I hope this week has been helpful in recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression as well as how it effects relationships. Today we want to offer hope and give you some coping skills. There are several coping skills to help with depression but these are the ones we find to be most effective with our clients.
1. Talk to someone. It really does help to talk about how you are feeling. Sometimes it is just the release of emotions you feel when you talk that helps and sometimes it helps just to get some feedback from a loving friend. Either way, talking helps.
2. Support group- Even though you may want to isolate, finding some sort of social group to belong to will help with depression. It could be a mental health group or even a Bible study at church. Even a book club is better than sitting at home alone in your depression. We were all designed to have relationships and are social beings. So find a group to feel you belong.
3. Gratitude diary- It is easy when you are depressed to only see the negative. It is so important to remember the blessings we have in our lives. Write down 5 things every day you are thankful for.
4. Practice relaxation and meditation- Sometimes depression is triggered by stress. Doing just 10 minutes of relaxation or meditation a day can help release positive chemicals in your body to help you feel better
5. Increase your activity. The more you isolate and stay home and hide, the worse your depression will become. It is important to force yourself to do something, even just going to the grocery or a quick stroll around the block. Try to get out everyday.
6. Good nutrition- I know, I know. No fun but feeding our body good food rather than junk will make us feel better. There really is something to the old saying, “What you put in you get out”. This is true with food. If you fill yourself with junk you will feel like junk. Try to eat 3 balanced meals a day. Drink lots of water to flush your body of toxins.
7. I saved this for last because it is the MOST important and the coping skill most hated by our clients! EXERCISE! Did you know that 30 minutes of exercise actually has the same effect on your body as an antidepressant? Think back to a time you did exercise- Didn’t it feel awesome when you finished? Those are endorphines being released in your body. It is so important.
There are so many more coping skills and ways to have good self care. Hopefully this will help give you an idea of what’s needed to fight depression. In some cases, medication may be appropriate. We often encourage clients to try some other alternatives before rushing into medication. Medication has it’s place but should be used if other avenues have been exhausted and as always, only under the supervision of a qualified physician.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please get help. Imagine Hope has qualified Therapists who specialize in and deal with depression on a daily basis. Thank you for reading and we will look forward to chatting next week.
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.