"A clinical counsellor on Vancouver Island says it's natural to feel anxious in light…
Everyone has their ‘ups-and-downs’, and for some folks down moods can be emotionally and physically exhausting, draining motivation, drive, interest and energy. Although sadness, depression can be tough, research has shown that there are some very effective strategies to get folks back on track.
Getting Unstuck and Back on Track
Overcoming sadness, depression and mood struggles is doable, but not easy. It isn’t realistic to simply ‘snap out of it’, but developing a deliberate and intentional strategy helps immensely. It’ll take some time, a bit of effort and work, but you will likely experience a slow and steady improvement in mood.
The key is to start small and slowly begin to develop habits that promote, rather than depress, your mood.
Start Small and Stay Focused
Because sadness, depression can be so energy draining, start with a few small, manageable goals. Keep it simple, and build from here. To begin with, even with a shortness of energy, start doing small, concrete behavioural changes that help with mood. For example, make it a point to go for a short walk daily.
Also, it is worth beginning to acknowledge these small, seemingly insignificant steps, as accomplishments towards countering depression. Patting oneself on the back has a benefit, in that it starts to develop a habit of notice the positive aspects of ourselves and our experience.
Anti-Depression Tip 1- Relationships are Key to Recovery
Perhaps the most important aspect to a solid anti-depression plan is to get (re)connected with others.
Supportive relationships are instrumental. This might be really tough for some folks to get started, but consider connecting with familiar people first. Building a network of support take times and effort, but is such an instrumental factor in countering depression that it is essential to dedicate effort.
Anti-Depression Tip 2- Get Off the Couch
Conventional wisdom claims that physical activity improves one’s mood exponentially. It may be difficult especially when there isn’t much energy to start with, but consider forcing yourself to get outside, and get moving in some manner. Physical activity and exercise is a very effective way to counter depression and significantly improve your mood.
Anti-Depression Tip 3- Start Having Fun Again
Begin to doing things that relax and energize you. Start having fun again.Return to relaxing activities, develop new habits to cope with stress. You can’t force yourself to enjoy things or have fun, but if you do things over a period of time, it will have a positive impact on mood.
Anti-Depression Tip 4- Change the Negative Thinking Patterns
Depression tends to put an [unjustified] negative lens on just about everything, including perceptions of ourselves, other people and the world overall. Begin to work on methods of challenge negative thinking is a key characteristic of a good anti-depression plan.
Anti-Depression Tip 5- Monitor your Mood
Use a checklist to monitor how your mood is changing as you make efforts to create and develop different anti-depression habits.