recover from depression

How to self help for depression

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Here I share successful strategies helping you learn how to self-help for depression by taking charge of the process of recovering from the personal, social, and illness aspects of your depression.

Have faith in your recovery, and the rewarding life following recovery. You got this!

Practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT).

CBT are practices that help empower you to take command of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. With more experience you can learn to be more mindful of your thoughts, and more importantly, how you tend to react to your thoughts.

You can stop being angry or disappointed with yourself (or others), as you practice different techniques to switch to more productive trains of thought, practice calming yourself and letting negative thoughts pass.

Learn CBT by studying ‘The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Workbook and Tools e-book‘, and begin to implement more positive strategies for feeling better.

Take care of your nutrition.

Sometimes depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in your body. That doesn’t mean that anti-depressant medications are the best solution though. Western medicine pushes pills which often have negative side effects like:

  • Nausea
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Acne and Skin Irritation
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

The average North American diet usually lacks dozens of minerals and nutrients. Yet depression levels in the Mediterranean are considerably well below those in northern Europe and America. Why? Because of their diet!

Consider learning about Mediterranean ways of living, and how to eat your way to a happy, healthy life!

More info and recipes available here.

Get sunlight every chance you can.

Staying in a dark room might feel like a solution to negative feelings, but chemically, a lack of sunlight will literally fuel your depression, making it worse.

Even though your first inclination in response to a fear of the outside world may be to stay bed, this kind of escape will not help you feel happier. So get out and play.

Drink water and exercise.

Physical activity like house cleaning and getting regular exercise are an important part of living a healthy life, for anyone. If you suffer from depression, it is likely that you are not getting enough physical activity.

Drinking enough water and working up a sweat helps get toxins out of your system, improve blood flow that pumps oxygen to the brain, as well as releases a bunch of hormones that make you feel better.

Taking up yard work, gardening, or exercising outside in the open air are great ways to combine this part of your recovery with getting the sunlight and fresh air you need.

Make this a part of your life, and you can definitely expect a speedy improvement in your state of mind.

Learn to FORGIVE yourself.

Personal recovery is about acceptance and regaining purpose and meaning in life as you come to terms with your depression.

Be gentle with yourself. You can aim for excellence while not expecting perfection from yourself. Remember the old saying, ‘To err is human’. It refers to the nature of people, all human beings make mistakes. Aim to try your best, but to forgive yourself for occasional ‘recovery’ days and slip ups.

Try treating yourself as you treat others: Wink at yourself in the mirror, smile at yourself as if greeting a beloved friend. You can even go as far as looking at yourself in the mirror, and saying to yourself, “I love you!” Do not underestimate the power of this! Love yourself as you are, as you love others.

You are a valuable human being with a lot to offer the world, imperfections and all. Love yourself. Own your imperfections, ROCK THEM.

Your actions are your responsibility, others have their own.

Be the person you want to be, not what others expect you to be, nor expect them to be who you want them to be.

I’m not talking about the necessity of care-giving for children. Accountability is very important when it comes to provision of love, physical needs, or the safety of children, by one source or another.

That said: You can not justify the control or containment of any person. You can only take full responsibility for your own actions at any time.

Humans are social animals by nature. When we feel secluded, rejected, or abandoned, depression can take over.

People often put a lot of meaning into relationships, more than is sometimes fair for the other. Each person needs to remember that relying on another for your happiness is unhealthy. Healthy, respectful relationships that allow individual freedoms to flourish are rewarding in love and trust.

In other words, you can take care of yourself. Don’t expect it of others. You will be rewarded.

Help others, do something to make a difference.

As you learn to help yourself, why not try to make the world a better place for others?

Discovering and living out real purpose here on this planet is a powerful way to feel better about yourself.

Please check out this article I wrote just the other day, How to find peace of mind, which emphasizes the importance of purpose in your life.

Employment at a job, volunteering your time, to build a business, or write a blog that teaches your expertise on a subject are all potential ways to help other people. Start today.

Get the outside support you need.

As you are not perfect, I can’t promise you that you have the ability to pull yourself out. There may only be so far you can go to treat your depression by yourself.

Living a safe, full, and dignified life in the community with appropriate supports and services is an important part of recovery for most people.

Look up mental health services and crisis support lines in your area. There should be no shame in asking your doctor for a referral to a licensed psychiatrist if you are struggling too hard and too often with your life. Mental health services exist because the people who need and use them are valuable individual people who needed a hand up from either:

  1. a disadvantaged situation; or
  2. a health condition that involves their physical brain and/or nervous system.

Pharmaceutical medication may be the best solution on a temporary basis, please don’t rule it out as a possible part of your treatment. It may just give you the physical boost you may need to get back onto your feet and begin supporting yourself again.


For more inspiration to assist you in your recovery, please consider purchasing the ‘Destroy Depression System’ from James Gordon. He is a former depression and PTSD sufferer; he teaches a natural 7-step process which he used to conquer his own depression, without medication.

Self-management, stress management, support groups, meditation or yoga, as well as pharmaceutical medication are all important things to be considered when depression becomes a barrier to success in your life.

Wishing you a speedy recovery,



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30 thoughts on “How to self help for depression”

  1. Some very useful advice for people suffering from depression, and also some great ideas for all of us who have our good and bad days.

    I agree with you that we are all responsible for our own actions, and thus our own happiness. I also agree that getting out into the fresh air and sunshine and getting some exercise each day works wonders for cheering oneself up. Funnily it’s always the simple things in life that work the best.

    • Yes, the simple things are often overlooked in the bustle of modern life, people are so busy earning money or staying warm in their bed that they forget to unplug to connect with nature and get exercise outside in the sunlight and fresh air. Even in the winter snow this is critical, you still need sunshine. Thanks for sharing, ~ Elaine

  2. Thanks a lot for such an amazing review About How to self-help for depression and explanations are given.

    It is important that even if we go through difficult times in our life we ask for the help of a new person. It is a good article on how to ward off depression and should be read by more people.

    Thanks again and keep in touch!

  3. First of all, I want to tell you that I do not suffer from depression. But your advice can be very good for healthy people, too, to avoid depression. The sun, the movement, the gardening, and so on, are all part of my life. But it all starts with you, how perfect you are, how much you love yourself and how much you put the opinion of others.

    • Interesting viewpoint, that this article can help healthy people to avoid depression. I totally agree. Thanks for your valuable feedback, ~ Elaine

  4. I am glad to see your article. Thanks a lot for such an amazing review About How to self-help for depression. People suffering from depression. We forget to unplug to connect with nature and get exercise outside in the sunlight and fresh air. I think we are all responsible for our own actions. I think if we follow these steps we will certainly be relieved of our depression. Thank you so much for sharing a beautiful and helpful article.

  5. Reading through your “How to self-help for depression” article I find your ebook suggestion The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Workbook and Tools e-book to be perfect, I would buy the book without a blink.

    There is no better option than healing depression through non-medication ways, what I agree with you the most is “forgiving ourselves” which is always hard, your recommendations in this regard are spot on.

    Thank you for a very helpful article!

  6. Wow, these tips are definitely useful to read through. In terms of sunlight, what if your depression is because of going outside? What would you recommend for this? I definitely am intrigued that sunlight does fuel the body, as I did not know this. Do you think depression is able to managed without medication? 

    • You may suffer from agoraphobia, a fear of going outside. Likely the cause of your depression is not the actual act of going outside, but the fear of it. Conquering phobias is a different story altogether. Sunlight fuels feel-good hormones by providing vitamin D3 to the body which aids in energy, as well as increasing levels of Melanin and other endorphins that assist happiness, restfulness, and calm in the evening, resulting be a better sleep.

      There is much more to this, I recommend reading a book like The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook to help you recover from your fear of going outside.

      Hope this helps, ~ Elaine

  7. I like the fact you pointed concerning depression levels being lower around the Mediterranean area compared to northern Europe and the United States. And I also know diet plays a huge role here. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the Mediterranean diet and have started implementing it for this new year. I’m glad to see this point mentioned in your post.

    • Yes, a balanced diet containing the right nutrients and minerals for proper mind health and organ function is a very important factor to recovering from depression. I appreciate your feedback. Warm regards, ~ Elaine

  8. This is an excellent resource for those who may, or have, experienced depression. The CBT Workbook looks like a great place to start when it comes to battling depression, and it’s good to know that a Mediterranean diet could be an answer instead of anti-depressants. Sunlight, water, exercise, these are all key elements to staying happy for sure. Also, helping others and volunteering can help one feel good and fulfilled. You’ve provided some excellent resources here and I’m looking forward to checking out these books further through your links, well done!

    • Very honored by your feedback, thank you very much! I’m super glad to a source of encouragement and resources to you, as this meets the purpose of my website. Wishing you much healing, growth, and success, ~ Elaine

  9. I can totally relate to this article. I’ve been experiencing depression but i keep denying it but recently i’ve come to accept it. It’s gotten worse since the start of this year’s winter season. You are correct, diet and exercise have a lot to do with it. I really appreciate your tips. 

    • You’ll get through it, keep trying, just have patience with yourself, be kind to yourself. Sunlight is a huge factor in happiness too. Vitamin D3 and Melanin are chemicals that directly affect our mood, and direct sunlight helps release these chemicals/hormones, among others. I find I feel a major difference in how I feel the very moment I get direct sunlight on my face, it has a sudden and strong positive effect on me. My 2 cents. Thanks.

  10. Thank you so much for giving us such a beautiful article and I totally agree with you. You wrote a wonderful article on how to get out of depression, and I think if a person is depressed, he would be mentally broken and sick. When we are in depression we need to go out in the open and talk to people and get out. Outside fresh air and noise will relieve our depression so our body and mind will be much better. If we watch a movie or listen to music all together, it will help us to overcome depression.

    • Being with friends or family and watching a movie could be a good break, but getting out and doing something productive like exercising, volunteering, or working should be more important habits when fighting depression. Watching a movie should be a treat, like going on a mini-holiday. Thanks for your helpful comment! – Elaine

  11. Hi Elaine – Great tips on how to battle depression. There are so many people in the world today (especially our young people) who feel so lonely and disconnected, lacking deep meaningful relationships. It’s very sad, but there is hope as you suggested in your post….we do have control of changing our situation. I didn’t realize that diet can contribute to our depression, that’s something we can all change fairly quickly to help us get out of a down mood. I also think music is another great way to overcome depression. Music has an incredible way of striking at the soul and driving your emotions in a very positive way. I personally try to listen to upbeat and joyful music every morning to help get my mindset and emotions on the right foot to take on the day!! Enjoyed the read.Thanks for the post. Best wishes!

    • Music is powerful. When I used to live alone I would be lonely at times, listening to comforting music helped me feel relaxed and happy as opposed to tense or sad. Now, when I am alone and need a pick me up I listen to that same music and I feel an instant pick-me-up. Thanks for the contribution! – Elaine

  12. It’s really important to understand that the change should come from within. The tools available outside would help you to self discover your situations and learn how to deal with them, but if the resolution of your inner conflicts don’t come from within yourself, it won’t last too long.

    Thanks for sharing a path to follow, as being under depression blindfolds you in a way that it’s really hard to see any light!

    • I hope my article will make it into the hands of people who are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, those who have reached the point of being ready to help themselves. Even for those who recover it is still hard to have hope sometimes, but the best thing to remember when you have this feeling, is that it will pass. Recovery is guaranteed if you choose to get back on your feet and fight, every day, a heroic effort to say the least.

  13. I really enjoyed reading your article and i want to thank you for sharing it with us. 

    I read somewhere that depression is the disease of the century and it will be grow. According to statistics, 70% are young people between the ages of 15 and 25. You have put here some very useful information and I think every person who goes through difficult period to take them into account. If you don’t mind, i would like to share your post on my social account where i have a lot of friends who really need to read this. 

    My conclusion is that if we do not help ourselves, it is very difficult to be helped by others. Good luck! 

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I’d love for you to share. And your conclusion is right, they best action to help you is to help yourself, and no one else can help you if you do not want help.

      I understand that people who suffer the condition may not be able to muster up the desire for help, this is the definition of despondent, they are inconsolable, they have lost hope. But by forcing one’s self to get a little sunlight and exercise every day, selecting better nutrition, and asking for help, they are taking necessary steps toward recovery.


  14. Hello, Elaine

    Thanks for sharing a great article about depression.

    Of course, sometimes we all suffer depression by different causes.
    Among many causes, I am going to talk about depression by bad news.

    Everyone may have experienced in these situations. When I received bad news every time, I tried to forget about the things and wanted to divert myself by doing some work, enjoying games, reading humor, listening to music, watching films, etc.

    While doing that, I could somewhat forget about the bad news. Once finish those things, the memory always haunted me. I think you must have suffered in this situation many times.

    I think it’s the same for depressions by nausea, acne and skin irritation, etc.
    While getting sunshine or some exercises, you might feel better. But once you stop it, you will super depression again, until the actual cause of depression is disappeared.

    Anyway, I agree with you that cheering up oneself, exercises can help for depression, but they can only help to dispel gloom for some period, not dispel it forever.

    • My intended suggestion from this article is to practice these tips every day, to develop positive habits like getting out of a dark room into the sunshine every day. Sunshine on your face actually is literally like an anti-depressant medication… it causes beneficial chemicals to be released into your body, improving how you feel.

      Another thing to consider about this article is that it is not intended to make you forget about bad news. Feeling sad or despondent due losing a loved one or other tragic circumstance is not depression. Depression, medically, is feeling constantly sad as a chronic mental illness that is not caused by reason of circumstance, but by a lack of the right chemicals or neurological connections in the brain that allow you to feel happiness.

      For example, if you are sad because your mom dies, it doesn’t mean you need anti-depressant medication.

      My tips are not to simply cheer people up, they are to contend with a depressive chronic medical condition, preferably without medication.

      Thanks for your feedback,



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