Woman with sad expression sitting in corner looking out windowDealing with depression is never easy. Even when things are going well in your life, depression can make you feel hopeless, helpless, and unmotivated to do anything that used to interest you.

In challenging times, those thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming.

When things aren’t going well in your life, depression will always want to rear its ugly head and make things worse. Being able to cope can feel like a full-time job.

But, it’s not impossible.

Even when you’re going through a challenging life change, there are healthy steps you can take to actively cope with depression and work through this chapter. Let’s cover a few of them.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep and depression are more closely linked than most people realize. Unfortunately, they can fuel one another.

Close up of person lying down sleepingDepression can make you feel fatigued. But, it can also cause you to have trouble sleeping. The less sleep you get, the worse your symptoms of depression will become.

Sleep can be even harder to come by during difficult times when your mind is racing. You can make things easier on yourself by setting a “sleep routine”.

Go to bed at the same time each night, use your bed only for sleeping, and cut off all electronics at least two hours before you plan on sleeping. By developing a nighttime routine, you’ll tell your mind it’s time to sleep. You’ll also feel calmer, which can make it easier to get the rest you need.

2. Keep a Routine

Your routine should go beyond just what you do before bed.

Routines are important at almost every stage of life. Children thrive on them, and they’re just as beneficial for adults.

During uncertain times, having a daily routine can help you feel more grounded and certain. That makes it easier to manage stress, which can ease your symptoms of depression.

3. Practice Gratitude

It’s not uncommon to think the worst of everything when you’re dealing with depression. But, choosing to be grateful every day can make challenging times easier to deal with. It can also help you see things in a more positive and hopeful light.

An easy way to practice more gratitude is to keep a daily journal. List five things each day that you’re grateful for. When things are especially challenging, you can take a look at everything you’ve written down. It will help you realize that even on the darkest days, you have things in your life to be happy about.

4. Lean On Your Support System

Two people in a field with arms around each other from the backPeople with depression often withdraw themselves from their relationships. If you find yourself wanting to draw away from friends and family members, fight against it. Your support system can be a huge help, especially when things are hard.

Whether someone provides a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or sound advice, it can help to know there are people in your corner who support and care about you. Loneliness and isolation often make the symptoms of depression worse.

5. Seek Professional Help

A support system is great. But, it’s not always enough to get you through particularly challenging times.

If depression has taken over your life, it’s time to see a therapist.

A mental health professional can help you peel back your layers. They’ll work on getting to the underlying cause(s) of your depression, so you can work through them from the ground up. They will also be able to provide you with more skills and coping mechanisms to make each day a bit easier.

If you’re going through a challenging time and having trouble coping, you’re not alone. Your depression can be managed and treated, but it takes the right kind of help. Find out more about depression treatment here. Then feel free to contact me for a free 15 minute consultation to explore whether I might be a good fit for you.