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Taking Charge of Depression

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Positive Action, Positive Mood

  • People rarely "snap out of" depression. It takes patience and work to feel better day-by-day, but feeling better is something that you can accomplish!
  • One key to finding a way out of depression is for you to move toward what is most important. In other words, move toward goals and values even when you don’t feel much motivation to do so.

 

Things to Start Doing Today to Take Charge of the Depression:

  • Spend time with friends and family who are willing to listen and who give respect, understanding, appreciation, and acceptance. Don’t turn away family and friends who are willing to offer support and help.
  • Set small, achievable goals.
  • Break goals into smaller steps and set priorities. (For example, instead of planning to clean the whole house, plan to clean for 10 minutes at a time).
  • Put off important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make major life changes, such as changing jobs, or getting married or divorced, discuss such plans with others who know the circumstances and who may have a more neutral viewpoint.
  • You may feel a strong urge to be alone. However, don’t give in to it. You’ll find it much better if you make the effort to be with other people and confide in someone rather than isolating yourself. Go at a moderate pace. It may not be possible initially for you to do all the things that you’ve commonly done in the past.
  • Set up routines to get in the habit of doing a little every day.
  • Don’t worry about doing things perfectly. Just doing them is the important thing.
  • Do a project, or plan or organize something, or finish a job, or learn something new. These are the kinds of activities that usually make people feel useful, capable, and independent.
  • Get plenty of rest and eat healthy foods. Exercising, even for short time periods (for example, ten-minute walks) can be helpful.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs (unless the drugs are prescribed and taken as directed) because they can worsen a depression in the long-run.
  • Reward yourself! When you meet goals, even little ones, follow up with things that you enjoy, such as laughing, relaxing, eating good meals, seeing beautiful scenery, or playing a game.

 

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