10 Coping Skills for Dealing with Depression

Depression Coping Skills Silhouette of man looking out of a window.

October is Depression Awareness Month

All of the issues of 2020 have caused an increase in depression across all age groups, but especially among those in their teens, 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Most people have never faced this many trials in such a short period of time, which is why it’s important to find support. My website offers more information about depression and depression resources.

Cooping Skills for Depression

When faced with depression it is important to practice healthy coping skills. If you have noticed an increase in the doldrums, or even full-blown depression, here are some steps you can take to improve your outlook.

  1. Deep breathing—breathing slowly can calm your anxiety, negative thoughts, and feelings of stress.
  2. Routine—create a daily routine that includes self-care and healthy activities and stick with it.
  3. Find a support system—you might be prone to isolate when you are feeling down, but it’s important to socialize with others. Being around others will lift your spirits.
  4. Eat healthy and exercise—exercise increases serotonin levels and improves mood.
  5. Pleasurable activities—do at least one enjoyable activity every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. It might be a hobby, listening to your favorite music, or watching the sunset.
  6. Interact with a pet—taking care of a pet can be a healthy distraction that allows you to build a loving bond and sense of companionship.
  7. Volunteer—helping others helps you focus on the needs of others, instead of your depression.
  8. Spiritual practices—praying, meditating, reading scripture, or listening to worship music can help you find hope and a source of strength.
  9. Express your emotions—cry, write in a journal, talk to someone. Don’t bottle up your emotions.
  10. Change your thinking—learn to recognize and change negative thinking patterns.

This is not an exhaustive list. There are many ways to manage your feelings of depression. You can find more ideas by doing a simple Google search for “coping skills.” The important thing is to find a few that work for you and commit to doing them, even when you don’t feel like it. Depression is like a natural downward spiral. In order to change its direction, you need to turn around and start taking deliberate steps in the opposite direction. By taking one step at a time, you will begin to see a change.

Medication for Depression

Sometimes depression is so ingrained, or has been going on so long, that it results in chemical imbalances in the brain. When strategies like the ones listed above don’t seem to work, even with your best effort, you may need to talk to your medical provider for antidepressant medication. Medication can get the neurotransmitters in the brain back on track, which then gives you the ability to implement necessary changes. It’s important to also go to therapy to address the underlying issues that caused the depression, so that you don’t end up back where you started when you go off the medication.

Help for Overcoming Depression

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, give me a call. No one should have to face depression alone. Together we can implement strategies that can help you find your joy again.