14 Ways To Combat Depression
We’re about to get real here.
I open up in hopes that this will benefit someone out there reading this.
Keep reading to learn 14 ways I have helped myself reduce my own depression.
First, I would like to say that I am not a mental health professional.
Second, this post will include all the tips and tricks that has helped me with my own depression.
Third, I want you to take what you like from this post, tweak what you need to, and listen to yourself and your own needs. Not everything listed will help everyone. We are all unique individuals who require individual care.
For me, this has been an ongoing, dark, cyclical battle. I have worked my ass off to be where I am today.
All the challenges and obstacles we face throughout our life make us better equipped for our next struggle. You don’t just wake up one day, happy and healed forever.
Helping yourself with your depression is an every day task and routine. It takes work, and it’s often uncomfortable. Do it when you don’t feel like it, and when you do. Every effort will bring about progress.
I will tell you this though, it is so worth it. It’s worth it to take action and help yourself. I probably would have scoffed at that comment as my young self. I hope though, that I would have taken it to heart and really understood what it meant.
There is such a thing as being happy.
This is how I helped myself get there.
14 Ways To Combat Depression, From Personal Experience!
1. Educate yourself
Learn what you can about depression. Know what it is, and understand the symptoms. Educate yourself on causes of depression, and treatments. Read blogs. HI! 🙂 I’m delighted you’re here!
Know what your resources are and where to find them. Take advantage of your resources. We live in an amazing time where all the information in the world is at our fingertips.
2. Listen to yourself, and really get to know yourself.
Find out why you have depression. Is it something in your life that’s really bringing you down? Do you have a neurological issue? Does depression run in your family? Maybe it’s a combination of a few or all of these examples.
Knowing where your depression is coming from is an important part of helping yourself feel better. Tackle it at the source!
3. Create a routine
With depression, it is often times difficult to stay focused or to stay on task. Maintain a healthy balance in your day with everything that your body needs.
Wake up at the same time every day. Exercise. Eat a healthy breakfast. (Insert coffee here) Smile at yourself in the mirror. Get dressed for the day.
Carpe the hell out that diem, and repeat. Whatever makes you feel accomplished, do that.
I personally love to spend time writing daily tasks and goals in a planner, checking them off, and planning for weeks ahead. It makes me feel organized, and I can see myself accomplishing what I need to every day.
4. Take care of your body
This might be the most important step. A healthy and happy mind needs a healthy and happy body. Denying your body what it needs makes everything so much harder.
Do this one for me please? Sleep enough. Take your vitamins and medication if you need it. Drink lots of water. Eat healthy food. Eat enough. Treat yourself sometimes. I prefer tiramisu and a cappuccino. Be active, and make sure it’s something you enjoy. I personally love yoga and going to the gym.
Bare minimum…give your body what it needs. I know this is hard sometimes, but I promise it’s worth the effort. When you’re having one of those “I cannot get out of bed” days, force yourself up and do the bare minimum.
5. Forgive yourself
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize that you have made it this far, and congratulate yourself for it!
I got out of bed today? Damn straight I did! I didn’t forget my medication today? Go me! I went to work, and actually enjoyed myself? Heck yes I did!
When you make a mistake, apologize quickly, and forgive yourself quickly. Think about how hard you are on yourself. Would you ever be that hard on your best friend? I didn’t think so.
You are going to make mistakes. This is part of life. Keep swimming. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and then learn from them. Take three steps forward, and five back.
That’s okay, as long as you keep moving forward. Forgive yourself, and pat yourself on the back for not giving up. Try again tomorrow if you need to. It’s okay.
6. Stop the negative self talk!
This is the hardest one for me, and this is something I work on every day. Don’t talk to yourself in a way you wouldn’t talk to your best friend.
This keeps coming up, and I’m repeating myself because it’s important. Don’t talk to yourself in a way you wouldn’t talk to your best friend! You wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who talked to you that way.
Consider this. The relationship you have with yourself, is the longest one you will ever have. Make that relationship a healthy one.
When you find yourself talking negatively to yourself…stop, and change it into a positive.
Example: “Gosh! I’m so lazy, I took a nap today after sleeping in. Then I ate like crap. I’m so fat.” Sheesh! That was harsh! Change that into this…
“Gosh! I had the most amazing nap! I slept a ton today, my body must’ve needed it. Then I treated myself to my favorite dessert, because I deserve it. I’m an adult and I do what I want! 🙂
So much better right? Try it out next time you hear those bad vibes creeping up.
7. Maintain a gratitude journal
This one’s easy. Write down everything you’re grateful for. Then add the new things for every day. For added oomph, check out my other blog post!
8. Remove yourself from negative people in your life
This is really difficult sometimes, but it’s worth the pain. It hurts for a while, you miss them, and eventually you realize you’re better off without them.
You know that person in your life that loves to complain about everything? Ditch them because they bring you down.
9. Surround yourself with understanding uplifting people
You slowly pick up habits from the people around you, so you might as well make those positive habits!
You know that happy person in your life that is in love with life? Latch onto them and learn their secrets!
10. Learn to say no
If you don’t want to do something, don’t make yourself miserable to appease others. Don’t constantly make yourself uncomfortable if it’s ripping out all your energy.
It’s okay to refuse invites sometimes. Sometimes I love to just stay home, eat dessert, cuddle my dog, and watch scary movies with my boyfriend. It’s fantastic.
11. Do what makes you happy, and make it a priority
I know this is a tough one, but if you can, find a career that makes you happy. Make time for friends if you enjoy that. Make time for the outdoors if that helps you recharge. Spend time doing that hobby that you love. Make your happy a priority.
I personally like to go hiking, and spend time cuddling my dog.
12. Keep yourself busy
This one can be dangerous if you don’t do it right.
Keep yourself busy so you have less time to be inside your head.
Don’t be so busy that you overwhelm yourself and lose sleep. Once I started doing this, I took it too far. Moderation is key here people!
13. Love yourself like you love your best friend
Imagine the things you say to yourself on a daily basis. Explain what you do for a living, what you look like, and how you feel about yourself.
Now pretend to say that to your best friend.
How nice are you to yourself? Would you ever put your friend down the way you put yourself down? Hell no, because they deserve better and we love them. Be your own best friend and love yourself because you deserve it.
14. Understand change takes time, and constant work
If you have been thinking a certain way your entire life, don’t expect one blog post to heal you forever and fix your problems.
I’m giving you some hard love right now. If you need to retrain your mind to think of yourself differently, or speak to yourself differently…it’s going to take time.
Make the effort every day, and you will see results.
You can change your life if you put in the effort.
I promise you it’s worth it.
Three major take aways from today:
- Love yourself by taking care of your body and mind.
- Forgive yourself, and embrace change.
- If you put in the effort, you will make positive changes in your life.
Was any of this helpful for you?
What are some things you’ve done for yourself?
If this post helped you, or if you think it might help another, share it, and share it with them!