Coping With Depression: 45 Actionable Steps

Coping With Depression: 45 Actionable Steps

I Have Crippling Depression

I’ve mentioned before that I have struggled in coping with depression and anxiety for years now. Looking back, I now understand that it began during my childhood, however it was never slap-me-in-the-face apparent until it turned into postpartum depression when I had my first baby.

I had never loved something so much in my entire life. In fact, up until I had my first child, I avoided such hardcore feelings of attachment at all costs, so when he was born, I felt a love so strongly that it literally terrified me. All of the sudden I had such a GOOD thing in my life, and the idea of anything bad happening to him caused a crippling depression to start spreading inside of me.

I had recurring nightmares about horrible things happening to him, and I would wake up in a sweaty panic and rush to check on him, and sometimes even wake him from his sleep just to cuddle; additionally I found myself trying NOT to love him so much by emotionally distancing myself from him, therefore if anything bad WERE to happen, possibly it wouldn’t crush me so hard. I would begin crying for no reason at all, for instance right in the middle of meals, while we were watching TV, or even just driving to the grocery store.

After opening up to my doctor about it I soon discovered that not only did I have postpartum depression, but that it stemmed from a general depression and anxiety disorder that I had unknowingly struggled with my entire life. I felt incredibly relieved to know that I wasn’t a monster, but simply struggled with something that over half of the US population struggles with as well.

Depression Symptoms

A few signs or symptoms of depression include:

  • Lower energy levels
  • Concentration troubles
  • Prolonged feelings of sadness, anxiousness, emptiness, or worthlessness
  • Difficult in keeping a decent sleeping routine
  • Variations in appetite

What To Do if You Think You’re Depressed

If you notice yourself having any of the above symptoms, please seek professional help immediately for the reason that one should have to cope with depression alone, and there are many resources one can explore to find ways to deal with depression.

I had a hard time expressing my feelings to my doctor. I’ll be the first to admit that I felt deep feelings of shame for having to confess that no I was NOT okay, but after I got everything off my chest, and worked out a treatment plan with my doctor, I finally felt like I was able to regain some control of my life. Admitting that I needed help was the hardest part, but once I got over that hump I was able to learn ways to cope with my depression so that I could be the mother and wife that my son and husband deserved.

List Of 45 Ways To Cope With Depression And Anxiety

If you are already well aware that you do indeed struggle in coping with depression, then we both know that unfortunately it’s just not something we can snap our fingers and get over.

There are days when the only reason I’m able to get out of bed is because my children need me. Sometimes I go through periods of being withdrawn from my friends, and even have a hard time concentrating on my work.

I often get extremely overwhelmed with the smallest of responsibilities. My second to last round with depression inspired me to write this poem about being overwhelmed as a mother. My brain feeds me lies about my worthiness and capabilities. I think about situations from my past, and beat myself up about how I handled them.

When it comes to coping with depression, it’s like I have my own personal bully camped out right there inside my head.

Being gentle and patient with ourselves when we’re right in the middle of a particularly bad slump is key; and immersing ourselves in things that are apt to give us a slight boost is always wise. Keep reading to see the 45 ways listed for coping with depression and anxiety.

45 ways to cope with depression and anxiety
  1. Go for a walk.
  2. Take a shower.
  3. Do your makeup/hair/dress yourself nicely.
  4. Listen to upbeat music.
  5. Watch America’s Funniest Home Videos.
  6. Phone a close friend.
  7. Read a corny but undeniably awesome self-help book.
  8. Splurge on yourself.
  9. Exercise.
  10. Spend time doing something that makes you feel creative.
  11. Indulge in a great comedy series.
  12. Write down 10 amazing things about yourself, or start a journal.
  13. Turn off your electronics and focus on something in the present.
  14. Make your bed.
  15. Indulge in a hot bath.
  16. Read a list of inspiring quotes.
  17. Write out a to-do list (even if you have no intention of completing it today.)
  18. Write out a list of things you are grateful for (As many things as you can think of!)
  19. Practice meditation.
  20. Do something nice for someone else.
  21. Hangout with your pet.
  22. Color in a good ole coloring book.
  23. Rearrange your furniture.
  24. De-clutter and organize a problem area in your home.
  25. Stay hydrated.
  26. Hug someone.
  27. Spend quality time with your kids.
  28. Drink some positive energy tea (it’s a real thing.)
  29. Practice affirmations.
  30. Say a prayer.
  31. Read something spiritual.
  32. Video chat with someone you love who lives far away.
  33. Put together a puzzle.
  34. Play with some play-doh or clay.
  35. Cook a healthy meal.
  36. Bake something tasty.
  37. SING.
  38. Fold some laundry.
  39. Go window shopping.
  40. Watch an unbelievably dramatic reality TV series.
  41. Take a nap.
  42. Smile at a stranger.
  43. Get on your social media and give 10 genuine compliments to friends.
  44. Clean out your car.
  45. Eat some chocolate.

Online Resources For Coping With Depression And Anxiety

If you know something is up, but maybe you’re not quite ready or able to get up and out to search for help, the following websites provide a ginormous amount of valuable information and tips for coping with depression and anxiety.

Additionally, if you suspect a family member or friend is suffering from depression and or anxiety, approach them about it in a calm and loving way. If the possibility of offending them is stopping you, consider the potential consequences of you NOT reaching out. It is better to be safe than sorry, and if it so happens to turn out that they ARE struggling, they might even appreciate you for taking the time to check in on them.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Half of Us

National Institute of Mental Health

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Additional Sources:

Web MD Signs and Symptoms


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5 Ways My 3rd Pregnancy Differs From the First 2

I have no idea why I took the pregnancy test. I wasn’t late for my period. We weren’t trying for a third baby. I had no suspicions that I might be pregnant. And yet, something was urging me to pee on that stick, just because. When those two pink lines immediately showed up, I can’t even describe the feelings that flooded through me.

As this pregnancy progresses, it’s come to my attention that everything is completely different this time around.

For starters I keep forgetting how far along I am.

With my first two babies, when asked, I could immediately rattle off exactly how far along I was to the day. With number 3 I’m usually somewhat aware of the week that I’m on (thanks to fellow pregnant friends on facebook whom I share close due dates with), but more often than not, I have to use the first response due date calculater to find out the exact point I’m at according to the day of my last period. Which brings me to my next point…

I still have yet to see a doctor. (But no, I’m not concerned.)

With my first two kiddos I was super anxious for my first doctor visit because I had so many questions. Due to insurance confusion and complications, I have not been able to visit the doctor just yet. We were able to confirm the sex at a special ultrasound place around 14 weeks, but as far as an actual office visit goes, that date is still to be determined. On the bright side! We recently have gotten everything sorted out, and I will be able to confirm an appointment within just a couple weeks.

We still have not decided on a name.

With my first baby, we had the name picked out BEFORE we knew the sex. With my second, we had a name picked out but ended up changing it before she was born. And with this third child, who knows what she will be called. While I think we’ve narrowed it down quite a bit, the title of little miss is still to be determined.


I don’t google every single symptom that I encounter.

During my first pregnancy my google search history was chock full of repeated questions and concerns I had. I had never experienced a pregnancy before and was always anxious for answers to every little symptom I experienced. This time around, I spend far less time on the baby center forums and more time chasing around and hollering at the bigger two.

I’m not rushing this pregnancy.

Of course I know it’s not even possible to ‘rush a pregnancy’ but what I mean is that I find myself savoring the days more than I did with my first because I know for certain this is my last. While I very much look forward to the day I get to hear the beautiful cries of my baby and see her sweet face, I am content exactly where we are- because I know that this will be over all too fast.

“We Don’t Marry Strangers”

When you get engaged to be married, prepare yourself for a plethora of unsolicited advice. Especially if you are young.  And extra especially if you elope.  And extra EXTRA especially if you have only known your soon to be spouse a handful of weeks.

“Honey we just don’t marry strangers!”

Well, speak for yourself Aunt Sharon, but I’ve got myself a sexy man in an army uniform willing to give me a shiny ring and whisk me away from this stinky town…so…BYE LOVE YA WISH ME LUCK SEE YOU NEXT CHRISTMAS!

Looking back, I know that my Aunt (and every other single person in my family) had a point. And it would have been wise to take an extra month or twenty to re-evaluate this major life decision, but at 19 years old I knew it all!  Sure he was just a stranger…but he was MY stranger, and my stranger and I were going to make this work.

7 years later here we sit, on opposite ends of the couch while our two kids throw elbows in between us, and the one growing inside of me hops up and down on my bladder.

Has it been easy? HELL no. Have we ever tried to throw in the towel? At least a dozen times. But at the end of the day, we’re just a couple of broken kids who have grown into whole adults with, for, and because of each other. And so here I sit, overwhelmed with gratitude for the family we have together.

My point is, ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT. No matter what it’s telling you. No offense but your intuition is probably smarter than you are. While ‘impulsive’ can be an ugly thing to be called, I have to say, in the end, it has certainly served me well.