Toya, I wanted to as you how do you handle depression.
Wow, such a loaded question. Let me first explain that this is a BRIEF overview. Despite my credentials, this post is in no way meant to replace seeking professional help if you need it. This post simply cannot be as extensive as the answer could, and for some should be. If you need more GET MORE, schedule a consult read a book, hire a professional in your area....
Depression defined is feelings of severe despondency and dejection. Now let me be clear it is much more than feeling sad. Depression interferes with your daily functioning and how you fulfill your major life roles. It affects how you see the world, and how and if you interact with others. There are criteria that have to be met before it is determined if you are clinically depressed or not.
Let me say this and please understand it: DEPRESSION LOOKS DIFFERENT IN EVERYONE. Depression also happens on a spectrum meaning some people will be severely depressed and may have suicide attempts or frequent visits to the mental health hospital, and others may not. Some people overeat, while others stop eating altogether. Some people stay up all night while others sleep away the day and night.
Because depression looks differently in everyone how you manage it will be different as well. Here are some general things that will help. First, acknowledge that the depression is there. You cannot begin to work on what you don’t see as a problem. Another basic thing is to get some exercise. I know I know that’s not what you were looking for but exercise has so much value when it comes to healing our mental health. Watching what you eat is another way to help your depression. The foods that we eat are toxic, and you can do your own research on that but as I start to eat better I know I personally feel better. Limit your alcohol. Sure I like adult beverages as much as the next person but as alcohol is a depressant it does nothing to help boost your mood even though in the moment you may feel differently. Also stop isolating yourself. Get out and get around people even though you just want to lay in bed.
Now to be more specific you need to think about what you are sad about. Try to identify when the sadness became or lack or motivation became too much to bear. If you can identify when it started that may be a starting place for you to began your work Also think about what you may see as lacking in your life. Do you lack self-esteem, feel as if you not far enough along in life.
Depending on how you answer this question will determine your next steps. Let’s say you are having issues with self-esteem and this is leading to depression then you would work to improve your self-esteem (affirmations, being productive, work on your goals and actually make progress, doing more of what makes you feel good).
Some people will tell you they are sad and they don’t know why. For this type of depression, I suggest getting some coping skills. Coping skills simply put are you put into place to improve our mood. Do things that make you happy. Get a hobby, read a book, write in a journal, use those coloring sheets for adults. I tell my clients all the time try it all (as long as it is not hurting you or others). You have to spend more time doing what makes you happy. If you don't know what makes you happy this is the perfect time to figure it out. Try some things and see what you like.
There is so much more I can say on depression but this is getting long. Other things to consider is hiring a therapist or even a coach to help you process your automatic thoughts, and really get into your thoughts and perceptions about life.