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Self Help & Self Care in Depression

In the end, it is you who has to live your life and therefore,

never forget to bond with yourself.

So don’t mind giving attention to curate your mind. You have no reason to feel awful about it. With this thought in mind, let’s come to depression.

Depression evokes the symptoms like a persistent low mood, difficulty in concentrating, guilt, low self-esteem and the list goes on. It can be either due to biochemical disorder in your body or due to environmental factors.

You live in a highly competitive world where you cannot escape from the trials and tribulations offered by life. At various junctures, you will have to confront the conflicts standing before you. Some of you might just need a small break or a brief holiday, but everyone’s case is not the same. For some of you, these emotions might make you lose the grip of your mind. The highlighting factor here is that you tend to avoid these emotions believing it to be temporary and that it is only a by-product of the hectic life you lead. But you have to understand one thing. Do not take it lightly. You have to find time to give appropriate care for your mental health. So when you are welcomed by the initial symptoms of depression, it is highly recommended to seek therapy. While doing the same, you have to take some measures to cope up with depression. So, pause, take a deep breath and read these 5 tips listed below.

Positive relationships

Be in touch with the ones who lift your spirit. Take break from those toxic people around you. They are not worth it if they drain you. Start talking to your loved ones; communicate your thoughts and problems, and spend quality time with them. It is okay if you’re comfortable being alone. But it is always for the best if you have the right company around you so that you won’t isolate yourself. That lovely circle of yours is sure to rejuvenate your inner energy. Helen Undy’s study on relationships and depression shows that 60% of the depressed are in the condition due to being a part of negative relationship.

Exercise, Eat and Sleep

An article titled ‘The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed’ by Lynette and Frank describes how studies have shown that exercise helps in creating a happier mood. Exercise according to your potential but take care that you do it regularly. Also, have a healthy diet. Again, have what you like but don’t convert your diet towards junk or beverages to lift your mood as you might fall into the trap of addiction. Then, next, sleep regularly. Have a good night sleep that is neither too much nor too little. Studies prove that regular sleep helps you improve your mood.

Service to Others

In order to have compassion towards yourself then you must be compassionate towards others. It adds meaning to your life and fills you with motivation to do more. Studies have shown activities that boost your self esteem improve yourselves to feel better. Being there for others, you being a support system for the others when they need you and bringing a positive impact on someone’s life bring the sense of fulfilment in your heart when you introspect on your deeds.

Framing goals and achieving them

Telling you to frame goal doesn’t mean the one that gives you the ultimate fulfilment. No, here it means those little things that give you happiness. Pick the things you love the most. Don’t burden yourself with great number of activities. Start small. Try doing those regularly. You can also choose activities that involve your friends. Mobery NJ and Dickson JM have studied about the relation between goals and depression and states that people with depression have less definite goals. Thus, improving your goals helps reduce intensity of depression. Also, remember to share your goals and accomplishments with others so that with others so you can enjoy the taste of these little successes.

Also, focus yourself on doing pleasant activities like planning a vacation, enjoying some sport or spending time with your loved ones. Pleasant activity scheduling is a part of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) which is way of therapy for treating depression.

Living in the moment

Dr. Jon Kabat, in the 1970s carried out various studies related to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction which is a proven method of raising one’s confidence in oneself improving his or her self esteem. Even courses on this are taught in different universities. So what is this mindfulness? Well, it is nothing but the habit of not judging yourselves, enjoying what you do and acknowledging what you feel. It is important to realise that there is absolutely no need to judge yourselves and your abilities while doing something. Just enjoy each moment of the activity you do.

Well, all these tips mentioned above are only those that you have to try out when you start to feel low. Never hesitate to seek professional help. First you can try these self help practices and if there is no change in your mood then, go head to a professional. Seeking therapy in society where various stigmas are attached to mental health is really difficult. People judge you or you might get the feeling that they will start to label your mental illness as an identity. But always remember that it is you who have to live till the end and not the ones who judge you now. It might be a difficult task for you to motivate yourself to seek help but understand that mental illness requires as much attention as physical illness.

Also, you can practise these tips while undergoing therapy to enhance your fight against the mental health. There are psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapist and clinical therapists from whom you can seek therapy.

The society can judge you all they want but be careful never to judge yourselves. Believe in YOU.

- By Aparna Rajesh, Content Writer at L2S + India


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