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9 Coping Skills for Depression

There Are Ways to Improve Your Well-Being

When you live with depression, taking care of your overall well-being can be so important. Depression can get worse when you ignore your needs and self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing the things you love. Reaching out to a mental health professional for treatment options and support may be necessary, but coping skills for depression can go a long way in improving your overall mental health. There are several ways to cope with depression and you should explore what works best for you.

How Common is Depression?

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million adults in the U.S. or about 7.1% of the population. Next to anxiety disorders, it is the most common mental health disorder. However, you do not have to be diagnosed with a major depressive disorder to deal with depression or benefit from treatment. Depression can start mild and get worse without treatment. A traumatic or stressful event can trigger depression, so it is important to practice coping skills for depression to slow the progression and to seek out mental health help when needed.

Who is Most at Risk of Depression?

depression coping skills

Depression can affect anyone; however, certain segments of the population are at a higher risk for developing depression. Women are more likely than men to develop depression. Also, depression often co-occurs with anxiety or substance use disorders, so people with these health challenges are at higher risk. Individuals with a family history of depression are also more likely to develop depression.

Certain lifestyles and life experiences can also be a risk factor for depression. For example, traumatic events or living with constant stress can put you at higher risk. Lifestyle factors that increase risk include spending too much time in front of screens or social media sites, eating too many processed, fatty, or sugary foods, engaging in substance abuse, and not getting enough exercise.

How is Depression Treated?

Depression is primarily treated through psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Mental health professionals can diagnose and treat depression through various psychotherapy techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). They can help people living with depression develop coping skills and tools to manage their symptoms as well as treat the underlying causes, such as trauma. Coping skills for depression can help you tolerate, minimize, and deal with stressful situations in life.

9 Coping Skills for Depression

Coping skills can include methods to deal with stressful situations at the moment and self-care techniques to improve your overall well-being. Finding coping skills for depression is essential for managing symptoms in addition to therapy and/or medications. They can also stop the progression of symptoms and improve overall treatment outcomes. Here are some coping skills for depression you can try out:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: Depression can make it challenging to make healthy decisions and it is easy to use food as comfort. But eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can improve your mood and energy levels. Be sure to avoid processed foods, too much sugar, and unhealthy fats.
  2. Exercise: One of the best coping skills for depression is exercise. It can release endorphins to improve your mood, get rid of negative energy and stress, and can improve your self-esteem and confidence. Find an activity you enjoy such as dancing, yoga, walking, or swimming, which will help you stick to a routine.
  3. Get enough sleep: How much sleep you get correlates with your mood. Exercise, eating well, meditation, and good sleep hygiene habits can improve your overall sleep. Make sure to stick to a regular sleep schedule as well.
  4. Socialize: When dealing with depression, it can be challenging to be sociable. However, isolation can make symptoms worse. Making an effort to be around friends and family who are supportive of your mental health can help you focus on other things than your worries and positively affect your mood.
  5. Do something creative: Research suggests creative activities help with depression symptoms. They can provide an outlet for exploring and understanding your emotions. Creativity can also boost your mood and improve self-esteem. Explore different creative outlets such as painting, writing, or playing music.
  6. Clean and get organized: Disorganization and piles of “to-dos” may be contributing to your stress and depression. Cleaning and organizing your space and life can help you feel better as your brain will rest easily, making it easier to feel relaxed and happy.  
  7. Try journaling: Not only does journaling let you vent out your frustrations, but it also keeps track of your progress. Including things you are grateful for when journaling can also help you shift your mind into a positive outlook.
  8. Mediation and mindfulness: Meditation can help change your response to negative thinking by acknowledging thoughts and then letting them go. Mindfulness also helps you live in the moment and not think about everything that is stressing you out. If you are new to meditation, there are several apps, online videos, and local classes you can try.
  9. Talk to someone: Talking about what you are going through can help ease depression. You can talk to a friend or family member or reach out to a counselor or therapist. There are also plenty of online mental health chats that offer emotional support.

What Makes a Coping Strategy Effective or Ineffective?

Every person deals with stress and depression differently. There are healthy ways to cope with effective symptoms. However, sometimes people choose the easy way out to cope with depression which is ineffective and counterproductive. For example, substance abuse can be an escape from negative thoughts and emotions, but in the long run, they are not treating the underlying causes and can make symptoms worse. In contrast, eating well, exercise, and social interactions are more effective as they help increase feel-good hormones and are stress relievers. Effective coping strategies do not just try to mask or avoid the issue, but help you resolve it.

How an Emotional Support Line Can Help with Depression

Talking to someone about your stressors, worries, or what is making you sad can help you feel better. However, it can be difficult to talk to friends or family members about your mental health. Emotional support lines are available to help you through challenging times. They have peer support counselors who can be active listeners, provide advice or coping skills for depression, or provide other resources to get you on track for better mental health. Some are available 24/7 and will connect you within minutes to someone.  

Make BeWellLine One of Your Coping Skills for Depression

Talking to caring, knowledgeable counselors is one of the best coping skills for depression. BeWellLine offers free emotional support to California residents through online chat, phone lines, and real-time video conferencing. Our support lines are available 24/7, so you can talk to a peer support counselor any time you are struggling with your mental health. We will connect you with someone in the community who understands your struggles and is ready to listen within minutes. Trained peer counselors can also provide coping skills for depression or connect you with affordable higher levels of care when needed.

You do not need to battle depression on your own. Please call BeWellLine today at 866-349-6854 or visit us online to chat with a peer support counselor who can help you start feeling better today.

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