Self-help for depression: 10 methods and resources (2023)

When depression leaves you tired and drained, some simple self-help methods can ease the load.

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Sadness, lack of energy and motivation, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy—all of these symptoms of depression can make it hard to take care of yourself on a day-to-day basis.

depression works16.1 millionadults in the United States each year. Although depression can feel isolating and daunting, know that you are not alone.

during the gold standarddepression treatmentstherapy and sometimes antidepressants, there are many things you can do along with your treatment plan to feel better.

Here are 10 self-help methods you can try.

You are unique and what works for others may not necessarily work for you. Make a list of things to do when you need to lift your mood or feel overwhelmed.

Once you've made your list, save it in an easily accessible place. Better yet, save it to your phone so it's always at hand. Then, when you need it, you can pull it out and go over some ideas that helped you before. They may contain exactly what you need right now.

Article about his customself care for depressionThe list may include:

  • listen to a favorite song
  • paint or draw
  • call or text a friend
  • I sell valuable photo album.
  • fabric or handicraft
  • Practice yoga, tai chi, or other light exercise
  • do stretching exercise
  • take a walk around the block
  • do somethingbreathing exercises

Depression is associated with a variety of unwanted thoughts and feelings. Keeping a journal of how you feel can be a helpful outlet for your emotions and give yourself some space for unhelpful thoughts. This distance can help you process difficult emotions.

When you feel up to it, try sitting down for a few minutes and writing down what you are thinking and feeling. Allow yourself to face these thoughts with acceptance. You may feel bad but feeling it doesn't matterOfspacious.

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Journaling can also help you keep track of the things, people, or places that make you feel better or worse, so you know where to go and what to avoid next time.

Journaling can also help you break out of negative thought cycles. Writing about what you feel can help you with awareof unwanted thoughts so that you canlet them goand definitiveyou replacewith useful.

As with any habit, setting aside time to journal regularly can help you make the most of it. You can download a mood tracker app to measure your mood over time, or set aside half an hour a day to sit down and jot down whatever comes to mind.

Ready to start journaling?Check out these 64 journal prompts to get started.

There are excellent worksheets and self-help guides. These resources are designed to help you learn more about depression, get in touch with your emotional health, and give you tools to help you feel better.

You may want to try these free online self-help guides:

Having a routine can be relaxing and help you feel more balanced in your daily life. Over time, sticking to a consistent routine can also help you adopt more consistent patterns of behavior and mood.

Sticking to a routine isn't always easy, but remember that repetition is the key to success. First, try taking small steps toward a routine that feels good, and give yourself a little push when you stray from it.

sleep schedule

Regular sleep is important to maintain your mental and physical health. With depression, you may get too little or too much sleep.

Try to keep regular sleep and wake times, even if you don't feel tired yet. Over time, you will naturally feel tired and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

It may help to track your sleep patterns with a phone app likesleep score. Meditation-Apps, wie zfree spaceoStill, it can provide sleep programs or ambient sounds to help you fall asleep.

(Video) Fight Depression and Burnout in 2 Minutes a Day: 3 Good Things Activity

If you like to read, this can be a great way to relax. You could even try a book that is specifically about depression.Change your brain, change your life, which is about changing your thought patterns.

regular training

Regular exercise can be of great help in the treatment of depression. Exercise releases happy endorphins, which can make you tired and help you sleep better at night.

Walk for 20 minutes, ride a bike, swim, dance – there are so many great ways to get your body moving.Look forit even shows that lifting weights can help with symptoms of depression.

To make exercise part of your routine, you can choose to:

  • Go for a walk every day after work.
  • Jogging twice a week before class
  • practice yoga on weekends
  • Dance to your favorite album several times a week

Find a way to incorporate regular exercise into your routine and you just might feel more energized.

What you eat can also affect how you feel. Eating convenience foods high in carbohydrates, saturated fats, and processed foods may be fine in the short term, but these foods can make you feel sluggish and tired.

Eating fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and healthy fats can help you have more energy, sleep better, and feel more motivated.

Talking to someone you trust about how you're feeling can help ease it. It can be a friend, partner, relative, spiritual adviser or another important person in your life.

If you don't feel comfortable talking to others about your mental health condition, sometimes just having someone to cheer you up or distract you can help.

psychotherapy, one of the gold standard treatments for depression, involves speaking with a professional who understands your experience and knows how to help you. Sharing what's going on with you can help you feel supported and less alone.

You might consider one toosupport groupfor depression This is where you meet other people in similar life situations, and finding common ground can help you feel less alone.

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A quiet corner is easy to set up and can be a haven in your own home that relaxes you when you need a break. Your goal is to create a peaceful zone filled with things that bring you positivity.

Inspired by the Montessori teaching method, the corners of peace are not just for children, they can be whatever you want them to be.

Find an area in your home that you can fill with comfort items like plants, stress balls, fluffy pillows, a yoga mat, candles, and books. You can spend time there every day or just when you are having a hard time managing your depression symptoms.

Getting out in the sun provides much-needed vitamin Dincrease serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates mood. When your serotonin levels are not where they should be, you can develop symptoms of depression.

By making sure you're getting enough vitamin D, you can boost your serotonin levels and therefore improve your overall mood. Even 15 minutes a day has benefits. You can also try vitamin D supplements or use a light box, especially if you live in an area that doesn't get a lot of sun during the day.

Be sure to ask a psychologist if a light box is right for you.

Some people find listening to podcasts a useful distraction. There are many mental health podcasts that can help you feel connected and less alone:

  • tell me what you are proud ofwith Dr. Maggie Perry offers a glimpse into real therapy sessions with real clients.
  • happier, a podcast with Gretchen Rubin, is not just about depression, it's also about happiness and how to find more of it.
  • Inside mental health, the Psych Central podcast hosted by Gabe Howard, has tons of episodes to choose from, from depression, relationships, personality, grief, and more.

Depression can be very lonely, but you don't have to go through it alone. Keeping a list of numbers to call when needed can remind you that support is always available.

Your list will be unique to you. It could be the number of your doctor, your therapist, a trusted friend, or a community group or organization that understands what you are going through.

You might also consider adding some of these hotlines:

Crisis Hotlines

(Video) Self-help for low mood and depression | NHS

Depression can be a difficult diagnosis, and sometimes even figuring out how to help yourself is challenging. Fortunately, there are some great ideas to help you get started and think about what can best help you manage your symptoms and take care of yourself.

If you haven't already, you should see a therapist or doctor for advice and support. There are many ways to help you feel better.

Treating depression can take time. So when you hit a roadblock, remember that you're trying (as evidenced by the fact that you're reading this right now!) and it's worth celebrating. Make it easy for him and give yourself the time and space you need to feel better.


What are some self-help resources? ›

  • Happiness Trap. Develop and practice the skills you need to be present, open up and do what matters. ...
  • Moodfit. Whether you're experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is designed to help you feel better.
  • MoodMission. ...
  • Sanvello. ...
  • Headspace. ...
  • Happify. ...
  • Depression CBT Self-Help Guide.

What are some self-help 5 strategies that may help people with their depression? ›

Here are 5 self-help strategies for depression:
  • Exercise. Both aerobic exercise like walking or jogging and anaerobic exercise like weight lifting can help alleviate symptoms of depression.
  • Relaxation training. ...
  • Light therapy. ...
  • Self-help books based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). ...
  • Computerized therapy.
Jul 2, 2018

What are the main ways to treat depression? ›

Medications and psychotherapy are effective for most people with depression. Your primary care doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. However, many people with depression also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional.

What is one way you could seek help if you have depression? ›

Crisis hotlines

If you need to talk to someone right away, help is available: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Call the Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Helpline at (877) 870-4673 (HOPE).

What are self-help techniques? ›

Some common self-help suggestions people receive are to exercise, meditate and be more present, which are helpful and work for many people. However, other proven methods aren't mentioned as often. Many of them are quick and simple techniques that can easily be added to daily routines.

What are examples of self-help? ›

Self-care activities can range from physical activities such as exercising and eating healthy, to mental activities such as reading a book or practicing mindfulness, to spiritual or social activities such as praying or catching lunch with a friend.

What are 7 great exercises to ease depression? ›

Muzina. This includes running, swimming, walking, hiking, aerobics classes, dancing, cross-country skiing, and kickboxing. According to the Mayo Clinic, engaging in at least 30 minutes of exercise on three to five days of the week could significantly lessen depressive symptoms.

What are 3 ways to help improve symptoms of depression? ›

How to cope with depression
  • Stay in touch. Don't withdraw from life. ...
  • Be more active. Take up some form of exercise. ...
  • Face your fears. Don't avoid the things you find difficult. ...
  • Don't drink too much alcohol. For some people, alcohol can become a problem. ...
  • Try to eat a healthy diet. ...
  • Have a routine.

What are 3 ways to help mental health? ›

Tips for improving your mental wellbeing
  • Relax and reduce stress.
  • Find ways to learn and be creative.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Connect with others.
  • Look after your physical health.
  • Try to get enough sleep.

What is most helpful with depression? ›

The kind of psychological treatment that is most commonly used for depression is known as cognitive behavioral therapy (often called “CBT” for short).

What helps depression instead of medication? ›

Several treatments can be used instead of antidepressants for treating depression and other mental health conditions.
  • Talking therapies. Cognitive behavioural therapy. ...
  • Exercise. ...
  • Self-help groups. ...
  • Lithium. ...
  • Electric shock treatment.

What are the 4 main causes of depression? ›

Causes - Clinical depression
  • Stressful events. Most people take time to come to terms with stressful events, such as bereavement or a relationship breakdown. ...
  • Personality. ...
  • Family history. ...
  • Giving birth. ...
  • Loneliness. ...
  • Alcohol and drugs. ...
  • Illness.

How do most people overcome depression? ›

Most mental health experts agree that a combination of psychotherapy and medication is the best treatment for depression (also called major depressive disorder and/or clinical depression).

What are the 7 pillars of self-help? ›

Each method of self-care fits into one of the seven pillars: mental, emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, recreational, and social. A well-balanced self-care routine involves each of these, so avoid restricting yourself to just one or two pillars.

What are the 8 areas of self-care? ›

Namely, there are 8 main areas of self-care: physical, psychological, emotional, social, professional, environmental, spiritual, and financial.

What are the six domains of self-care? ›

There are six domains of self-care including physical, professional, relational, emotional, psychological, and spiritual that you can decide to nurture.

What are 5 exercises that improve mental health? ›

Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression.

What are positive exercises for mental health? ›

7 Quick & Easy Mental Health Exercises to Help You Through Your Day
  • Take Deep and Conscious Breaths. ...
  • Meditate at Your Desk. ...
  • Stand and Stretch. ...
  • Engage with Others. ...
  • Listen to Music. ...
  • Take a Moment to Laugh. ...
  • Make Your Goals Realistic.

What are the 4 areas of self-care? ›

Self-care includes all the things you do to take care of your well-being in four key dimensions – your emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual health.

What are the benefits of self-help resources? ›

Benefits of Self-help
  • Self-help is empowering. ...
  • Self-help means a customized plan. ...
  • Self-help makes other people feel good about you. ...
  • You become a role model. ...
  • Self-help makes you a better, wiser person. ...
  • Self-help can be a time saver. ...
  • Self-help is private. ...
  • Self-help is available and inexpensive.

What is self-help and support? ›

Self-help or self-improvement is a self-guided improvement—economically, physically, intellectually, and emotionally—often with a substantial psychological basis.


1. CBT Self Help for Depression
2. Lift Depression With These 3 Prescriptions- Without-Pills | Susan Heitler | TEDxWilmington
(TEDx Talks)
3. 10 Ways to Deal with Depression
(Doc Snipes)
4. People With Anxiety & Depression Share Advice For Anyone Who's Struggling | Soul Stories
5. 6 Ways to Process your Feelings in Writing: How to Journal for Anxiety and Depression
(Therapy in a Nutshell)
6. Major Depressive Episode Self-Care Strategies | HealthyPlace
(HealthyPlace Mental Health)


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