Simple Habits That Help Us Through Depression
Depression is rough. When we’re in the thick of it, life can feel incredibly difficult. Even the simplest tasks can feel overwhelming, and the things we used to enjoy become meaningless.
While we can’t magically make depression go away (if only we could!), there are healthy habits we can adopt that might help ease the pain a little and reduce the severity of our symptoms.
At Hire the Youth we like to think of these positive actions as our ‘Mental Health Toolkit’. When utilized regularly, they can bring more joy to our good days, and help us through our difficult ones.
Habits that help us through depression
We are all unique. Just as our experiences of depression vary, so too will the habits that help us. Broadly speaking though, they fall with four main areas, which we will look at in turn.
1. Looking after our bodies
Our mind and body don’t work in isolation of each other. Research into the mind-body link has found many connections between our mental and physical health.
It follows then, that taking steps to look after our bodies can help our mental well-being. Granted, it can feel incredibly difficult when we’re unwell, but paying attention to things like our diet, exercise, and sleep can have a positive effect on our mental health even though we might not feel the benefits straight away.
2. Building Relationships
Depression can be horribly isolating. When we’re struggling, seeing other people can feel like the last thing we want to do. However, making connections with others – feeling heard, seen and understood – is central to our well-being. Our relationships (if healthy) can provide us with much-needed support, comfort, and solace.
That’s why we’re so proud of our community: even when times are tough – even when we can’t get out and about – we have the opportunity to connect with people who GET IT.
3. Cultivating a Positive mindset
Yes, we know: the term ‘positive mindset’ can feel grating (if not down-right offensive) when we’re battling the blackness of depression. We don’t CHOOSE to feel low, and getting better isn’t simply a case of pulling our chin up and plastering on a smile.
However working on our mindset – doing things like challenging our negative thoughts, being self-compassionate, and practicing mindfulness – can change how we feel about ourselves in the long term.
4. Practicing Self Care
At Hire the Youth we are ALWAYS harping on about self-care and with good reason. It really can be life-changing. Taking time to do the things we enjoy, that nourish, comfort and inspire us, that gets us in that wonderful state of ‘flow’ can make profound changes to our well-being.
Self-care doesn’t need to be fluffy or expensive there’s a whole range of things we can do. Check out our self-care starter kit for more detailed advice about getting into the self-care groove.
It can take a long time to form new habits – even when we’re in good health. We musn’t put too much pressure on ourselves. We might want to choose one healthy habit to introduce into our lives and work on it for a while before we introduce another. If we don’t get off on the best foot, we must be kind to ourselves: a slow start is better than no start at all.
Try Different Things
We may find that some healthy habits don’t chime with us, they may feel uncomfortable, like they’re not working – they might even upset us. If that’s the case we need to give ourselves permission to let go and try something else. We’re all different – so different things will work for each of us. Trial and error may need to apply.
We deserve better
Although we are all unique, one thing that unites is the fact we don’t deserve to feel the way we do. Depression is cruel and unfair. If their things we can do that alleviate our symptoms – even for a moment – then we must allow ourselves to do them, no matter how loudly depression may protest. We deserve better.