I decided to write some tips for dealing with depression. I often feel that when I read others people’s tips that they do not know what depression feels like or do not fully capture the essence of just how debilitating depression can be. You will often see that you have to change every aspect about you all at once that is not the case. In order to find recovery you have to take each day 1 step at a time.

#1 Be ready to make a change:
Reading any tips or guides is useless until you feel that you are ready to make changes in your life. It is okay if you do not know how to change all you need to focus on this point is thinking about why you want to change and asking yourself if you are ready to do so.

#2 Seek help:
In no way shape or form do you have to go at this alone, depression can be a powerful force and asking or needing for help is perfectly normal. Reach out to your friends, family, co-workers and if necessary contact a counsellor or a psychologist to meet with them.

#3 Activate Yourself:
That feeling of lethargy that makes you want to stay in bed all day and all night is difficult to overcome. There are propably some days that even making your way to the kitchen seems like a monumental task. Don’t stress, many people have lay in the same spot you are in. Trust me when I say you don’t need to go from bed to running a marathon in a day. If your goal for the week is to move from the bedroom to your couch that is okay too. Don’t minimize these small gains! Small gains are whats going to get you back to being you.

#4 Sleep:
One of the most powerful and healing forces may be our sleep patterns. And I know that you feel tired constantly and I bet you could win competitions for sleeping at this point. But if there is 1 thing that you do in this entire list, is set an alarm to wake up the exact same time everyday. This will help force the rest of your sleeping pattern into alignment as you wake up at the same time everyday you will notice that the time you fall asleep starts to be the same each night.

#5 Socialize:
It is very easy to be depressed and isolate yourself from the world. Also, when we isolate ourselves our depression consumes us and we have no one to answer to but ourselves. Sometimes being answerable to someone is exactly what we need. I often recommend this to my clients, and that is to ask a friend to make plans any plans. But take that one step further and let your friend or family member know that you are dealing with depression and that they cant take NO as an answer from you. As I said earlier, rely on the resources you have. People often don’t want to burden the others, the truth of it is that you most likely only see yourself as a burden, rather than the people around you.

#6 Accept Setbacks:
I would be lying to you if I said that you will have a constant progression to feeling better. This is not the case somedays you will just feel worse than others and thats perfectly okay. When you know something is going to happen it makes it easier to deal with when it comes around.

#7 Find Yourself:
Many articles will recommend listening to music, journal, reading etc. The truth is that all the advice in the world won’t tell you what you enjoy doing best. Discover yourself again and try and do some things you love and enjoy as you start to feel better. Try find positivity in some of your daily routines. Many people do not allow themselves to accept who they are and embrace their own love. Nothing matters more in this world than what you think of yourself. Love yourself and the rest will follow.

Posted by Farrel Greenspan. Registered Provisional Psychologist, located in Edmonton Alberta