“I know the things I should be doing, even things I know will make me feel better, but I cannot make myself do them.”
“People keep telling me – just stop thinking that way. But if I could stop, I would!”
“I do not feel well. I just feel tired all the time. Am I sick?”
“I want to jump on a plane and go someplace new.”
“I’m hanging in there.”
The above are all statements a depressed person might say.
Life’s routines can get tiring. Same old thing every single day. When one is depressed, even weekends and time off can feel mundane. A depressed person may not be able to recall what makes them feel good or may stay so busy and distracted to avoid feeling at all, which can lead to irritability and exhaustion.
If you relate to any of these examples or feelings, you may be struggling with some level of depression.
Strategies for Coping with Depression
Here are a few strategies for coping with depression:
- Even if you don’t feel like it, identify one trusted individual and let them know how you are feeling. Communicate what you may need as far as support.
- Do a sensory exercise. Consider something that you enjoy seeing. It may be a sunset, a view of the horizon over the ocean, or a cute puppy. While you sit in a comfortable place, close your eyes and imagine what you would smell in that setting, what you would feel, what you would hear.
Would you have a cup of coffee in hand or be lying on your back? Bring in all your senses and breathe deeply. Imagine all the textures and sights and sounds. Really try to imagine yourself there. Spend at least 10 minutes doing this, a few times per day if possible. Log your feelings in a journal before and after each time you do this activity.
- Go on a 20- or 30-minute mindfulness walk. As you walk, notice what you see. Really notice the sights and colors and variety around you. Spend at least 5 minutes taking in the sights. Then focus on what you hear, smell, feel, and taste. Spend a good 5 minutes on each sense.
As mentioned before, log what you feel before and after the walk. Then when you get back home, make yourself a good snack or cup of tea and relish that moment, celebrating the fact that you got out there and did something good for yourself.
- Visit the counselor directory here on this website to find counselors who work with depression. Spend a few minutes reading profiles. Notice any phrases or faces that stand out to you. Write down your observations.
Maybe even send an inquiry to one of the counselors. This does not have to mean you are committing to counseling at this time, but it is a baby step toward being proactive and reaching out if you decide you want to pursue counseling at some point in time.
Please know that these strategies for coping with depression are not shared in an effort to over-simplify what you are experiencing. They are meant to be strategies to practice over time that can truly change your brain and mood over the long haul. Depression, if left untreated, can become severe, both physically and emotionally. If you need help getting started, please consider contacting a Christian counselor today.
“Woman in the Water”, Courtesy of Nicolas Moscarda, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “On the Bridge”, Courtesy of Jake Melara, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “On the Beach”, Courtesy of Tevin Trinh, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact one of our counselors for further information.