When you’re depressed, the last thing you should do is deny that it’s happening or get angry at yourself for being “too emotional.” Depression is a real condition that can get worse if you don’t treat it and find healthy ways to cope with it.
Here are 7 dependable ways to cope with depression: small things you can do every day, and holistic treatments that can help you heal your body, mind, and spirit.
1.) Track Your Moods
There is no cookie-cutter approach to dealing with depression. People will have different triggers and symptoms, or prefer one kind of treatment to another.
So, one of the first steps to cope with depression is to understand it. Keep a mood diary, either through a notebook or an app. Write down your:
- Routines or what you did that day
- Emotions (rate on a scale of 1 to 10) and any specific events that may be connected to it
- Anything that helped change a mood: what made you happy? What made you feel worse?
Do this every day to help you find patterns, or recognize if symptoms are worsening. If you feel that you’re going into a downward spiral, ask for help!
2.) Develop a Routine
A routine is a simple and dependable way to cope with depression. It reduces stress, helps you plan and feel in control, and can help you incorporate positive activities into your daily life.
For example, your routine can include time for exercise, meditation, hobbies, or social interaction. When you’re feeling low, the habit of “going for a walk at 5 PM” will help you take that first step out the door. The fresh air, talking to neighbors, or seeing nature can prevent depression from escalating.
3.) Practice Mindfulness
Several studies show that mindfulness can reduce the intensity or frequency of depressive episodes, and help you respond better to coping mechanisms.
Simply put, mindfulness is being present to the moment. You are aware of yourself, and how your body and mind are connected and connecting to the world around you.
Modern life has trained us to ignore our bodies and emotions, and focus on the future or what other people think. Eventually, we feel lonely or disconnected. We can’t recognize our needs or our emotions until they explode and knock us to the ground.
Mindful activities heal that “break” so we feel reconnected and whole. This can include meditation, yoga, journaling, and natural therapies like Network Spinal Analysis (more on that later). It is a dependable way to cope with depression—and regain control of yourself and your life.
4.) Strengthen Your Support System
Isolation can trigger and worsen depressive episodes, which is why some people say that depression is “the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Quarantine cut us off from others, at the very time when we felt most anxious and overwhelmed by change.
While quarantine restrictions are slowly being lifted, the emotional side effects continue. Nurture and build relationships. If you’re stuck at home, arrange a Zoom call with a trusted friend. Join community forums, or ask about any support groups at your local wellness center.
5.) Stay Away from Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms can actually worsen depression because you either get triggered by toxic posts, or you compare yourself to the “perfectly curated lives” of influencers.
When you’re dealing with depression, avoid social media completely. Instead, seek out personal interactions with friends, or more positive and helpful messages.
PRO TIP: listen to podcasts from motivational speakers, or sign up for an email service that sends affirmational quotes every day.
Surrounding yourself with positive relationships, people and ideas will always be one of the most dependable ways to cope with depression.
6.) Take the “5R Steps”
Depression is like quicksand: once those emotions and thoughts creep in, they slowly suck you in until you can’t get out.
Just like quicksand, struggling or fighting against it can make it worse. Here’s a more dependable way to cope with a depressive episode:
- Recognize and respect your feelings. Depression symptoms are real. Telling yourself “I’m not depressed!’ is as effective as telling yourself “I do not have a stomach ache.”
- Rest. Be gentle with yourself. Knowing that you are emotionally and physically drained, avoid stress triggers and look for ways to comfort and nurture yourself.
- Reach out. Tell people how you feel. If needed, go to a counselor or sign up for an online counseling service.
- Remember past successes. If you have gone through depressive episodes before, you know that you can beat this one too. Know that it will pass, and repeat the techniques that have proved useful to you in the past.
- Recover. While you respect your feelings, you shouldn’t wallow in them. After taking time off, take active steps to get to a “good place.” Set small goals that ease you back into your routine and help you feel more in charge. “Tomorrow, I will get out of bed and jog for 30 minutes. This weekend, I will get a haircut and meet with my friends.”
7.) Receive Network Spinal Care
Depression has physical symptoms (fatigue, migraines, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, decrease in pain tolerance), mental symptoms (lack of focus, memory lapses), and emotional symptoms (mood swings, anxiety attacks).
This shows that there is a strong connection between our body, mind, and spirit. Holistic treatments like Network Spinal Analysis or NSA help address all three, so all aspects of yourself work together to heal as one.
What is NSA?
NSA is a form of chiropractic therapy. Instead of looking at only the physical condition of the spine and nervous system, it takes a whole person approach.
Your body stores toxic emotions and experiences, which can affect your energy levels and even cause long-term damage to your health. Trained NSA chiropracters will release the tension and trauma through light touches on special points along your spine.
This process is called an entrainment. It can be combined with other mindfulness exercises to help you reconnect with yourself and cope with depression.
How to get NSA Therapy
Dr. Suzanna Wong, DC and Dr. Kira Wong DC are established NSA practitioners and run the Twin Waves Wellness Center in California. Their clients can testify how their regular sessions are one of the dependable ways to cope with depression.
They feel calmer and more at peace with themselves. They are more aware of their needs and emotions. And most importantly, they have found the confidence and motivation to go after what they want.
In one testimonial, a woman shared how she used to stay in bed for days story. She used to stay in bed for days because of depression. “But after working with the twins, my life has completely transformed. I have more energy and I feel a sense of worthiness. Now I feel I can do anything.”
You can take control of your day
When you’re depressed, you feel that you’re surrounded by a heavy fog. You feel disoriented, discouraged and helpless.
This is temporary. There are dependable ways to cope with depression. No matter how hard it gets, you can find yourself and a way out—and get back on the path of a better, stronger, happier you.