5 Steps to Managing Depression
Everyone experiences ups and downs as part of every day life. But if you can’t seem to escape the feelings of extreme despair and sadness, you may be experiencing depression. Here are a few signs you could be experiencing depression:
- Difficulty concentrating: You may find it difficult to focus on things you used to be able to concentrate on.
- Changes in sleep patterns: If you’re finding yourself sleeping more or less than usual, this could be a sign of depression.
- Extreme sadness. This is typically what the one symptom that we associate with depression, although this may or may not be there. You may be sad, but not all the time.
- Anger or irritability: We usually associate depression with sadness, but these two emotions also point to depression.
- Not enjoying things you used to love. You used to love to workout with your best friend but can’t be bothered to lace up your gym shoes anymore.
- Self-criticism: Being hard on yourself and putting yourself down.
This symptom checker can help you better understand whether you’re suffering form depression. Depression makes it very difficult to function at your best and disrupts your life.
Here are a few tips dealing with depression:
- Get up and do anything. When you’re struggling with depression, it can feel impossible to get out of bed and do anything at all. Push yourself to do something. Even if all you do is get up and take a shower, you’ll feel much better.
- Exercise. Research shows that exercise is effective in treating depression. Start slowly by going for a short walk, and try to build up to exercising 30 minutes every day.
- Be kind to yourself. Struggling with depression is hard. Try to be patient, kind, and gentle with yourself. Provide yourself with the same care and concern you would a close friend or family member. Beating yourself up can pull depression even deeper so its important to focusing on self-compassion.
- Meditate. Meditation can reduce depressive symptoms. Meditating helps lessen your internal chatter and makes you more aware of the present moment. Try some guided meditations to start!
- Accept help. It can be scary to reach out to others but you don’t need to handle depression alone. Call a friend or family member. Talk to your doctor or a counsellor. Mental health therapists are trained to help people struggling with depression and can provide you with the support you need.
It can be challenging and overwhelming to function when you’re facing depression. Thankfully, it is treatable. By managing some of the symptoms through exercise and meditation, seeking the help of family and friends, and reaching out to professional support, you will be on your way to managing your symptoms and living a happier life.
Contact our office or Allison today if you think you may be experiencing depression to find out how we can help. Our staff at OCCS has countless combined years of experience dealing with depression and are eager to help you.
This blog post was written by:
B.A. Psyc, M.Ed. Counsel
Registered Clinical Counsellor
Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services