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How to Create A Wellness Plan to Prevent Depression

July 20, 2015 Ashley Womble

A wellness plan can prevent depression, but not many of us have one. Learn how to create a wellness plan to prevent depression. Here's how to do it.
Creating a wellness plan to prevent depression and depressive episodes is easier said than done. But having a wellness plan that can help you recognize the symptoms of depression and encourage you to use your depression coping skills can go a long way. Here's how to create a wellness plan to prevent depression.

I have adapted Barbara Stanley and Gregory K. Brown’s Suicide Safety Plan which was originally created as a suicide prevention tool.1 The plan is designed in progressive steps that encourage you to rely on your own depression self-care practices and support network. If you aren’t feeling better after those steps, the plan can help you connect to mental health professionals or a crisis center.

Outline for a Wellness Plan to Prevent Depression

  1. Recognize warning signs: Write down moods or situations that indicate an episode may be developing. My initial symptoms of depression are wanting to sleep longer and more often. Another big sign that my depression is looming is that I’m less interested in seeing friends, or even leaving my apartment.
  2. Use your own coping strategies: List things you can do on your own to avoid feeling depressed. As I’ve mentioned, running is a way of coping with depression. When I’m feeling sad or defeated, sometimes I treat myself to a manicure or a blowout. It’s superficial, but it usually lifts my spirits.
  3. Socialize with others: List people you can talk to or places you can go that may help take your mind off things. When I’m going through a rough time, one of the first things I do is pack my calendar with friend dates and activities that will distract me. It’s not something I would do if I needed to face a problem head-on, but as many of us know, sometimes there is no root cause of depression.
  4. Reach out to family and friends: List family members and friends who are supportive when you talk about depression. It’s really important to know which of your friends and family members can help when you are going through depression. These are people who you can open up to without feeling judged. It also helps if they understand a bit about depression. I’m lucky to have many friends who are social workers and all-around amazing listeners.
  5. Call in the experts: List names and numbers of mental health professionals and crisis hotlines. When all else fails, I make an emergency appointment with my therapist. It’s also a good idea to include numbers for crisis hotlines like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or Crisis Text Line.

My version of the plan focuses on my emotions and helps me avoid sinking into a depressive episode. Once you have created your wellness plan to prevent depression, keep it in a place that is easy to access. I keep mine on my phone since my phone is practically glued to my hand.

What initial depression symptoms do you feel that you'll include in your wellness plan for depression prevention?

Resource

1 Suicide Safety Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017.

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APA Reference
Womble, A. (2015, July 20). How to Create A Wellness Plan to Prevent Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2015/07/having-a-plan-can-help-prevent-depression



Author: Ashley Womble

gypsy
says:
August, 11 2015 at 6:22 am
what if you have no one. My family is in heaven. If I knew I would go to heaven if I killed myself I would have done it a long time ago. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Ashley Womble
says:
August, 11 2015 at 10:42 am
I'm so sorry that you don't have any family. There is always support available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK if you need someone to talk too.
gypsy
says:
August, 11 2015 at 6:18 am
I hope this helps me alittle
Dr Musli Ferati
says:
July, 23 2015 at 7:18 pm
In other words, the best way to face with depression is active and inventive approach toward daily emotional and inter-personal problems, as well. Thus, it ought to create and to develop new social skills, in order to be more useful and successful member in your own social network. This lifestyle, beside others benefits, helps to be more happy, as crucial step to surmount the emotional pain of depression. This recommendations is value also for mentally health people. However, appropriate psychiatric treatment indicates primary tool against this frequent and hard mood disorder. First and foremost antidepressant medication is the main psychiatric intervention on current treatment of depression. Others psychosocial intervention are also helpful tools on recovery of patient with depression. It means that sophisticated psychiatric treatment and management implies complex approaching toward depression. By me, having a plan to prevent the recidivation of depressive episode implicit the ability to realize the same. Otherwise, we will to parch on flock of wolves that come out from depression.

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