It’s normal to lose interest in life when you are depressed, but keeping up some favourite activities will help you feel better in time. Enlist the help of family and friends to help you get through the rough patches.

Here are some tips to help you cope with your depression.

  1. Continue to do activities you’ve enjoyed in the past. This is important, even if you don’t enjoy them right now.

  2. Do your best to stay active every day. Studies show that regular exercise may be as effective as medication in relieving mild depression.

  3. Know your triggers and risk factors. Common causes of depression include loneliness, painful life events, chronic stress and chronic pain.

  4. Try to keep up with friends. People who are depressed usually shun other people, but isolation and feelings of loneliness can make depression worse.

  5. Keep up a routine. Get up at the same time every morning and avoid naps during the day. Too much or too little sleep will make you feel worse.

  6. Try to control your worrying habit. Avoid dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings. Instead, focus on realistic thoughts and talk through your concerns.

  7. Schedule regular time to relax. People who are depressed often feel agitated and unsettled. Try meditation, exercise or making time for hobbies – whichever works best for you.

  8. Don’t self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. Substance misuse causes a wide range of problems and will also make you feel worse in the long run.

  9. Seek out support. Tell trusted friends, family members and colleagues what you are going through.

  10. See your doctor. If depressed feelings persist despite your efforts, always seek professional help.

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel

Last updated: September 2012

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