5 Tips To Help You Break Free Of Depression

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Breaking Out Of The Depression Cycle

BY LIZA CHERVONSKY

Low mood, lethargy, and low motivation are all too common in depression. When people experience this set of symptoms, the thought of doing exercise or interacting with others can feel overwhelming, and people often find themselves withdrawing from physical and social activities. Unfortunately, this usually causes worse mood, more exhaustion, and less motivation, which makes activity even harder – and so begins the downward spiral of depression.

Activity is the key to beating depression

So how can you break this vicious cycle? It’s hard, but being active when you’d rather withdraw is key to beating depression. Even a small step in an active direction can help to turn things around. Social and physical activity can help to lift your mood and increase your energy levels, which can motivate you to do more activity, and this is what helps to reverse the cycle.

If you’re not sure where to start – these ideas might help.

Tip #1: Make A List of Things You Used To Enjoy

When you’re feeling down, usually the only activities you do are the ones you have to, like work or chores. However, it’s important to fill your day with activities that are enjoyable as well. Not only does this help increase positivity in your daily life, but it also gives you something to look forward to.

Tip #2: Start Small

You don’t have to jump back into all the same activities you used to do and with the same intensity as before. For example, if you used to walk for an hour each day but the thought of doing that makes you not want to go, aim for something smaller, like a walk around the block or a trip outside to collect the mail.

Tip #3: Schedule It In

Once you’ve decided on your activities, take some time to schedule them into a calendar. You’re more likely to commit to these activities if you’ve planned when you can actually do them and how long they’ll take.

Tip #4: Break It Down

Break the activity into small, achievable steps. This can help you feel as if the activity is more manageable and can give you more of a sense of accomplishment along the way. For example, if you’re planning walk, decide on a destination, put on walking shoes, change into exercise gear, walk out the front door, walk to the end of the street, etc.

Tip #5: Give Yourself Some Encouragement

Praise yourself for your achievements, no matter how small. As long as you’re taking steps towards social and physical activity, you’re making progress and working towards breaking out of the depression cycle you’ve been stuck in up till now.

Liza is a warm and compassionate clinical psychology registrar who enjoys working with adults, children, adolescents, parents, and families. She is dedicated to working collaboratively and empathically with clients to help them develop an understanding of their difficulties, and to find effective ways to improve their every day coping and general psychological wellbeing. Liza is experienced in treating a range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, procrastination, stress, perfectionism, interpersonal & relationship difficulties, anger management, self-harm, and parenting difficulties.


 

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