Everyone has ups and downs. It’s part of life to go through low patches. But, if you suffer from depression, a low mood can last weeks or even months and start to have a significant negative impact on other aspects of your life.
If you are suffering from depression, it can be difficult to do everyday activities, such as getting out of bed, washing, dressing, going to work or eating. However, there are things we can do when we sense a low mood coming on to try and prevent it from getting worse. Below, you will find some tips to try out next time you think a particularly bad depressive episode is approaching.
Talk to Someone You Trust
Although this might initially feel like the most difficult thing to do when you’re starting to feel low, just talking to someone can be beneficial. You might not be up to a phone call, but dropping someone a Facebook message, WhatsApp or text can be equally as beneficial. Be aware of your own reactions though – do you feel anxious when a message isn’t replied to? If so, then a call might be a better option for you.
Avoid the Social Media
We’ve all been guilty of falling down a Facebook rabbit hole, and this is even more likely when our motivation is low and we can’t find the energy to do anything else other than sit and scroll. But studies like this one at inc.com have shown that social media can cause us to feel worse about ourselves and so, even if you don’t think you’re affected, it might be worth giving yourself a social media break if you feel a low mood approaching.
Perhaps an obvious solution, but just give yourself something else to so. There’s a proven link between boredom and clinical depression – having little or no focus can allow the unoccupied mind to drift into negative thinking. Finding an activity though is easier said than done, especially when everything feels too much. If there’s something you know will help, for example, having something to eat, try breaking it down into steps to make the end result easier to achieve. Even just focusing on the individual steps will give you something to concentrate on. Another option might be to read. Instead of something difficult, pick up a childhood favourite or something you’ve read before. It will be comforting and shouldn’t feel like an impossible task.
There are plenty of online resources and facilities which can help you if you’re feeling low. For example, if you are struggling with addiction, try a site such as https://www.help4addiction.co.uk which will be able to provide you with different options if you can sense that a relapse is becoming a very real possibility. Remember as well that your GP is there to help you. If you need additional assistance and want to nip a low mood in the bud before it gets worse, then medical support might be the right option.
Sites such as https://www.mind.org.uk/ provide a wealth of useful information on how to tackle low moods before they develop into full-blown depression. Looking after yourself and recognising the symptoms is a key factor in managing low moods and depressive episodes.