Depression is a feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can mean that you feel hopeless or like you don’t want to keep going. Feelings of despair can lead to depression.
Negative thoughts, low mood, irritability, desire to isolate, low energy are all symptoms that can make moving through depression hard.
Life can be difficult to manage with ongoing depression, and there is help available to you from various health professionals.
There are also coping strategies that you can identify and develop to help ease the pain you may experience with depression.
The goal can be to align your actions and ways of coping with what you value most.
You might value relationships with others, taking care of yourself, being active, showing up, integrity, or something else.
When we attach taking care of ourselves with something we value, it can help us keep our eye on why finding ways of learning to cope are important to us.
If it is hard to come up with a list of what you value, start by deciding a goal for yourself. Then, you can think about what coping skills or strategies may be most helpful to you.
Here are some strategies that may be valuable to you as you cope with depression:
Spend Time with Loved Ones – Whether your family is by choice, blood, or both; spending time with people you care about and who care about you can break the cycle of isolation that is a common experience with depression.
Movement – Physical activity can be extremely helpful in moving through depression and achieving a little bit of space from the heaviness.
You don’t have to pressure yourself into anything that doesn’t feel comfortable. You can take a walk, do yoga, and gently stretch. The act of moving your body helps you to release pent up emotions.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits – You decide what works best for your body. Notice how different foods make you feel.
Do they give you more energy or make you feel more lethargic?
ating foods that make you feel good physcially can help you feel better about yourself and improve your energy, focus and nourish you from the inside out.
Volunteer – Getting involved can increase your self-esteem. Mentorship is one way to volunteer, and you can find out more in the Spring into Action: Engaging in Mentorship Benefits People of All Ages article on the blog.
Sleep – Going back to the basics when you are feeling depressed can be necessary. A restful night of sleep can be a mood booster.
You may need a nap to help with the overwhelming sense of tiredness you might experience. Treat yourself with care.
Rest – Sleep and rest are often correlated but are not always the same. You can rest by taking a hot bath, watching a tv show you enjoy, reading a book you love, or putting on a face mask at home. Turning off your output can be restorative.
Clean or Organize – When your insides feel messy, it’s easy to clutter your spaces. To feel accomplished and improve your well-being, clean or organize one spot in your home, even if it is a stack of papers on a desk. Start small and be intentional.
Learn more about organizing HERE.
Unplug – Numbing out with technology is a quick fix when feelings of depression settle but taking a break from electronics can be beneficial to you.
Though it can be helpful to unplug from thoughts that come with depression, too much can lead to becoming stuck.
Cry – You may want to suppress feelings of sadness so that you don’t feel hopeless anymore. This is counterintuitive.
When you feel your sadness by crying, you can let it pass. You don’t always have to control your crying. Find a safe space and allow yourself the opportunity to cry.
Learning to heal involves learning to feel and release what you are experiencing.
By developing coping skills and strategies that you find comfortable, you can help take care of yourself through depression. You don’t have to do this alone.
In fact, there are intentional, thoughtful therapists who can help. You are worth the effort even when it takes all your effort to try. It may feel hard, but using coping skills can help alleviate the burden of depression.
There are many treatment options available for depression. If you are interested in learning how therapy can be helpful for depression, check out these articles on our blog or reach out for help from one of our Denver therapists today:
Common Questions About Depression Answered
Help For Depression: Finding Hope Through Support
Teen Depression Is On The Rise. Here’s How Parents Can Help.
Practicing Gratitude Has Many Benefits. 5 Ways You Can Practice Gratitude
4 Tips For Managing Depression When It’s Hard
Learn More About Denver Metro Counseling
Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC
Denver Metro Counseling is a group of Denver therapists who provide teen therapy in Denver, young adult therapy, adult therapy, family therapy and other counseling and therapy in Denver and throughout Colorado.
We specialize in relationships, codependency, communication and boundaries and provide supportive therapy for people struggling with life transitions, trauma, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, ADHD, negative body image, and more.
Our clinicians are trained and comfortable working with people who struggle with thoughts of suicide and work collaboratively with our clients and their loved ones to maintain safety through a trauma-informed approach.
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