Description: Person Sitting in Dark with his Head Down 

Depression can quickly drain your hope, energy, self-esteem, and motivation, making it challenging to get on with your life. It could get impossible to force yourself to continue with your typical activities. You might not even feel like doing the things you loved doing. In such a difficult situation, it is easy to think you have no control over anything. 

That is not the case. 

You must remember that you have more control over your thoughts than you realize. You have to keep reminding yourself of this to cope better. 

Recovering or coping with depression is certainly not easy or quick, but it is not impossible. The key is to start small. Include small activities into your routine and work from there. You might not have the energy, but just a quick walk around a block or reading your favorite book for a few minutes can be a major win when fighting depression.  

The first step is certainly the hardest, but doing little things every day can encourage you to keep fighting. Here are some positive things you can do every day to cope better and take small steps towards recovery.  Eventually, you will notice the heaviness of depression lightening, and you would start feeling healthier, happier, and hopeful. 

1. Try Expressing Yourself 

Often during the depression, your sense of creativity and fun might seem to be blocked. You can activate your imagination through activities like dancing, writing, sewing, doodling, drawing, and painting. This will not only help in getting your creative juices flowing but also encourage positive emotions and thoughts. These activities are also a great way to express your feelings and emotions in a healthy way. 

2. Establish a Routine 

Following a consistent schedule is extremely helpful for individuals who are suffering from anxiety and depression. With an increase in depression, the level of motivation drops. It gets challenging to even get out of bed, let along function normally, which then further lowers self-esteem and productivity. 

Sticking to a routine can help you in getting on with your day as much as you can and balancing your life. A consistent routine also offers stability that is much-needed during the depression. 

3. Maintaining a Healthy Diet 

Depression also has a major impact on the appetite of a person. Some tend to overeat, and others don’t feel like eating at all. It is essential to be mindful of your diet to get the right nourishment your body needs. A healthy diet can have a major impact on your energy and mood. Be sure to include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your meals, and have regular meals throughout the day. 

4. Regularly Exercising 

Exercise is known to have physiological benefits that can help you through your depression. Regular physical activity reduces stress levels and improves mood. There is also instant satisfaction one gets from completing a challenging and engaging workout that also improves your self-esteem. 

As you get physically fit and stronger, you automatically start feeling more confident that enables you to fight depression and improve your physical and mental wellbeing. 

5. Soak in the Sunlight 

Sunlight boosts the serotonin levels that result in an improved mood. Try to spend at least 15 minutes every day outside in the sun. Spending time in sunlight increases the intake of vitamin D, which reduces inflammation and encourages cell growth. 

Eat your lunch outside, enjoy your coffee by the window, walk in the park, open the blinds in your office space, or start gardening. There are many ways you can enjoy the sunshine. Just a few minutes every day, and you will notice an improvement in your mood. Be sure to wear your sunscreen.

6. Identify and Challenge Negative Thought Patterns 

Depression can leave you feeling weak or powerless. You feel like there is no hope, and you can do nothing about it. That’s not true. You must understand that depression triggers negative thoughts about everything and everyone. 

These thoughts can overwhelm you with unrealistic and irrational fears. It is essential to learn ways to identify these negative thought patterns and challenge them to prevent them from fueling your depression. Once you learn to identify these thoughts, start challenging them by asking yourself the following questions:

Is there any evidence that this thought is true? 
If a friend was having this thought, what would I tell them?
Isn’t there a different way to look at the situation? 
Is there an alternate explanation of the situation or thought?
Would I look at the situation differently if I wasn’t depressed or anxious?

Once you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you might be shocked at how fast they crumble to the ground, and your mood would lift instantly. This is one of the healthiest ways to cope with depression.

7. Get Professional Help 

If all else fails or if your depression is only worsening, it is integral that you seek professional help. A qualified therapist can help you establish the right coping plan to manage your depression. 

Psychotherapy focuses on healing individuals with depression adjust their lifestyle to reduce stressors, and learn healthy coping tactics. You and your therapist can work together to address ways of improving your self-esteem, challenging your negative thoughts, transform negative thinking into a positive one, and practicing stress management techniques.

Depression is treatable with the right strategies and techniques. These tips for managing depression can help you through the darkness and ensure you utilize healthy ways to cope. Remember, you don’t have to suffer in silence or keep on guessing if what you are feeling is depression or not. 
Your mental wellbeing is as important as your physical health. Reach out to your loved ones or a professional to help figure out the right way to manage your mental health. You are not in this alone.