When you suffer from depression, simple tasks can feel overwhelming and you may find it difficult to do everyday activities. Your first port of call should be your doctor who will advise you on the various treatment options, which may include counselling and/or medication.
As well as seeking professional support, there are things you can do yourself to help you feel more motivated. Take a look at the following self-help tips.
Break tasks down into smaller chunks
One well-known symptom of depression is a sense of being overwhelmed when faced with a task – even everyday tasks like going food shopping. To help yourself cope, try breaking the task into smaller steps. You might find it helpful to write a list of step-by-step instructions or perhaps simply visualise the steps and carry them out, one at a time.
It is tempting when you feel depressed to shy away from social contact, opting to hide away on your own instead. Staying isolated like this is likely to make you feel worse as you become more withdrawn. When symptoms of depression begin to surface, try to connect with those close to you. Connecting with others will give you a chance to air your feelings and may even help you gain perspective.
Go for a walk
Most of us know by now that exercise can make us feel happier. Having said this, adhering to a strict gym programme can be a difficult concept when you are suffering from depression. Instead, try to go for a brisk walk five days a week – this is easier to stick to and you will still get the benefits of exercising.
Learn how to relax
Try to learn some relaxation techniques to help ease stress and boost well-being. Meditation, breathing exercises and yoga can all help to relax both the mind and body, allowing you to sleep better and feel more refreshed. Getting a good balance of sleep is also key – while you want enough to stay healthy, too much can exacerbate depression.
Challenge negative thoughts
Depression typically involves negative thoughts and obsessing about those thoughts. Try to overcome this by shifting your focus towards gratitude. Think about what you are grateful for, and every time a negative thought intrudes – try to counter it with a positive one.