Self-Care Techniques for Overcoming Depression’s Grip

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Suffering from depression can impact every area of your life, and when you’re in the trenches, getting out often feels hopeless. Depression can make even the simplest tasks feel overwhelming — it can be too hard to get out of bed, go to work, cook, or even brush your teeth, let alone socialize or enjoy hobbies. But if depression has a tight grip on you, there are ways to loosen that grip. The first steps can be hard, but practicing self-care is a great place to start. These simple self-care techniques can significantly improve your mood and help with depression.

1. Talk to Someone

Simply talking with someone may not sound like a self-care technique, but when you’re depressed, letting it out is a good thing. At first, you might opt to speak with a close friend or family member, someone that you trust who will listen to what you have to say and give you sound advice. This is a great first step, but you might also want to speak with a mental health care professional.

Perhaps you feel like therapy is what’s best for you, or maybe someone in your life is pushing you to go. Whatever the case may be, it’s definitely worth considering. Staying at a mental health rehab center can be a great option too, especially if you want a treatment program customized to your needs. Treatment can include a combination of medication and therapies to achieve the best results.

2. Exercise Regularly

One of the best ways you can take care of yourself is by moving your body every day. Exercising doesn’t just improve your physical health, it can positively impact your mental health as well. This doesn’t have to mean rigorous exercise every single day. Sometimes just getting outside for a short walk is sufficient.

If you’re not a regular exerciser, there are ways to motivate yourself to get moving. Many people find planning their workouts helps them stay accountable. Schedule out your days, and add a variety of activities to your calendar. Some days, you can do intensive gym workouts and classes; other days, just take a walk. Using a fitness app can also hold you accountable and act as a good motivator. Some apps even include guides to inspire your next workout.

3. Prioritize Sleep

Sleep plays a crucial role in your overall health and well-being. If you’re not getting an adequate amount of sleep, it affects your mood. A poor mood makes you more vulnerable to depression, and it can quickly take over and become unmanageable. Instead of letting depression control you, find ways that you can control it. Start with managing your sleep schedule.

Some people sleep a lot when depressed, while others have trouble sleeping. If you’re someone who has trouble, you may need to work harder to ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Read, limit screen time, or drink warm tea before bed. Deep sleep gummies may give you an added boost to help you get a good night’s sleep. Whatever you think will help is worth a try. Make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements to help with sleep.

4. Set Attainable Goals

Setting goals and achieving them can help you feel better about yourself, thus improving your mental state and mood. To improve your mood and give you a boost of energy, start journaling. Simply writing a to-do list for the day and crossing tasks off as you complete them is extremely effective. It’ll make getting through the day easier, which can be tough to do when you have depression. You’ll also be able to end the day feeling a sense of accomplishment.

The right day planner can be a game changer when you’re struggling to get through each day. Planning out the days, weeks, and months positively impacts your mood for several reasons. It can make you feel more organized and less stressed, and it gives you things to look forward to. Use your planner to organize important events in your life (think vacations, doctor appointments, work meetings, etc.). You can also write down random reminders, plan your days down to the hour, and journal any random thoughts you’re having. Whatever feels the most natural to you!

5. Find Relaxing Activities

Depression can be hard to manage, especially when you don’t have the motivation to do what you enjoy. But it’s so important to find activities that make you happy and feel relaxed (this is really what self-care is all about). A relaxing activity can be something simple like watching your favorite TV show, cleaning, or taking a bath. You can also treat yourself to a coffee, a facial, or a trip to the nail salon.

Sometimes it’s easier to put your planner to use and schedule an appointment for self-care because it adds structure and accountability to your routine. If you can’t find the motivation to brush your hair, schedule an appointment for a haircut. It’s kind of like outsourcing the care for yourself to someone else, which can alleviate the burden when even basic tasks feel overwhelming. Scheduling an appointment also comes with the added benefit of some socialization. You might dread making the commitment, but you’ll likely feel better after.

Depression is a crippling mood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. If you are someone who suffers from a mental health condition, then you know how difficult it can be. It impacts your ability to perform basic, everyday activities and enjoy your life. But with the right self-care techniques and lifestyle changes, you can be on your way to happier days ahead.