Forward Steps Counseling, LLC
Rosonja Seay, EdS., LPC · Peachtree City, GA
Coping With Depression
Coping with depression is not an easy task for anyone. Although there are many medications available, sometimes the best way to approach this disease is through counseling and self-help. Making small changes in your daily life can sometimes reap the largest rewards. Outside of counseling sessions with a trusted professional, what can you do to cope?
First, approach depression non-judgmentally. This is a disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people in the world; people with families, jobs, and lives not unlike your own. Take a moment each time you find yourself making negative judgments about yourself and your depression to remind yourself of this community of people who share your difficulties. Although you may not immediately be able to stop yourself from thinking a certain way, over time negative thoughts can be replaced with positive ones, in this way, truly change your thinking.
Another great way to lift your spirits is to take stock of the world around you in an almost child-like way. Becoming aware of small things that once captured your imaginations is a great way to center yourself in the present, and to re-imagine what your priorities really are. On a walk, choose a certain aspect of your surroundings to focus on, whether it is sounds, sights, smells, or something else. If you see or hear something that catches your eye or ear, stop and focus on it, almost like a meditation.
Not only will you clear your mind, but other physiological effects will take place; your blood pressure will drop, your facial muscles will relax, and your breathing will deepen. Although small changes like this can’t cure clinical depression, they can change the body and mind in gradual ways that can lead to a positive alteration in the view of the world over time.
Connecting with others may be one of the last things you want to do when you are depressed. However, this can be one of the easiest and best ways of coping when you are blue. You don’t need to become a party animal to do this, either. In fact, if dealing with the prying eyes of friends and relatives sounds unappealing, don’t feel obligated to interact exclusively with people you know. Attending a yoga class, a talk at your local library, an art exhibit tour, or a knitting or other craft circle can have an incredibly uplifting effect, and can allow you to be a version of yourself that does not require explanation, and is not subject to others’ questions.
Being involved with people in public doesn’t require an explanation about your depression.
You can interact with others on your own terms, and reap the rewards of connecting without answering that most annoying of questions: “But really — how are you?”
Engaging in a true attempt to climb out of a depressed state can be a challenge. With a few simple tools, however, it can be done.
If you are in the vicinity of Peachtree City, GA and would like to speak to a qualified counselor about depression, a relationship or other issues of concern, contact Rosonja Seay at 678-552-2689 for a free initial telephone consult.