It is important that you don’t try to deal with depression or bipolar disorder all on your own. Reach out to family and friends, and use the help and support that is available to you. This post is going to focus on the tips for coping with depression that you may find helpful.
“The key to looking after our mental health is to acknowledge our feelings, manage our thoughts, question our beliefs and to deliberately focus on doing actions that are helpful. This may sound difficult to do, particularly if we are feeling exhausted, alone, depressed, anxious and even hopeless. That is why it is so important to ask for, get and take support.”
Dr Claire Hayes, Clinical Director at Aware
If you are not sure if you are experiencing depression, you might like to read our blog which includes an overview of Aware’s free support, education and information services:
A Personalised Treatment Plan
It is helpful to speak to your GP or mental health professional to ensure you to get the correct diagnosis. As your experience of depression can be as unique as you are, working together with a professional, you can decide which approach to treatment is best for you.
Whether that is lifestyle changes, talk therapies, medication or a combination of all of these treatments.
When it comes to helpful tips for coping with depression, looking after your physical health is a great way to manage the condition. By making some lifestyle changes, you can positively impact your mood and wellbeing.
“While we remain with Covid-19 among us it is essential that we continue to protect ourselves and others. It is very easy to get down, to think that this will never end and to blame, withdraw or binge on sugar, alcohol or box sets.”
Dr Claire Hayes
|Exercise can be very beneficial. Exercise releases endorphins in your body which are known to improve your mood. Even going for a short walk each day or simply sitting in the park can bring benefits. Engaging with nature can make a difference.
|Try to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. A healthy diet produces a healthy body and a healthy mind. In particular:
· Sugary foods lead to a sharp drop in blood sugars later on and this leads to energy and mood slumps
· Caffeine can causing increased heart rate and interfere with sleep
· Alcohol is a depressant and can prove a potent trigger to low mood, especially in individuals prone to depression
|Sleep is often impacted when mood is low. If you are having difficulty with sleep, look at your diet and think about getting some light exercise and fresh air later in the day. You could try leaving your electronic devices out of your bedroom at night.
|Writing as Therapy
|Many people find writing useful and it can have therapeutic benefits. Simply writing a few sentences at the end of each day can help to relieve some of your concerns. No one need ever read what you have written, it is only for your own benefit.
|Even when you are having a bad day, can you find some good moments in it? Consider keeping a gratitude diary and noting three good things that happen each day, this can contribute to building self-esteem.
|Incorporating relaxation techniques into our day, can positively impact our mood – such as yoga, mindfulness and breathing exercises. If you like listening to a guided meditation, you may enjoy this 5 minute clip to help bring you into the present moment.
This post is part of the Aware Mental Health Week (4-10 October 2021) campaign which is focused on causes, course and consequences of depression.
“With this campaign, we want to give people who are impacted by depression a voice. By sharing their inspiring stories, our goal is to provide hope, help people to feel less alone in their experience and most importantly empower anyone affected by depression to reach out for support.”
Dr Claire Hayes