3 Powerful Habits To Help You Cope with Daily Depression
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Figuring out where to start when it comes to managing depression can be understandably overwhelming. So much information available through Google and social media platforms can make it hard to decipher whats right for you. Throughout years of managing my own chronic major depressive disorder I can certify there are 3 Habits that are absolutely necessary to help cope with daily depression. Let’s get into today’s blog!
1) Mindfulness. To have success with managing depression and achieving recovery we must learn to practice mindfulness. When it comes to mindfulness for depression it can yield significant benefits because it allows us the opprotunity to build a habit of awareness. We increase the awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. What drives your positive and negative reactions? What was happening in that moment or moments leading up to those negative thoughts, frustration or overwhelm? Mindfulness can also help you become aware of the people, places, and things that bring joy to your life. Focusing on those positives will help you cope in moments of distress.
Mindfulness was a concept introduced to me in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). My therapist had a funny yet effective way of asking questions that prompted me to think a little deeper. It didn’t take long before the habit developed, and I found myself practicing mindfulness throughout the day.
2) Daily Self Care: This is all about taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical needs. Self-care can be anything that brings feelings of calm and wellness. When you are living with depression self-care should be at the top of your daily “To Do,” List! No excuses friend! A lack of self-care will only lead to prolonged and worsening depression. Self-care means establishing healthy routines, using healthy coping skills, and setting boundaries to help maintain stability.
So, where did I learn about self-care and its importance? Inpatient group therapy. Each evening after finishing groups we met to discuss our day and what we planned for self-care that evening? The first day I was completely stuck! Like, what do you mean by self-care because this was definitely not a concept taught growing up. Thankfully over the next three weeks there were groups focused on self-care and by the end this chick had formed a new healthy habit! Each morning before starting my day I think about what my plan for self care is going to be and when would be a good time.
Sincerely Tip: In The morning, maybe while brushing your teeth think about what you can do for self-care today. You’ll need to be intentional about making it happen!
3) Planning: Planning is the third lifestyle habit you will eventually want to work on. There are a few reasons planning plays a vital role in depression management. Those of us with depression do better with structure although it can be hard to establish in the beginning. The more organize we become in our daily lives, the more organize and clear our thoughts can become. Battling mental illness day in and day out is exhausting and its easy to become so overwhelmed and check out. Planning will help prioritize task, combat brain fog associated with depression, and reduce the amount of distress you experience throughout the day.
Along your journey planning will become a habit that becomes essential to maintaining mental wellness. Practicing mindfulness will help you discover in which ways planning will be most beneficial for you. Here are a few ways I use planning to help manage depression.
Writing out task that need to be completed and prioritizing the most important for the day.
Scheduling Daily Self Care in my daily plan. It’s easy for self-care to get put on the backburner when managing home, work, kids, and everything else life throws our way. In the mornings I start my day by deciding what I’ll be doing for self-care later. Setting a dedicated time for self-care each day is also a promising idea.
Keeping a monthly calendar with events, kids activites, and appointments. This helps me plan my weeks accordingly and reduces the chance I’ll forget something.
Taking into consideration circumstances that could be overwhelming or triggering and planning accordingly. (i.e., rescheduling, bringing something to help me cope, etc.). For instance, I use to schedule all four kids’ dentist appointments at the same time. Let’s just say it ended up in a full mommy meltdown ninety percent of the time. Being mindful of these previous experiences I started scheduling two kids at a time. Although it requires missing an extra day off work it’s a lot healthier for me and the kids.
Planning allows me to include breaks for busy days in between errands and appointment
Setting boundaries for my time
We all know depression can be a debilitating medical condition that severely impacts your home and professional life. While seeking the help of a therapist and medical professionals is always recommended, its important to realize they can’t be there with us every day. It’s up to you to learn and implement healthy habits to improve your life and increase your chances of depression recovery. It won’t be easy, but a healthy mind will be worth every bit of the fight!
Try This: Write down one thing you would like to improve in your life.(Sleep, hygiene, morning madness, movement, spiritual connection, etc.)
Next, Think about why this is important to you and the benefits. Also, think about what happens if you don’t make the change?
Finally, Work on a plan to accommodate the change. For instance, if sleep has been an issue reestablishing a bedtime, planning a wind down routine, and/or removing your favorite app so you’re not tempted to scroll all night would be a great starting place. Remember being intentional with taking care of yourself!
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