Depression self help is about truly understanding why you are depressed and then immediately taking that first step to a depression cure – which is to worry less so that your sleep and motivation improve.
The depression self help four steps.
Step One – Understanding what is going on
- Listen to my Lifting Depression Audio at least once a day until it has really sunk in.
- Read depression symptoms – just to make sure and then read it again and again.
- Notice that already there may be a little hope and less useless worry and rumination.
Step Two – Begin to distract yourself, do things differently and so worry less
- Listen again to the Mp3 – for ideas and methods to help you worry less. You will be surprised how easy it is, once you have begun.
- Read my depression testimonials – especially about the importance of action – and ask what you can do differently today. Ponder these until it has really sunk in.
Step Three – Noticing that the clouds are lifting – that the depression self help is working
- Undertake a Needs Audit and plan in detail a few small steps that inch you forward.
- Read Depression Treatment and Case Studies. These will also give you some ideas – just by reading them.
- Discover whether there is Black and White Thinking that you can now challenge. Enjoy the exercise further down on this page.
Step Four – Discover which of these depression tips are helpful
- Set goals – Small and achievable… concrete…positive…appropriate to meet previously unmet goals. These could include meeting a friend, returning to previous hobbies, exercise, having fun with someone, initiating something, helping , learning, etc…
- And scale how you feel – from 1 to 10. Do it through the day with a notebook, not expecting too much, noticing what helps, setting a baseline and not worrying about slippage (it is temporary)
- Remember to laugh, take exercise, and eat better.
Practical Firefighting for Depression Self Help
Set Your Alarm
During tiring times like this using an alarm clock can be most helpful. Set your alarm in the morning so you don’t end up staying in bed all day long. If you have an important meeting to attend, or an appointment, set your alarm as well. A constant reminder of your daily tasks can keep you motivated to do what you have to do.
Take a long, cool shower, brush your teeth, apply make-up and wear a pretty dress. Even if you just work from home, dress up! Doing this decreases your urge to lounge because again, you are reinforcing in your brain that you are ready for something.
Sweating it out is one way to boost your motivation and get your body going. Choose an exercise that works for you. You don’t have to force yourself to do an intense workout, you could simply go with walking, swimming, running, or gardening.
Schedule Your Tasks/Activities
Schedule your tasks according to your energy levels. If you think you have more energy in the morning , you may want to do tougher jobs then and reserve lighter ones for the afternoon. For bigger projects consider creating a timeline of at least one or two weeks (more if necessary). Break a big task down into smaller ones. And don’t forget to incorporate activities that give you pleasure, such as your hobbies and passion.
Connect With People You Love
Being with people you love, including your friends and family is one way to boost your mood, and when you’re feeling good , you are more likely to motivate yourself to hit daily goals. Remember that the more you remove yourself from the environment of depression , the better your chance of recovery.
Leaving the house can be one of the most difficult challenges people with depression face. One reason for this is not having a place to go. When you’re depressed even the most entertaining places can be boring and less amusing. But you don’t have to be somewhere far, different, or extraordinary to reap the benefit of going out. Just take a short walk around the neighbourhood , or invite a friend for a cup of coffee, go to the mall and shop, or walk your dog in the park.
Don’t go to a counsellor or health professional who basically talks and mainly listens and leaves it there. This will encourage you to ruminate and may well make you feel worse. By reading this site, you probably know more that he/she does.
Resist the temptation to believe that you need anti-depressants because there is nothing else.
Challenging Black and White thinking – the three Ps
This classification into the three Ps is very fashionable in depression treatment work. There are we are told three thinking styles:
1) Global or Specific means that thinking is focused either on what has gone wrong (healthy) or spreads out to everything. This catastrophising is called Pervasive thinking.
2) Internal or External which means that thinking can focus on blaming yourself entirely or understanding that events have many causes. This unhelpful thinking is called Personal thinking.
I have to say that I have a problem with this classification as you have to be very careful. When is personal thinking helpful – meaning that you are taking responsibility – and when is the opposite unhelpful – meaning blaming others and feeling the victim?
3) Stable or Unstable which means is the problem going to be Permanent or not? Clearly life is always about change and nothing in fact lasts forever. But again, this very popular B/W classification is not always helpful – as it can be a real difficulty also to resist change.
If you wish to find one place to begin your self help journey to depression recovery, then buy my Hope and Firefighting Breakthrough Audio programme. It is just £29