Coping with Depression Part II

As I said yesterday, dealing with depression in an abusive relationship is extremely difficult, but not impossible. Read the following tips and just do the best you can. Remember, I care and want to help you. You can reach me at Heart 2 Heart Christian Ministries 817-689-9347. There is no fee for my DV services.
Tip 1: Reach out and stay connected.
Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When you are depressed, the tendency to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members can be tough.
You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed of your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it will not mean you are not a burden to others. Your loved one’s care about you and want to help. And if you don’t feel that you have anyone to turn to, it’s never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to does not have to be able to fix you; they just need to be a good listener—someone who will listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.
Make facetime a priority. Phone calls, social media and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they do not replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Try to keep up with social activities even if you do not feel like it. Often when you are depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
Find ways to support others. It is nice to received support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find ways—both big and small—to help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.
Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed—both powerful antidotes to depression.
Join a support group for depression. Being with others dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.

10 Tips for Staying Connected
1. Talk to one person about your feelings.
2. Help someone else by 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 a clergy member, teacher, or best friend.

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