Mental Health is no longer a taboo subject – but for many suffering with Depression they just don’t know where to start. Mind.Org helps begin the process
What can I do to help myself?
Experiencing depression can make it hard to find the energy to look after yourself. But taking an active role in your treatment, and taking steps to help yourself cope with your experiences, can make a big difference to how you feel. Here are some things you can try:
- Look after yourself
- Get good sleep. For lots of people who experience depression, sleeping too little or too much can be a daily problem. Getting good sleep can help to improve your mood and increase your energy levels. (See our pages on coping with sleep problems for more information).
- Eat well. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly and increase your energy levels. (See our pages on food and mood for more tips).
- Keep active. Many people find exercise a challenge but gentle activities like yoga, swimming or walking can be a big boost to your mood. (See our pages on physical activity for more information
- Practice Self Care. Work out what makes you happy. Try making a list of activities, people and places that make you happy or feel good. Then make a list of what you do every day. It probably won’t be possible to include all the things that make you happy but try to find ways to bring those things into your daily routine.
- Join a group. This could be anything from a community project or a sports team to a hobby group. The important thing is to find an activity you enjoy, or perhaps something you’ve always wanted to try, to help you feel motivated.
- Try new things. Trying something new, like starting a new hobby, learning something new or even trying new food, can help boost your mood and break unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour.
- Try volunteering. Volunteering (or just offering to help someone out) can make you feel better about yourself and less alone. Volunteering England, Volunteering Wales and Do-It can help match you with a volunteering opportunity in your area.
- Set realistic goals. Try to set yourself achievable goals, like getting dressed every day or cooking yourself a meal. Acheiving your goals can help you feel good and bo your self-confidence, and help you move on to bigger ones.
- challenge your low mood
- Keep a mood diary. This can help you keep track of any changes in your mood, and you might find that you have more good days than you think. It can also help you notice if any activities, places or people make you feel better or worse.
Challenge your thinking. Students Against Depression have lots of information and activity sheets to try to help you challenge negative thinking.
- connect with people
- Keep in touch. If you don’t feel up to seeing people in person, or talking, send a text or email to keep in touch with friends and family.
- Keep talking. It might feel hard to start talking to your friends and family about what you’re feeling, but many people find that just sharing their experiences can help them feel better.