Here are some of our top tips to help if you're feeling depressed.
- Seek support
You do not have to deal with depression alone and should seek support. Depression is complicated and may need to be tackled in more than one way. You may need to develop new life strategies and advice from an expert can be helpful.
- Stay connected with positive people
Connections really help. It can feel hard when you're depressed to seek out people, your depressed brain may even worry that you are a burden to others. Good friends and close family will want to help you, and you will feel better for it.
- Talk to a professional
Talking can 'lighten' your mood, give you valuable information on how depression works and help you develop strategies for you.
It has been proven in countless studies that exercise is of benefit to people with depression and anxiety. Find something that works for you, and do ANYTHING- even walking will help- but you could try; a gym, gardening, running, tai chi, team sport, yoga, dance, swimming, martial arts... anything that gets you moving.
- Engagement with the community
People who contribute in a positive way to their community - in a way which allows engagement, and has a sense of contribution - will in turn feel a positive sense of well being. Getting involved could be volunteering, visiting a nursing home or aged care facility, involvement with a cause - something that matters to you, helping coach a local sporting team, helping at a local primary school or kindergarten; broadly it is using your talents, skills or knowledge within the community.
- Get into a good sleep routine
We have a whole section on sleep - as this is an important area in relation to so many aspect of life.
- Make time for things you enjoy
Have you stopped doing something you really used to enjoy? Could you make time for it again? Or perhaps there are small things you could do each day that would lift your mood. Make a list of enjoyable things (we have ideas in other sections of this website). Aim to do one enjoyable thing everyday, more if you have time! (we are of course only referring to things that are not harmful to you or others).
- Have a routine
You may not feel like getting up-but it can be important to work against this feeling and follow through with planned activities. So write down what you will do each day, even the simple things and follow this so that you have a few simple goals for each day. Your routine would ideally include elements of self care, exercise and connection with others. Remember some days will be harder than others- but persist.
- ACE: Achievement, Closeness and Enjoyment
Expanding on the last 2 points it can help to look at planning your week so that you regularly include activities that allow you to feel some achievement, closeness to others and enjoyment. It may help to keep a diary and check which activities in fact lift your mood most consistently.