- Have I lost something? A belief? A dream, a relationship? A vision? Is there some disillusionment? Some unmet expectation? Unfulfilled desire?
- Am I feeling productive? Am I accomplishing anything?
- Do I feel focussed? Do I have any goals I am working towards?
- Am I feeling pessimistic about something? About several things? Am I feeling discouraged about something? Hopeless?
- What beliefs are helping me feel pessimistic, discouraged, hopeless?
- Am I looking for something on the outside to happen before I will feel better?
- Am I feeling dependent on someone?
- Do I feel resentful about something? About someone?
- Am I feeling disconnected from my emotional support system? Do I have an emotional support system?
- What would help me feel more optimistic? More encouraged?
- What beliefs can I change?
- What can I find to appreciate? To be thankful for?
- What would help me feel more connected to others, or less dependent on them?
- What could I do to strengthen my emotional support system?
- What small goal could I achieve right now that I am sure I can do?
The road to depression recovery
Start small and stay focused
- Turn to trusted friends and family members
- Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the help and support you need. You may have retreated from your most treasured relationships, but they can get you through this tough time.
- Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it.
- When you’re depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell. But being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
- Join a support group for depression.
- Being with others who are dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences. To locate a depression support group in your area, use the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance's Support Group Locator.
Do things you enjoy (or used to)
Adopt healthy lifestyle habits
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep.
- Depression typically involves sleep problems. Whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.
- Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day.
Lack of sunlight can make depression worse. Make sure you’re getting enough. Take a short walk outdoors, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, people-watch on a park bench, or sit out in the garden.
- Practice relaxation techniques.
- A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
Fight depression by managing stress
- Identify your stressors.
- Figure out all the things in your life that are stressing you out. Examples include: work overload, unsupportive relationships, substance abuse, taking on too much, or health problems. Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can make a plan to avoid them or minimize their impact.
- Go easy on yourself.
- Many depressed people are perfectionists, holding themselves to impossibly high standards and then beating themselves up when they fail to meet them. Battle this source of self-imposed stress by challenging your negative ways of thinking.
- Plan ahead.
- If you know your stress triggers and limits, you will be able to identify and avoid many landmines. If you sense trouble ahead, protect yourself by dipping into your wellness toolbox and saying “no” to added responsibility.
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator
- Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot
- Take your dog for a walk
- Pair up with an exercise partner
- Walk while you’re talking on the phone