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Coping with depression

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Tip 1: Reach out and stay connected

1.

Talk to one person about your feelings

2.

Volunteering

3.

Have lunch or coffee with a friend

4.

Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly

5.

Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together

6.

Call or email an old friend

7.

Go for a walk with a workout buddy

8.

Schedule a weekly dinner date

9.

Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club

10.

Confide in someone

Tip 2: Do things that make you feel good

1.

Pick up a former hobby or sport you used to like

2.

Aim for eight hours of sleep

3.

Keep stress in check

4.

Practise relaxation techniques

5.

Develop a wellness toolbox

Tip 3: Get moving

Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms and prevent relapse.
1. Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it
2. Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic
3. Add a mindfulness element
4. Pair up with an exercise partner
5. Take a dog for a walk

Tip 4: Eat a healthy, depression-fighting diet

1.

Reduce intake of food that can affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fat, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones

2.

Don't skip meals

3.

Minimise sugar and refined carbs

4.

Boost your B vitamins

5.

Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Tip 5: Get a daily dose of sunlight

Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day.
1. Take a walk on your lunch break
2. Exercise outside
3. Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace
4. Use a light therapy box

Tip 6: Challenge negative thinking

Identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression.
Some negative, unrealistic ways of thinking:
1. All-or-nothing thinking
2. Overgeneralisation
3. The mental filter
4. Diminishing the positive
5. Jumping to conclusions
6. Emotional reasoning
7. ‘Shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’
8. Labelling
Challenge these thoughts with questions like 'What’s the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?'

When to get professional help for depression

If you’ve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesn’t mean you’re weak.

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