Sadness is an emotion that can be very difficult to deal with. Everyone can experience periods in their life where they feel more tearful than usual, or they have to cope with many problems at the same time. As long as this sadness develop and delve deeper into our daily routine and lives, can be transformed into a type of depression. Sometimes coping with depression can be very frustrating. It can be a real struggle. Although, there are many coping strategies which you can adopt in order to feel better and overcome all the difficulties.
Tip #1 - Find the support you need
Identify your support system! Support can be found in friends or in the family, or even your pet. You have to reach out to people and stay connected with them. There are many ways to stay connected to people –volunteering, going for a walk or out with friends and family, talking about feelings, joining a support group. Don’t be embarrassed to share how you feel with someone who cares about you. Don’t hide your thoughts and feelings. Speak up, open yourself and let others know what you are experiencing.
Tip #2 - Find activities that fulfill you
You should start exploring activities that can actually make you feel better. Maybe pick up an old hobby that you used to enjoy or a sport that you were having fun with while playing. Express yourself through different forms such as music, art, writing, or even theatre and movies. You will be really impressed by how little things can make you feel a tiny bit of happiness. When you feel down don’t sit on your couch, go for a walk in nature instead. Travel and explore another culture, read a good book, watch the greatest movie of all times, or even take a hot bath after a long day at work.
Tip #3 - Keep your body healthy and moving
A healthy diet is usually the key to a healthy life. While sometimes you might not feel the need to eat, you have to remember that if your body is healthy, so is your mind. Try and don’t skip meals, as going many hours without food in your system can make you feel irritable and with little energy. You have to include in your diet ingredients which boost your energy levels and have the right amount of sugar, such as fruits, energy bars, oats, and vegetables. Avoid junk food and try to gain natural vitamins through your diet and not by using supplements. Drink a lot of water, because it is important to keep your body hydrated. Exercise regularly and gradually elevate the amount of effort you make. The easiest way to start your routine is to set small goals every day, to choose a variety of exercises and distract yourself by listening to music. Exercise will make you feel young and fresh.
Tip #4 - Sleep well
Many people don’t realise the impact of a good night sleep in their lives. Depression often leads to unusual sleeping patterns and disturbance. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep. This can be succeeded if you go to sleep and wake up the same time every single day. This will control your internal “biological alarm clock” and help you adopt a healthy sleeping pattern. Studies show that good sleep is also combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
Tip #5 - Challenge your negative way of thinking
According to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, depression can be the result of the way we perceive ourselves, people around us and our expectations for the future. Usually, depression is accompanied from cognitive distortions e.g. dysfunctional, pessimistic attitudes. Try to remember that is unreal. All negative thoughts lead to negative feelings and behaviours. This vicious cycle will keep going as long as you give it food. It is difficult to break that pattern and just “Be Positive”. A first step would be to challenge those thoughts, doubt them and try to understand the reason you are feeling this way. Once you recognise these unhelpful thoughts you can replace them with a more positive way of thinking.
What if nothing changes and you are still feeling down after a few weeks? Talk to your GP, contact mental health services, seek for help. Do not suffer in silence.