Coping with Depression

Coping with Depression

Mental Health Tips from William James College Faculty: Coping with Depression by Kenneth J. Hopkins, PsyD, Associate Dean of Students (Retired).

Tips for Coping with Depression

  • Reward yourself for small accomplishments such as taking a walk around the block or calling a friend.
  • Try not to “beat up” on yourself. Nobody is perfect.
  • Be careful of all or none thinking and overgeneralizations. For example, be careful of labeling everything about yourself as “bad” or filtering out good things that are happening and seeing everything as hopeless and unchangeable forever.
  • Seek out support, despite the feeling of wanting to withdraw. Reach out to friends and family, letting them in on what you are going through.
  • Keep up social activities. Volunteer for a cause.
  • Try to sleep, get out in the sunlight, exercise (short periods and repeat).
  • Use relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and breathing.
  • Eat healthy and don’t self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
  • Seek professional help from a counselor/therapist, clergy and/or your doctor.

Finally, if you hear in your thoughts old voices of past critical or punishing relationships, check out the reality of how your current friends see you. Think how you would judge someone else in the same situation and be as kind to yourself as you would be to another.

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