Tips for Managing Depression
The best way to manage depression is discovering what works for you, and the way of discovery is to experiment. For example, using positive affirmations helps some people and does nothing for others. Some of us need medication, others don’t. We learn what works by giving things a try. Think of these tips for depression as ideas to experiment with.
Tips for Depression: One
If you have trouble getting going on your days off (which could be every day), throw on some clothes and head to your favorite coffee shop, donut place, or restaurant. The point is to get moving, get out of the house, and be around people.
You can listen in on other people’s conversations, people watch, doodle on a napkin, or read a book you’ve brought along. Chatty people might want to strike up a conversation with the server, or person at the next table. If you have errands to run, you can do one or two before going home, or not.
Tips for Depression: Two
When the mind is really muddled, it may help to read something challenging, just a page or two (or 100). Challenging means that you have to focus and concentrate to catch the meaning of each sentence.
Romance books are fun and excellent for distracting the mind, but the object here is to un-muddle and think more clearly. Philosophy books work very well, but you can experiment to see what type of book works best for you.
Tips for Depression: Three
If you are cleaning the toilet bowl, taking a break at work, or slumped in your favorite chair, take a deep breath and imagine a colorful hot air balloon. One at a time, put each of your negative thoughts, worries, and ruminations into the balloon’s basket. Every time you put a thought in the basket, notice your mind is a little lighter and brighter.
When all your head-gunk is in the basket, untie the balloon, and see your basket of bad thoughts drift up and away. Watch the balloon get smaller as it rises. Now go about your business, but if any negative thoughts pop into your head, remind yourself they are already up and away in your beautiful balloon.
Tips for Depression: Four
Buy a CD (or download) marches by John Philip Sousa. Play the marches with the volume cranked-up (to a suitable level). You don’t have to do anything else. Let the music do its magic while you keep doing whatever you were doing.
Another type of music that may help you is the waltz. There is something about the waltz’s 1-2-3 rhythm that unwinds the mind and body.
Tips for Depression: Five
If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, trying coloring. Keep a coloring book and colored pencils or crayons handy. Coloring books filled with mandalas work very well, but you can color Goldilocks and the Three Bears if you wish. When coloring, you control which colors are used, and steer the pencil to stay within the lines. This is one time when it is good to stay “inside the box.”