Depression is made worse by loneliness, delivering a double-low-blow to someone who feels hurting and isolated. Here I will share with you effective coping skills for depression, and loneliness.
The ideas in this article have successfully helped me feel better after being struck by depressive thoughts.
Who am I to give advice on depression?
After developing a mental illness at age 23 at the onset of my pregnancy, I lost my CDL driver’s license and professional career as a commercial truck driver. Soon after my husband left me, and lost custody of my only child. The medication I require to maintain sanity causes weight gain, and over just a few years I gained over 200 pounds. I lived alone for over 10 years. For many of those years, I wasn’t even allowed have a cat because of tenancy rules.
I felt abandoned, despondent, very low, and desperately lonely.
Yes, I know depression well. She is a dear old friend.
I’ve learned how to deal with her successfully, and am usually now a pretty happy person. When I feel down, I know it’s not permanent, and I’ll be okay. I follow certain strategies to get myself back on track.
I’m here to share my strategies for finding joy in everyday life. Getting out of bed is a choice I make daily.
Peace and hopefulness are such better places in which to abide.
Be patient with yourself.
Getting angry at yourself for having a nasty thought about yourself – simply compounds emotional anguish. Give yourself permission to think dark thoughts as long as you don’t stay there. Practice bringing yourself back to more helpful thoughts.
Be mindful of your thoughts. Read books on mindfulness, positive mindset, good news stories, success, and learning in any market you are interested in can help you have a higher number of happy and hopeful thoughts that you can grab on to and use for the better.
Watch videos about it on YouTube. Practicing mindfulness will help you to accept your negative feelings and let them pass. It’s okay to slip up. You move on.
Hypnotherapy is helpful when trying to improve your outlook, particularly sessions on positive mindset, mindfulness, success, or any others that interest you. You can best listen to these audios in private, at rest. Binaural beats can also be helpful in bringing positive change to your mindset.
Never beat yourself up over any failure. Appreciate the experience, and treasure the lesson.
Failure is the best teacher ever!
Where you go, there you are.
Most people have a need to feel cared about… but would you be speaking truth if you said no one cares about you? In fact, having that worry itself proves that you care about yourself. The fact that you even found this web page proves that you really do care about yourself. Why not say it?
Self-care goes beyond taking care of your physical body. You need to let yourself know that you care.
It feels good when someone makes you your favorite tea, soup, or comfort food. Why not treat yourself?
Have you ever winked at yourself in the mirror? I recommend trying it today. Even better, do it with a smile!
The first time, this may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. It gets easier though. Look at yourself in the mirror, and while looking at yourself, tell yourself, out loud, the answers that you write in the following section…
What would you say to a friend who felt really low?
Write this question down, and answer it in writing.
“If someone you love is feeling depressed, sad, lonely, or suicidal, what would you say, and do, to encourage them?”
You might write, “I care about you. Let me check on you every day, to see how you are doing.“
You could say to your friend, “I value you,” or “My world is better because you are in it.“
You’d say these things to someone you love. Why can’t you say them yourself?
The truth is, you can say these things to yourself.
Would you hold a hurting friend’s hand and give a consoling squeeze?
This’ll sound weird to you, and no one else will tell you this, but you can hold your own hand. I was very surprised when I figured this out, it’s actually really calming and comforting. You have two hands for this reason. Hey, why not?
Distract yourself. Do anything else.
Negative thoughts stuck in a rut that you can’t pull yourself out of?
Been told by family that you’ve been arguing in circles?
Do not underestimate the power of a fidget spinner!
Try one of these:
- Play a video game.
- Watch a TV show.
- Reading a magazine.
- Read a newspaper.
- Start cleaning.
- Have a cold shower.
- Write down your thoughts.
- Do some research.
- Go fishing.
The list is inexhaustible. Do something you enjoy!
Here’s a great idea:
Let the sun shine on you!
Exposure to sunlight releases chemicals in our bodies that makes us instantly feel better. From sunlight, we get increased levels of Serotonin, an excellent contributor to positive mental health.
It may be hard to get out of bed and get dressed, but do it anyhow. Get up, wash up, get dressed, and weather permitting, step outside, even when you don’t feel like it.
There is nothing more refreshing than fresh air while appreciating the beauty of nature.
So go outside. Look up. Feel the warm sensations of the sun lighting you up. Watch the sunrise. Talk to the wildlife. The crow might look at you like you are crazy, but the squirrel might strike up a conversation with you!
A squirrel looking back at you, chattering his fluffy tail off, is adorably cute.
Chatter back at him, and he’ll get in an argument with you! Look up, picture it!
I dare you not to smile!
Branch out to make friends.
Stop wondering why no one is calling you.
Join reading groups, sharing groups, walking groups, Toastmasters, groups with shared interests from Meetup.com, volunteer to help others, take on new jobs. These are all great ways of socializing.
Keep going, become familiar there. You might even make a new friend or two, and that is worth celebrating!
Check in with your friends to see how they are doing. They’ll appreciate it and do the same for you.
Do not allow all your happiness to rely on the actions of others.
Practice encouraging yourself using the above methods.
Don’t feel ashamed to ask for professional help.
Suffering social anxiety due to depression can cause you to feel paralyzed over social matters. It’s okay to ask for help.
Do people you know think getting help is not acceptable? Let that be their problem, not yours.
Call your local mental health or abuse crisis line. They exist for good reasons, and the counselors are glad to just be there for you, when you need someone to talk to.
You can use these help lines to self-refer yourself to a crisis stabilization unit (CSU) if you need more support than you can manage on your own.
The professionals at a CSU will help you set goals, plan strategies for dealing with challenges, and connect you to counselors and other community services, which can be used as excuses to socialize with positive people.
Who cares if they are paid to listen. They help!
You are valuable. You are worthy of kindness. Treat yourself right. Nurture your self-love.
Treasure every moment in your life, and there are always more joyful times to come.
Each new day challenges you to get out of bed, make it worth it. Every day is a new adventure.
Life has ups and downs, and that’s awesome.
The amazing variety of sensations, interactions, ideas, colors, views, smells, flavors, and emotions that happen every-single-day are the little things to appreciate that make life worth living.
“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh.
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