Overcoming Depression

Here are some basic strategies for overcoming depression.  

The following information may help you to begin your path to healing:

1. Take care of Yourself Physically.

When one is depressed, pulling up your socks can feel like a lot of effort. However, if you can manage it, exercise can help to lift your mood. Specifically, 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day can do wonders. If you haven't exercised in over a year, be sure to get a medical checkup, and work with your doctor to form an exercise program that is within your physical limits. To help motivate you, try adding a playlist to your mobile phone, or download "Pandora" and find an upbeat "workout" station. 

2. Deal with any Situation Behind your Depression.

Depression is sometimes in response to a significant event or loss, such as a death or the end of a relationship. In instances like these, give yourself permission to feel, to acknowledge the loss, and to grieve that situation. Once you have done so, bring yourself back to the light. It is alright to feel bad sometimes, just don't stay in the "dark" too long.

If you're not sure why/when your depression began, encourage yourself to think honestly about what you may be harboring deep down.
Talking to someone or keeping a journal of your thoughts may help you to uncover whatever it is that you have buried.  

3. Re-Focus your Thoughts.

When one is depressed, one often struggles to think about positive things. Make a concerted effort to focus on some things that are going well in your life. For example, you could say, "I live in Boston, and I love this city." Statements like these don't eliminate the negatives in your life, but they can help to balance them out. Also, think about the things that you like about yourself, and include both physical and non-physical characteristics. 

4. Don't Withdraw.

Too often, persons with depression withdraw socially. Don't do it! In fact, if you are feeling depressed, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to surrond yourself with people who care. Ask yourself who your friends are and whether or not they help you to feel better about yourself.  If you don't have anyone in your life right now, consider joining a support group, or finding a new group of friends--many groups in Boston can be found on Meetup.com.