I have depression, now what?

Depression is defined by many different ways, depending on experience and personality. Managing depression can be difficult due to the decrease motivation, loss of things that once interested us, and an increased desire to sleep. Again, depression is defined differently depending on who you ask, so this is a generalization. Good sleep hygiene is difficult to start, but it is beneficial for multiple different aspects of our being. With sleeping, try to create a bedtime routine, for example; try to take a shower, set out clothes for tomorrow, keep your room at a comfortable sleeping temperature and darkness (or brightness), and give you body a cue that it is time to rest. Whether that is plugging in our cellphone, putting our glasses on the nightstand, etc. Some activity or motion that cues that body into knowing that it is time to rest. Try not to use electronics to help fall asleep, as they have a negative effect on becoming tired.

Exercising is another way to reduce depressive symptoms, increase motivation, and at time can increase being social with others. Walking with a pet or friend is a good way to start, even if it is just for 15 minutes. This also can help us be outside, get some fresh air and hopefully some vitamin D. Pets are also a wonderful way to reduce depression symptoms. Exercising for a pet can sometimes encourage us to get out and get moving. Try scheduling some time during your day to give your pet some love and attention.

These are just two ways that we can utilize our daily routines to manage depressive symptoms. Also, using all of our sense while doing these actives will help to remain present and give attention to the activity. For example, on your walk try to list different colors you see, different things you hear, smells (maybe someone is cooking something delicious for dinner), things you can feel whether it be your pets leash, a leaf, a rock. Using these senses will keep you present in your activity and in the moment.


What ways do you manage your depression? What is one new task you can add to your routine to attempt to be present and mindful?

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