3 Ideas on How to Get Over Depression
A common question among people living with depression is just how to get over depression because it can be all-encompassing. It takes over thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, making each one feed off the others until someone living with depression feels imprisoned. Depression can interfere in relationships and make someone feel isolated and alone. Thankfully, depression isn’t someone’s identity; indeed, depression isn’t who someone is but instead is something that he or she is dealing with.
This is significant. It means that there are ways to get over depression and that depression can be overcome. These three strategies for getting over depression are tools you can start using today to reclaim yourself and your life.
How to Get Over Depression: 3 Ideas
1. Create a routine, and use schedules. When depression takes over, it makes it hard to do much of anything. The smallest task can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Sometimes even getting out of bed feels impossible. This has nothing to do with laziness but instead is caused by the illness that is depression (Depression Symptoms: What are the Symptoms of Depression). Knowing that lethargy and lack of motivation isn’t a character trait can empower you to begin to get over depression.
Inactivity deepens depression and leads to prolonged inactivity in a vicious cycle. Creating a routine and using schedules to hold yourself accountable for things you’ve planned helps motivate you to get going. Here’s how to use schedules and routines for getting over depression:
- Before going to sleep at night, set an intention for the next day. Why do you want to get up? What one thing do you want to do that is meaningful or helpful? Write it down so you can use it as a reminder the next morning.
- Set an alarm clock and get up at the same time every day. Getting into this routine will help you avoid lying in bed.
- Make your bed. It’s harder to crawl back into a bed that’s made, and making it brings a feeling of accomplishment.
- Create a small to-do list, break the tasks into smaller parts, and make a schedule for completing them. The brain, plagued by depression, needs help getting back into action. Routines and schedules are part of how to get over depression.
2. Increase activity and exercise. Being active in everyday life and exercising, even mildly, are proven ways of getting over depression. According to Cousens & Mayell (2000), exercise
- Boosts serotonin and endorphins, important biochemicals in the brain that play a role in mental health
- Improves mood both immediately and up to 24 hours afterward
- Counters symptoms of depression
- Improves the quality of sleep
Routine and schedules apply to exercise and physical activity. Making exercise and activity a part of your daily routine, and of course, making them appealing, increase the likelihood of following through with them.
3. Relaxation. Depression often causes the mind to become harsh and belittling. People living with depression often have extremely critical thoughts about themselves and judge themselves with negative labels. It’s important to have time every day dedicated to quieting the mind. Getting over depression by using relaxation involves
- Creating a quiet, peaceful space dedicated to daily relaxation time
- Making relaxation part of your daily routine
- Breathing slowly and deeply
- Concentrating on one thing, observing its properties without judging them; when your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the object
Formal meditation programs do exist. These can be beneficial, but they’re not required. The above steps are useful for daily relaxation.
Getting over depression doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process, and it’s a process that is absolutely possible for everyone and anyone (Treating Depression Without Medication: Is Self-Help Enough?). Creating a routine and schedule, increasing activity and exercising, and relaxation are all proven ideas on how to get over depression.
Peterson, T. (2016, July 5). 3 Ideas on How to Get Over Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/depression/3-ideas-on-how-to-get-over-depression