David Richards, professor of mental health services research at the University of Exeter, offers these tips for coping when you’re depressed.
BE MORE ACTIVE
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.
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. Find out more about exercise for depression.
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 about driving or travelling.
If this starts to happen, facing up to these situations will help them become easier.
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. It could also make you feel more depressed.
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. You may stop cooking regular meals, eat snacks throughout the day instead or miss breakfast because you’re still in bed.
Courtesy: NHS UK