Battling depression is a tough ask, and that’s an understatement. Every day feels different. Some days you wake up energised and ready to slay your dragons. On other days, you sleepwalk, feeling empty and lost.
The flip-flop nature of your emotions leaves you drained off energy and makes it difficult to seek treatment. However, you can build a robust toolbox of tips you can use to battle this silent monster and return to your usual self.
Here are five tips to help you take control of your emotions and improve your sense of well-being:
Everything can seem complicated when you are depressed. Even the easiest of chores are suddenly back-breaking. As a result, you might put off tasks you need to do, leading to an overwhelming to-do list that leaves you in paralysis.
To overcome this mental block, break your errands or tasks into sub-tasks. For example, you can cut your morning routine into micro-tasks that are easier to get done. Do one a day, rather than try to complete your whole to-do list.
Make the bed; brush your teeth; meditate; make a cup of coffee; journal; take a shower.
For every sub-task you complete, congratulate yourself. Sometime’s you’ll fail or not complete some tasks. That’s okay. Don’t berate yourself if this happens. Just continue with the next micro-task.
Reach out for help
While it’s okay to try to battle depression out on your own, it’s sometimes smart to speak to a mental health expert about your depression. It’s like seeing an optometrist if you’re struggling with your vision; there’s no harm in seeing a professional and getting the best advice for your situation.
The good thing about seeing one is you gain valuable insights on how to battle depression, but you also learn mental health skills that help you manage all the garbage life throws at you.
Disrupt your negative thinking patterns
Changing your thoughts plays a significant role in lifting your spirits and setting you on the way to recovery. The first step towards resetting your thought patterns is learning how to recognize when your depressive thinking strikes.
Once these negative thoughts start to swirl in your head, don’t panic – calmly start thinking positive thoughts and the beautiful, happy memories you have had with your family and loved ones.
Disrupting the negative thinking patterns with positive thoughts can clear your mood and lift the dark clouds almost immediately. And if you do it often, over time, you have less depressive thoughts.
Confide in a loved one
Most people who suffer from depression tend to hide it from their family and loved ones. The irony is these are the people that could help the most. Have a sit-down with your loved ones and explain how you feel and its effect on your everyday life.
The good thing about speaking with someone you love about depression is it lightens the burden on your shoulders. You realise you’re not alone and you have someone to talk to when you feel like there’s no way out.
Avoid alcohol or substance use
Alcohol and drugs might seem like a great way to numb the pain. But it’s only temporary, and you’ll only plunge deeper into depression the more you indulge in them. You also run the risk of turning your behaviours into addiction.
Getting over depression can take time. It can also feel impossible. However, these five tips will get you off to a strong start. Best of all, these tips will lead to healthy habits that you can use for the rest of your life.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.
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