute to low mood and/or low self-worth.
Finding ways that work for us when practicing hygiene is key. Taking small steps to incorporate oral health, skin health, and regularly washing laundry can help us experience symptom relief and potentially feel better overall.
Nutrition + Hydration
Maintaining a standard, recommended diet full of fruits, vegetables, essential vitamins, and proteins is not always easy or accessible. You may also have comfort foods or quick meals that are easy to prepare and consume. Nourishing your body with the energy it needs can help you with coping with depression.
It is common for us to neglect our own basic physical needs pertaining to food. This is either by overeating or under-eating when struggling with difficult emotions – not just clinical depression. Staying hydrated, ensuring we’re eating enough, and eating healthily, can all contribute to our physical well-being and contribute to a positive shift in brain chemistry.
Ensuring you are getting enough sleep each night can help improve feelings of lethargy and fatigue. Other contributing factors may interfere with your ability to sleep. For instance, you may struggle with insomnia or anxiety, and have a difficult time naturally falling asleep at night.
Consulting with a doctor about the best ways for you to have a restful sleep at night is beneficial. Aside from medications, there are certain vitamins that can be taken to aid with sleep. These include magnesium, melatonin, and more. Be sure to consult with your doctor prior to starting any medications or supplements.
Exercise can be difficult to prioritize when suffering from depression. As you are already struggling with a lack of motivation and energy, it may feel even harder to get out of bed and begin a workout routine. Starting small, with simple at-home exercises such as short walks, stretching, or yoga can help get blood flowing and produce necessary endorphins. Exercise can naturally release dopamine, and we may experience feeling some relief of symptoms after.
Finding someone to exercise with is also a great way to combine social support with movement. This could be someone to go on walks or hikes with, someone to accompany you to the gym, or someone you can exercise in a private setting with. Start with small, achievable goals – you don’t need to begin by training for a marathon!
Working with a therapist to establish reasonable goals is a great first step into prioritizing your physical health. You and your therapist will move at your pace to implement the changes you desire.
5 Ways to Cope with Depression: Create a list of things you can do to help shift your mood or physiology.
Create a list of things you can do for a quick mood boost, such as coping skills that you might typically enjoy engaging in. There may be activities you can engage in that you know can bring you a sense of relief and peace. This includes watching a favorite TV show/movie, listening to music that fits your feelings, lighting candles or incense, eating a favorite meal, going for a walk, talking to someone you trust, and more.
You may have pets at home that bring you comfort to touch or hold. By identifying these little things in your life that can make a big difference, you can experience symptom relief and hope. It’s important to not list unhealthy coping strategies, and aim to reduce these behaviors. This may include substance use, self-harm, or more.
Click here to read our blog Men’s Mental Health is Important. Individual therapy in Simi Valley, CA provides you with a nonjudgmental, compassionate space where you can feel confident in talking about difficult subjects.
5 Ways to Cope with Depression: Consider seeking out professional help.
Consider seeking out professional help to cope with depression. It’s true that individuals with depression can feel increasingly lonely, hopeless, and more. You may struggle with thoughts of suicide or harming yourself. Life can feel so overwhelming, draining, and overall not worth it anymore.
Read this over again if needed: you are deserving of feeling heard, validated, and cared for. Therapists are experienced in providing competent and effective treatment for depression. Starting individual therapy for depression gives you a non-judgemental, compassionate, and understanding space. Having a knowledgeable mental health professional to talk to can make a big difference in your symptoms and healing.
There may also be local or virtual groups for individuals struggling with depression. Within these groups, supervised by mental health professionals, you can connect with others and relate to them. You can feel a sense of hope and community, as you and the other group members validate one another and work towards common goals.
Depression can be debilitating and difficult to manage on your own – therefore, getting help will be of great benefit to you.
You do not have to struggle with feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, sadness, low energy and motivation, and more alone. In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either. Make sure to check out our blog on How to Validate Yourself!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.