What are positive coping strategies for depression?
Positive coping strategies for depression are steps that individuals can take to improve their health and their outlook on life. They aren't quick fixes or complete cures, but they can make it easier to get through each day.
Boost Your Self-Image
Depression can sap your energy to do anything but the bare necessities of life, sometimes taking care of yourself becomes less of a priority. If you can only do one thing today, wash up. You may be surprised at how far taking a shower and brushing your teeth will go to improving how you feel.
Stick to a Schedule
Feeling depressed can make even basic decisions seem overwhelming. Don't give yourself any room to wonder, "What am I doing today?"
Create a schedule and stick to it from the time you wake up to the time you get out of bed. Praise yourself for all the things you accomplish throughout the day, no matter how small. That will help you feel productive, and that, in itself, is a great confidence booster.
Depression can make staying home alone seem like the most comfortable thing to do. However, withdrawing from friends and family may increase feelings of loneliness. It also doesn't give you the social support that you need during this time.
Avoid the temptation to cancel plans with others. Instead, actively make plans with your loved ones and find a way to get involved in your community to restore a sense of purpose to your life.
Depend on Others
There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you feel like you're struggling. Most people are quite willing to show their love and support but are just waiting for you to ask, so they aren't imposing.
Bust down those barriers by being upfront about your needs. Ask a friend to run errands with you if you're having trouble getting it done, for example.
Getting persistent thoughts and strong emotions out of your head can feel like a huge relief. Talk to a therapist, confide in a close friend, write in a journal, or convert your thoughts into a fictional story, drawing, painting, sculpture, or dance. If you can combine your favorite form of expression with a social activity like a group art class, even better.
Develop Good Sleep Habits
Your brain and body rely on healthy sleep habits to function properly. Be sure to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Create a bedtime routine (which shouldn't include being on the phone) to help condition your mind to relax and go to sleep.
Exercise and Eat Well
Combat depression by eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids while avoiding foods associated with inflammation, such as sugary treats. Exercise regularly to get your blood pumping, which helps deliver those vital nutrients -- plus other essentials, like oxygen -- to the brain.
By engaging in these positive coping strategies daily, you can support your long-term brain health and minimize the symptoms of depression.