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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