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:
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Acne and Skin Irritation
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
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!
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:
- a disadvantaged situation; or
- 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,
- The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Book & CD)
- The Anxiety, Worry & Depression Workbook: 65 Exercises, Worksheets & Tips to Improve Mood and Feel Better
- Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You
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