8 skills to deal with your Depression

8 skills to deal with your Depression
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 04-03-2023

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Depression is a mood disorder. It is now a common disorder, with more than 264 million people suffering globally (WHO, 2020). Long-lasting or severe Depression may turn into a serious health condition. It causes an individual to function poorly and brings great mental pain. At its worst, Depression has led to people committing suicide. WHO (2020) reports that about 800,000 people die because of suicide every year.

People who are diagnosed with Depression face five or more symptoms for at least two weeks. (NB: Only a health professional can give a diagnosis, kindly do not self-diagnose).

  • Loss of interest in things that gave pleasure once
  • Persistently sad or anxious
  • Hopeless/pessimism
  • Low energy/ fatigue
  • Disrupted sleeping routine (no sleep/ oversleeping)
  • Loss of concentration/ reduced decision-making ability
  • Appetite change (weight loss or weight gain)
  • Irritability
  • Thoughts about suicide

The sooner you begin to treat Depression, the more effective the results will be. Depression in the most severe conditions can also be treated. For severe conditions, Depression is usually treated with psychotherapy, medications, or both. If there are no results after these treatments, professionals move forward to brain stimulation therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy.

Practice the below-coping skills to deal with your Depression:

You will not have the motivation to do any of these in the beginning. You know it is normal to feel demotivated until you are halfway there. Try doing as many of them as possible if you cannot do all.

Change perspectives

Along with Depression comes a bias that everything is against you. People begin pinning themselves for all the wrong that is happening or will happen. Depression makes the sufferers automatically sink into self-doubt and repeat negative thoughts to themselves. If you force yourself to observe and look, you will find various other things to pay attention to.

Find meaning

Begin to serve something larger than yourself, and you may discover personal meaning. Find small things or ways you can help and be of service to other people. Volunteering for society/ community is considered the best way to help and support people. Volunteering makes you see the greater good in life and gives meaning and peacefulness internally.

Imagine a happy memory 

Whenever you find yourself ruminating about something that happened or may happen, immediately begin to visualize a happy memory or imagine something joyful in the future. The minute we remember/ visualize this, our body’s physiology also joins in. You will begin to smile; your body begins to remember all your senses felt then. The smell, the touch, and all emotions come running back to you.

This puts an end to your rumination or regrets and makes you grateful for the good things that have happened to you gives you hope.

Make SMART goals

People lose hope when they see they fail to achieve their goals. More often than not, we set targets that are not time-based, are general, and you cannot measure it until it is completed.

Therefore, set SMART goals. Specific (set a small goal), Measurable (you should know it is working), Achievable (you can do it yourself and do not need to depend on someone), Realistic (practical for you and not based on someone else’s goal), and Time-based (you must be able to manage it within a time-limit).

In cases, your targets do not succeed, adopt an attitude of learning from it rather than being judgemental about it that you were a failure at it. Additionally, be cautious of comparisons. We often compare our lowest to someone’s highest, and that is not fair and inaccurate.   

Schedule plans (YOU can look forward to )

We wait for the right mood or day to do any activity that pleases us. Do it right away, give yourself small breaks, and schedule a daily hobby.

Learn to be Mindful

Practice being present at the moment. When you are engaged in an activity, try not to be filled with self-judgment. You can take the guidance of online videos to learn to become mindful. To begin with, mindful eating is an easy way. Acknowledge all the flavors and textures you are consuming rather than blindly eating while on the phone or watching TV.

Pay attention to physical health

You will notice a significant change in your mood if you pencil out 30 minutes about 5 times a week. You may want to pay attention to the kind of food you consume and how it impacts your mood. Moderation is key. Balance your sleep patterns as well; 6-8 hours of sleep is optimal at night for enhanced functioning during the day.

Be around people who are right for your mental health

Being around and spending quality time with people who lift your mood and ensure you are having a great time is essential for your mental well-being. You may want to be by yourself most of the time, but keep a balance and do not isolate yourself, leading to loneliness (something that coexists with Depression).

Engaging in these coping activities is essential for the treatment of Depression. If you are practicing these, YOU ARE on your way to recovery. Keep in mind that there are people who care about you, and you are not alone in this fight, so do not suffer in silence (if you are). If your symptoms worsen, share your feeling, speak up about them, and consult a therapist who can guide you better.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller



Depression. (n.d.). https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

Depression. (n.d.). https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

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