Depression is more than a series of bad days or a lack of willpower to be happy and often benefits from professional medical intervention. While seeking professional help is an important step of addressing depression, there are some practices that can be implemented to start coping with depression at home. Not all of the suggested practices will work for everyone, but these suggestions are here as options. If you are someone dealing with depression you are likely aware of how hard it is to motivate yourself to do things, so take action in small ways that feel doable and of interest to you.
One of the best ways to cope with depression is to connect. Some of the narratives of depression are that we are alone, that we deserve to be isolated, that no one will understand or care. Challenging this narrative can be difficult, but also rewarding when we find information contrary to what depression wants us to believe. Connecting could look like calling or visiting a friend, spending time with a pet, or even taking care of a plant.
Find What Feels Good
A hallmark of depression is a lack of interest or enjoyment in activities, so this suggestion can feel daunting. However, finding something that feels good can be as specific as returning to an old hobby or taking up a new one, or as simple as doing something to decrease feelings of stress or tension. Progressive relaxation meditations, coloring books, listening to music or podcasts, and self-care routines are all ways to decrease feelings of stress and can alleviate some of the heaviness of depression from home.
Something that can be especially helpful when coping with depression is tending to your needs. Drinking water and other hydrating liquids, eating good food regularly, and trying to rest and sleep are ways that you can start addressing your symptoms at home. Additionally, finding ways to move your body can help your brain start to shift into feeling more proactive and energetic. There’s no need to jump off the couch and run a 5k when you are dealing with depression, but maybe take a walk around your neighborhood or grocery store.
Some of these suggestions are not going to feel comfortable or even doable, and that is okay. Dealing with depression means there will be good days and less good days. Please, start where you are. Try something even if you think it may not work and recognize that there are always more options. If coping on your own is not working, there is nothing wrong with you for needing help – please seek help and commit to the journey of managing depression.
Additional ways to cope with depression at home:
-Talk to someone
-Go out for lunch or coffee (maybe even with a friend)