Top Tips for Living With Depression

When you're depressed, it can feel like you're barely existing. By obtaining the correct medical intervention and learning better coping skills, however, you can not only live with depression, but live well. Here are some tips that can help improve your quality of life.

Join a Support Group

One of the most important things you can do to help yourself with depression—other than medication and therapy—is to develop a support system for yourself. For some, this may mean forging stronger ties with friends or family, but for others, it could mean seeking out a depression support group, either in your community or on the internet.

Reduce Your Stress

When you're under stress, your body produces more of a hormone called cortisol. In the short-term, this is a good thing because it helps you gear up to cope with whatever is causing the stress in your life. Over the long run, however, it can cause many problems for you, including depression. The more you can use techniques to reduce stress, the better, because it will reduce your risk of becoming depressed.

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep and mood are intimately related. In fact, some studies seem to show that rather than being only a symptom of depression, insomnia may, in fact, be a cause of depression. Learning how to get a good night's sleep could improve your mood.

Improve Your Eating Habits

A poor diet can affect both your physical and mental well-being. Too little vitamin B and C, as well as some minerals, can actually make your depression worse. Check with your doctor to see if you have any nutritional deficiencies and ​​eat better to feel better.

Learn How to Stop Negative Thoughts

Did you know that habitual negative thinking can lead to depression? Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that works to alter common patterns of negative thinking called cognitive distortions in order to eliminate depression. Numerous studies have shown that CBT is an effective treatment for both depression and anxiety. The best results are obtained by using CBT in conjunction with medication.

Beat Procrastination

The symptoms that we experience when we're depressed, such as fatigue and hopelessness, make it easy to fall into a habit of putting things off until we feel better. When important deadlines draw near, however, procrastination creates anxiety and guilt that further feeds our depression. It's a vicious cycle, but it can be stopped by learning how to break through the habit of procrastination.

Get a Handle on Your Household Chores

When we feel depressed, it becomes difficult to keep up with daily chores such as housework because we just feel too tired and unmotivated to work. Unfortunately, a dirty home only magnifies our feelings of worthlessness. The good news, however, is that by taking a few simple steps we can regain control of the mess and help ourselves feel better.

Learn How to Forgive

Holding on to anger about past events can contribute to depression. Forgiveness can help us heal and move forward, but the way we often define forgiveness may prevent us from taking this important step. Do we really have to forget what happened and act like things are okay? To enjoy the benefits of forgiveness we don't have to take it that far. Forgiving doesn't mean you forget; it just means you are able to move past it in peace.