6 ways of dealing with depression

Emer O’Neill, Chief Executive of Depression Alliance, the leading national charity providing non medical support for people with depression, suggests 6 ways you can maintain recovery from depression.

1. Share experiences

Depression can often be alleviated by talking to other people in similar situations. Carewell has a free forum for carers where you can share information and advice with others about your health and wellbeing. Depression Alliance coordinates a national network of self-help groups where members can meet on a regular basis to share experiences and coping strategies. They also have a chat room for members and a penfriend scheme where members write letters to offer support, ways of coping and help to end the loneliness that so often comes with depression.

2. Learn about the condition

Finding out more about depression can reduce the misconceptions, guilt and fear which are often associated with the condition. A wide range of leaflets on depression are available from Depression Alliance; or you could also look in your local library or on the internet.

3. Taking notice of what’s around you

Depression is frequently associated with tension, stress and anxiety, so finding something that can help you relax is important. It could be yoga, reading, listening to a relaxation tape or taking five minutes to sit in your garden – find out what works for you and give yourself time to wind down.

Professional relaxation coach, Andrew Johnson shares his favourite relaxation tips.

A Deep Sleep MP3 is available for free through Carewell. It uses a range of techniques and visualisations to help you relax and sleep well.

4. Get active

Many people with depression experience a loss of energy and constant feelings of tiredness. Taking some form of gentle exercise will make you feel more positive. For ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, visit the Carewell Move More forum. If you struggle to find time to fit in exercise alongside your caring role, Carewell has some tips for how to involve the person you care for so that you can both benefit from exercise.

5. Make changes to your diet

Depression can affect your appetite so try to make sure that you eat regular, appropriate amounts. Missing out valuable nutrients can also make people feel tired and run down, so try to include fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. Carewell has healthy snacking ideas that will boost your energy levels.

6. Pursue interests

Try to continue with any hobbies or interests you have. It may be difficult whilst you are depressed, especially if you have difficulty concentrating, but this will help you to feel better. If you are struggling to get time to yourself due to caring responsibilities, you may be able to get a respite break – Carers UK can provide you with advice on getting a break.

Have you experienced depression or low moods? How did you cope?