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Helping yourself to overcome depression

Updated on October 8, 2012

If you have depression then you’ll know that taking part in your usual activities seems somewhat daunting and being surrounded by a lot of people probably doesn’t seem like your cup of tea either.  That’s ok; it’s one small step at a time that will really help you back on the road to recovery.

Don’t feel bad for having depression

Depression is not something that you asked to have or even want to have, so don’t feel bad for having it.  It’s something that with a bit of time and effect will eventually pass.  Try explaining to friends and family that you have depression and you may be surprised at how supportive they can be at understanding it and helping you get through it.

Take one small step at a time

Today is as important as tomorrow so see if you can make just one small change today.  Maybe there is something you haven’t felt like doing in a long time.  Think about the things you once really enjoyed and what made you feel happy.  See if you can do just one of those things or even a bit of one of those things.

For eg. You may have once loved card making but through depression you lost the will to do it, you don’t have to worry about creating a whole card, but maybe you could find a few pictures that you like for the cards.  The next time you’re feeling a bit more up to it, you could sit and cut the pictures out ready for making a card.  Then you can think about some ideas for the card and when you’re ready too, you can make the card.

You don’t have to feel like doing everything in one go, but try push yourself just a tiny bit and it’s one step closer to feeling like yourself again.

Spend time with an understanding friend

Having depression can often be a good time to find out who your really good friends are.  Remember all those days when you haven’t wanted to go out or speak to anyone? Remember the friend that came round to see you regardless and accepted that you didn’t always want to talk much, accepted if you wanted to sit quietly and even sat quietly with you?

Spend more time with them, see if they will join you for a cup of tea in café instead of at home or if you don’t feel up to being in a café yet, then maybe you could go round to their place for a little bit.  Sometimes with depression it can be daunting going out on your own so see if your friend doesn’t mind coming to knock for you. 

You can slowly build up on the amount of time you spend out with this friend and when you are back to feeling comfortable with being out then you can maybe invite along another friend to the café with you, or take a trip a little further away.  Try to get your self back out there but know that it is ok if it takes you a bit of time.

Have some good food

If you haven’t been able to eat very well in a while because of depression then a good meal (and by that I mean one you can really tuck into and enjoy) can help you to find your love of food again so why not see if you can meet up for a nice meal with a friend or maybe your friend could cook up a nice meal for you both.  A meal always seems that much more enjoyable when someone else has cooked it.

If you tend to comfort eat, try to pick things that are healthy rather than reaching for a bag of crisps or bar of chocolate. That’s not to say you can’t have those things sometimes (my life would be disastrous without a good top up of chocolate once in a while) but try to only have it in good moderation.

Think positively

While things seem less rosy right now, it won’t always be like that and with a bit of positive thinking, things won’t look quite so bad. Where possible, avoid some of the things that stress you out too much.

Get a good night’s sleep

A good night’s sleep can be very effective in helping you to function better and feel better about yourself, so if you’re having trouble sleeping consider asking your doctor if they can help you or even try some herbal remedies that might just make that drifting off seem a little bit easier.


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    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Thanks duffsmom,

      Depression is a horrible thing to go through and getting yourself out of it is not easy so I really hope these tips can help a few people.


    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Very interesting hub, well thought out.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi salt,

      Yeah someone that can take the time properly and understand what people are going through would be perfect for someone that needs a sympathetic ear rather than pills.

      I often think that everyone needs to go through a low period once in a while to really appreciate what it feels like to be on a natural high again. I know that from past experience, I have always come back fighting stronger than ever after a really low point.

      Thanks for stopping by, I like the rainbow

    • salt profile image

      salt 6 years ago from australia

      Good writing, I suppose, too, if you reach a deep dark space, do get the right help. Not some dr who wants to fill you full of pills in the 2 minute appointment, but proper help, which can take time and energy.

      I often like to think of dark moments of the breaking of the shell from darkness to light and someone told me this one, that its not all black and white, there is a rainbow of color inbetween. Which means there are many ways to see the world. Its not all about dark and light.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi May PL,

      Thank you for your input, you are so right. It's all to easy to see things as seriously worst than they really

    • May PL profile image

      May PL 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I agree about the thinking positively bit. Our minds and feelings sometimes play quite a few tricks on us. Even when things are really not that bad, we do occassionally over-think or over-analyse them. When that happens, it affects how we feel, it affects our mood. It'd be good to then consciously change our pattern of thoughts by focusing on the good things. As always, keep smiling :)

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Hi Rhonda Waits,

      Thanks for having a read. I hope your friend is feeling better soon. I'm sure they would very much appreciate your support.


    • Rhonda Waits profile image

      Rhonda Musch 6 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      Great article. I don't have depression, but my friend does. I will pass this article on to them. Thanks