These depression self help tips are a great way to help yourself through depression. Of course, we first need to state that if you are suffering from depression you should consult a doctor or healthcare professional.
That being said, when you want to know what to do when feeling depressed and anxiety, start with these self help tips. (And then click that link for more)
The Best Depression Self Help Tips
Depression Self Help Tips 1: Go Gently
It is always important when suffering from depression to go easy on yourself. Depression causes a lack of energy, fatigue, lack of motivation and more, so it can be hard to do too much. It’s important that you try and be your best friend. Do what you can, but don’t push yourself to do any more than that.
Depression Self Help Tips 2: Support
It doesn’t matter where you get support from, get it wherever you can. If you have a loving family, that’s great. If you have friends that’s great too. If you need to find a depression support group, that’s also fine. Find people who will help with depression, people who will just be that gentle supporting hand that you need from time to time. Accept their support. It helps both you yourself and them (offering support to others when needed builds a person’s self esteem and offers numerous health benefits, which you can read about in our guide to the importance of kindness).
Take a look at my guide to creating or finding a depression support group.
Depression Self Help Tips 3: Find sources of positivity
We all get positivity from different places. For men, personally, I find positivity in meditation, music, friends, family, writing, movies, poetry, dance and gymnastics. These are sources of positivity for me. Create a list of sources of positivity in your life. Take five minutes to do this now before reading on. Then, the next time you’re feeling depressed you can turn to your sources of positivity for a helping hand.
In my experience, lots of spiritual techniques help with depression because they give you perspective and make you more positive. Take a look at that link for more on this.
Depression Self Help Tips 4: Meditate
Meditation is immensely helpful to mental health. While there have been some (very rare) reports of meditation making symptoms of depression worse, for the vast majority of people it is very very helpful. You can learn everything you need to know about meditation and depression in this article.
I particularly recommend meditation if you are feeling depressed for no reason in particular.
Depression Self Help Tips 5: Sleep
Having suffered from minor depression myself I know that it can be extremely hard to sleep when depression. Your mid just refuses to switch off. While there are certain depression medications that can help, they often don’t (my own medication led me to have extremely disturbed sleep). You can meditating ten minutes before bed, or do things throughout the day to make yourself tired so you will sleep at night. Trying to stick to one sleep schedule helps too.
Self Help for Depression Tips 6: Diet
You are what you eat. That’s true for your body and your mind. Your mind needs the right vitamins and minerals just as your body does. I personally don’t bother with the highly technical specific of which exact vitamins you need in what amount etc. We all know what basic healthy eating is. Limit caffeine. Limit sugar. Eat vegetables. Avoid KFC etc.
Self Help for Depression Tips 7: Exercise
There is a natural link between exercise and depression. When we don’t exercise we don’t allow our bodies to release certain chemicals. Exercise releases happy chemicals that naturally make you feel happier. Again, don’t push yourself. Exercise in small amounts. Do what you can do comfortably. Maybe just go for a walk, do a little Tai Chi or something relaxing like that. You shouldn’t ever overdo it.
Self Help for Depression 8: Sunshine on a Rainy Day
I’m going to admit that I’m probably the last person in the world who should say this, but you need sunshine. Being a nerdy British guy, living in a country where it’s only sunny two days a year and on those days I’m far too preoccupied with writing to go out, I’ve no right to tell you to. But sunshine is good. Lack of sunshine throws your body’s internal rhythm out of whack. It can also lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Get sunshine each day or end up looking like a nerdy British vampire like I do . . . you have been warned XD
Self Help for Depression 9: Challenge the Negative
When you’re depressed you’re going to think negative. That’s pretty much guaranteed. But you don’t have to settle for negative thinking. You can challenge your negative thoughts with more positive ones. For instance, as I sit here a negative thought — “I’m getting fat because I haven’t exercised lately” I can challenge it with a positive thought – “I’m going to get healthier because I’m about to go for a run.”
. . . I didn’t actually go for a run, but you get the idea. . .
Self Help for Depression 10: Get through this and you are sorted for life
This piece of advice is very very personal to me.
At the lowest point in my life I realised one thing that changed my entire world. That one thing was this “If you get through depression you will have mastered life.” Think about it. Depression is the biggest challenge we face. It’s the worst of times. Depression makes you feel your lowest. But when you learn to get through depression you will learn to master your mind. Get through this and you can get through anything. ANYTHING. Life is going to be a freaking DODDLE once you beat depression.
Well, that thought worked for me anyway. I overcame my problem and now I know that no matter how I feel, no matter where I go, I will have the strength to overcome all burdens. It’s like the immortal line of Albert Camus “In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
There is usually a reason why you hurt so much sometimes. In my experience, the reason was to get through the depth of winter to find that invincible summer.
You are going to beat this.