Depression can be a very debilitating mental illness. When I have been depressed in the past, I have been non-functioning. I have slept through life and missed out on a lot. I have quit jobs because I was depressed. I haven’t pushed through my depression.
I have succumbed to the depression, letting it take over me. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many things you can do to push through your depression and negative thoughts and make it through each day.
Here are a few of them:
1.) Know your triggers and warning signs.
First of all, what is the difference between a trigger and a warning sign? A trigger is an event that “triggers” your emotions and causes you to feel a certain way. An example of a trigger is if your significant other broke up with you and you started to feel sad.
A warning sign is a behavior that you do that is a warning that you are going to relapse on your mental health symptoms. A warning sign that you are getting depressed is if you start oversleeping, since oversleeping is a symptom of depression.
Knowing what your triggers and warning signs are can help prevent you from feeling depressed or catch depression before it gets worse.
2.) Accept your depression.
Acceptance is key in alleviating or decreasing your depression. If you can accept that you are depressed and just see yourself as the observer, then your depression won’t be so bad, and you will be able to function. For more on this, see the post How to Alleviate Depression Through Acceptance.
3.) Affirm yourself daily.
Developing positive self-talk can go a long way. If you are constantly degrading yourself to yourself, you are going to feel bad and be depressed. Positively affirming yourself can help alleviate the depression. Every day tell yourself, “I love you. You are worthy. You are loveable.” Catch yourself when you start to talk negatively towards yourself and replace that negative self-talk with positive affirmations.
4.) Keep a gratitude journal.
Along with daily affirmations, practice gratitude daily as this can go a long way in preventing a relapse of depression. If you can feel grateful for today for your life and the many blessings that God has bestowed upon you, you will feel good about yourself, and your life and the depression will wither away. Keep a gratitude journal and write all of the things you are grateful for. If you are very depressed, write 100 things you are grateful for.
The purpose of a gratitude journal is to keep track of what you are grateful for and remind you of things in your life that make you happy. Some examples of what you can write in a gratitude journal include.
- A person in your life for who you’re grateful for, and why
- Positive changes that have occurred in the past year
- Hobbies and activities you love doing that you’d miss if you couldn’t do them anymore
- What part of your morning routine are you grateful for the most
- A memory of the past where you laughed uncontrollably
Using these gratitude journal ideas will immediately cause a mental shift and help the depression lift. Be grateful each day. Make it a habit to write down three things a day that you are grateful for.
If you don’t like writing, then find a good gratitude app and keep the gratitudes on your phone. I use an app called Gratitude, and it is free. It prompts you to list one thing you are grateful for on a daily basis.
5.) Visualize seeing past the depression.
If you can see past the depression to a time when you know you will feel better, this helps. When I am having a hard time getting to work because I am depressed, I will visualize how I will feel at the end of the day after I have made it through work. I know I will feel better if I go to work rather than lying in bed all day.
So, what do you think of all of my ideas on how to function with depression? Do any of them resonate with you? Which ones had you never heard of? Take some action if you are depressed right now and choose one to act on today.
At the end of the day, see how you feel and let me know in the comments below. And if you would like a checklist of over 10 ways to function with depression, please click here.