Depression is one of the most common concerns expressed by people who consult a psychologist. When thinking about someone who is depressed, they are not just sad, or in grief. Depression is not functional or healthy, and often deprives us of a sense of meaning in our lives and inhibits our personal growth. It involves feeling down all the time and a significant lack of motivation to do basic daily tasks. Physical symptoms include a loss of appetite and sleep disturbance.
Tips for beating depression include:
- Make a list of activities that you find enjoyable; plan schedules of activities each day to include these activities. After an activity, really think about the aspects of it which were enjoyable. Talk to others about activities they enjoy and reflect on the positive experiences.
- A regular, healthy sleeping pattern is a critical part of recovery from depression. Try to avoid sleeping throughout the day or taking naps in the early evening. Reduce tea and coffee intake to a maximum of four cups per day, do not have any tea or coffee after 4 pm.
- Worrying and negative thinking are healthy in that they reduce a person’s ability to focus on recovery and tend to increase vulnerability to other unhealthy emotions and behaviours. When dealing with negative thinking patterns, take time to think about how realistic the negative thoughts are. Try to explore alternate thoughts, identify negative and unhelpful thoughts and try to correct them.
- Take time to educate and advise key support people of what you are going through, and help them understand that if you appear somewhat irritable or agitated it is not because you are unhappy with them, but rather because you are recovering from depression.
- Be as active as possible despite fatigue. Try to schedule activities to fill up the spare hours of the day. Activities may include exercise, social interaction, or even routine household chores. If an activity seems impossible, try to force yourself to do three things each day – which might include getting out of bed, getting changed out of your pyjamas and brushing your teeth. Every bit of activity is valuable and counts.
If you or someone you know need help, it is recommended to get in touch and seek advice from a mental health professional. At Charleston Consulting, we offer a variety of services that can help your psychological needs. If you would like to learn more, please check out the Thrive Learning Program course which can help to improve your quality of life.