5 Coping skills for depression

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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

What are the coping skills for depression?

Following are some of the many coping skills that are effective for helping with depression

  • Journaling
  • Positive affirmation
  • Diet
  • Meditation
  • Exploring nature
  • Creative Exploration
  • Regular and adequate sleep
  • Physical activity
  • Conserving energy
  • Decluttering the mess
  • Reducing attachment etc

Coping With Depression

Depression is a very serious illness that sometimes can even be fatal. It can completely alter a person’s life and even change them as a person. But it can be treated with effective treatment and the symptoms could be alleviated with some coping skills, activities, and medications. Common symptoms of depression are fatigue, loss of interest, suicidal ideation, sadness, negative thoughts, etc.  There are many ways to take control back in your life. Medications, therapy, and a supportive social circle can do wonders in helping with depression 

COPING SKILLS FOR DEPRESSION

As mentioned previously there are many skills and activities developed to help with depression. The suffering caused due to depression can often be too painful to bear and even little things and changes can make a very big difference in helping the person in easing their pain. Following are some of these activities for depression.  T

Be Active 

Our body favors an active lifestyle instead of an inactive one. Therefore exercising and utilizing our body to its utmost capability is very good for our health. Exercising helps in improving not just our physical health but also our mental health.  Some of the positive effects of an active lifestyle are:

  • stressbusters
  • Good sleep
  • Improves mood
  • Boosts mental processes
  • Endorphins are released

While it is apparent that exercise can be beneficial for depression, symptoms of depression are loss of energy, fatigue, and lack of energy. This makes it very difficult get a depressed person to engage in physical exercise. But it should be noted that once the person starts exercising they will notice the positive effect on their health and this will motivate them to work harder and exercise more as it will only lead towards supplying them with more energy.  Initially, light exercises could be opted for instead of an intense physical regimen to help accommodate the person’s reduced energy levels and motivation. Once they start feeling good because of the exercise the difficulty level and the intensity of the exercises could be increased. 

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 Meditate

Meditation is one of the oldest tricks in books to heal depression. It helps train our minds to be more sharp, alert, and serene. It helps us in letting go of negative aspects in our lives and focusing on the positivity surrounding us. Instead of looking at mediation as an exercise or as an activity, it should be considered as a routine, a part of our life. Just like the way we get up, eat and sleep every day we should meditate daily as well. It should not feel like an additional chore but an integral part of our life, our daily routine. There are many kinds of meditation. We can choose the one that best suits our temperament and needs. 

Benefits of meditation include:

  • Interconnection with our senses  more profound sense of interconnectedness
  • Reduces negative feelings and thoughts. presence
  • Alleviates negative mood and replaces it with positive mood,
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps in attaining self-realization and expands our consciousness and awareness 
5 Coping skills for depression

Diet

A healthy diet can bring remarkable changes in mood and energy levels. It can give us the required strength and energy to go on about our day. Depression can lead to many physical changes in the body and inflammation is one of them. Therefore by including anti-inflammatory food we can attempt to relieve the body from feeling any additional distress caused by inflammation. 

Probiotics for a healthy gut and vitamins and minerals to maintain the vigor of the body can help the person regain their lost strength and give them the energy to fight their illness. 

Journaling

Journaling is one of the best ways to express one’s thoughts, moods, frustrations uninhibitedly and comfortably. It also provides a way for the person to analyze their thought process and monitor and trace the probable causes for their issues through the clues and signs dispersed in their musings. 

It can be used to release one’s pent-up frustrations or emotions that are causing them mental and emotional distress. This method works very well for those who find it difficult to share their thoughts and feelings with other people but still want to have an outlet to express themselves. These journals can work as their confidante and help them release their insecurities and fears in a nonjudgemental and secure environment. 

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are repeating positive quotes or thoughts about oneself to self. It is in a way reassuring oneself that we are powerful and capable. It is a very powerful technique that boosts our self-esteem and confidence and assists in dealing with complex illnesses such as depression. It could also be called subliminal messages we feed ourselves to gain power and strength. Examples of positive affirmations are

I am capable

I am strong

I can come out of this situation because it is not permanent

I will achieve all my goals and dreams

I will be happy one day

I will not let this illness defeat or overpower me

I will fight back and emerge stronger and tougher. 

If you will notice carefully all the affirmations are either in the present or future tense. This enables the person to believe in these statements and reinforces their positive mindset

Sleep

Depression can cause insomnia and that leads to other health-related problems in the person. Adequate sleep helps in relieving several health-related complications and can even help in alleviating some of the other symptoms of depression. Therefore to get a good and healthy sleep it is necessary to utilize some techniques. Aromatherapy, exhaustive physical exercise, and a fixed sleeping schedule can help in attaining sleep. A few lifestyle changes can also help with sleep such as abstaining from caffeine and smoking. 

Minimize Technology

We have become overly dependent on technology. These days. But just as it has its pros it also has major cons. These days the fake reality and unreal goals and lifestyles perpetuated on social media can alter the perception of the people. It can make them feel bad about their reality and make them feel lesser than others. On the other hand, increased screen time can be terrible for our vision as well as the brain. It can even cause some severe and permanent damage. Hence the ideal situation would be to reduce the over-dependence on technology to avoid its negative consequences.

Abstaining from alcohol or substance abuse

Depression can make someone vulnerable to dangerous coping mechanisms. People rely on alcohol to numb their emotions to escape from reality for a short while. But it on;u causes them to suffer more. It causes severe health issues such as liver and kidney failure or can even lead to them taking drastic steps to end their life. Alcohol or any other substance is never an ideal or healthy way to deal with depression. Therefore the more a person stays away from this habit the better it would be for them in the long run. 

Exploring nature

Nature is a wonderful phenomenon and can be admired endlessly. It also has healing and calming qualities. It has been found that the more time we spend exploring or “becoming one with nature” the more we are likely to experience positive and productive feelings. Depression can cause severe mood issues and the person could be extremely unmotivated. But in the presence of nature, these symptoms could be attempted to be cured. A natural and healthy environment can help in the release of hormones that can induce feelings of happiness and the person can feel relaxed and happy at least for a short while

Reducing clutter

By reducing clutter or unnecessary things in our lives and mind we can achieve great things. A depressed person’s mental state is filled with negative thoughts that prevent them from overcoming their issues and finding a cure. Thus by identifying these harmful thoughts and eliminating them from their minds they can achieve a calm state of mind and have more energy to deal with their issues.

Thus these were some of the many coping skills to help with depression. But the effectiveness of these skills is limited and they can only help in coping with depression but not cure it completely. To be able to cure depression the person would have to seek therapy and medications. 

Conclusions

In this article, we learned about the several ways and activities to help with depression. We also learned about the difficulties a person with depression has to face and how these activities help deal with those challenges. 

Frequently asked questions

Why are good coping skills important?

Good healthy coping skills are important because it helps us tackle and deal with challenges and makes us more resilient. Therefore no matter what may come before us we could fight it, resist it or at times even embrace it according to the situation or our needs. Hence it is very necessary to be aware of good coping skills. 

Is crying a coping mechanism?

When we feel deep pain, sadness, or even anger or stress we give in to tears. It is an emotion-release mechanism as well as a coping skill to deal with the situation. Sometimes we do feel better after a good cry and it can help us relive our negative emotions.  Crying is predominantly associated with sadness but we can cry when we are feeling positive emotions too. Crying can be a cathartic experience and hence crying is considered as a coping mechanism. 

What are the reasons why we suffer from depression?

The cause of depression can vary from person to person. Depression can be caused due to several factors such as childhood trauma, physical, verbal or sexual abuse, sudden life changes, or even the loss of a loved one. Basically, any stressful, life-altering and negative feelings and emotions can cause depression.  Sometimes they are circumstantial and other times they are caused due to others. Bullying, peer pressure, assault can also be highly stressful situations that can lead to the development of depression.

What gender is more depressed?

According to various studies women are more prone to suffer from depression than men. In fact, to help it is estimated that depression is twice more likely to occur in women as compared to men. It can occur at any age and the symptoms could gradually worsen if left untreated.   

Which type of personality is more prone to depression?

There are different types of personality traits and it is found that people who are found to be high in neuroticism (very emotionally sensitive), as well as introverts, are two types of personality that experience more negative thoughts. Also, introverts are prone to recalling and remembering negative life events. These traits make them vulnerable to depression. 

References

15 coping skills for depression. Pelorus TMS. (2021, August 30). Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://pelorustms.com/15-coping-skills-for-depression/ 

Melinda. (2021, December 23). Coping with depression. HelpGuide.org. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm 

Patel, R. B., Upham, B., Pugle, M., Vaughn, L., Migala, J., Parch, L. A., Marks, J., Hurley, K., & Doheny, K. (2022, January 13). 10 ways to cope with Depression – Major Depression Resource Center – Everyday Health. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression-photos/ways-to-cope-with-depression.aspx 

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