Tips for coping with depression
Try these coping strategies if you’re feeling depressed.
Stay in touch
Don’t withdraw from life. Socialising can improve your mood. Keeping in touch with friends and family means you have someone to talk to when you feel low.
Be more active
Take up some form of exercise. There’s evidence that exercise can help lift your mood. If you haven’t exercised for a while, start gently by walking for 20 minutes every day.
Face your fears
Don’t avoid the things you find difficult. When people feel low or anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to other people. Some people can lose their confidence in going out, driving or travelling.
Don’t drink too much alcohol
For some people, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of coping with or hiding your emotions, or just to fill time. But alcohol won’t help you solve your problems and could also make you feel more depressed.
Try to eat a healthy diet
Some people don’t feel like eating when they’re depressed and are at risk of becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and can put on excess weight.
Antidepressants can also affect your appetite
If you’re concerned about weight loss, weight gain or how antidepressants are affecting your appetite, talk to your GP.
Have a routine
When people feel down, they can get into poor sleep patterns, staying up late and sleeping during the day. Try to get up at your normal time and stick to your routine as much as possible.
Not having a routine can affect your eating. Try to carry on cooking and eating regular meals.
Seeking help for depression
Get help if you’re still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks. Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.
You can refer yourself for psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling on the NHS. You don’t need a referral from your GP.