With the raising awareness of mental health issues among people it is important to understand how it correlates to a person’s well-being, both physically and mentally. Depression being one such issue experienced by a large section of people ranging from young school children to the old age population brings us to the concern of how to better understand this illness and find strategies to manage the same. During depression people might find difficult to fall asleep, can lose appetite, refrain from going to work and experience lethargy and sadness. Their energy levels might go down and they may not be able to willingly do their daily activities. Sometimes they can be seen crying, not wanting to go out or meet people and in severe cases thoughts of suicide may emerge. All this can take a toll on their self-esteem and shatter their confidence.
1. Relaxation techniques: There are a number of techniques that can be used to relax one-self. One such method is simple meditation involving deep breathing exercises (inhalation and exhalation) every day for 10-15 minutes. This can help you to concentrate on your own body and mind and block all external distractions in order to focus on one-self. Another way is relaxation using adult colouring books also known as ‘mandala.’ The intricate details of each pattern drawn make you feel relaxed and cater to the present moment and away from the situation causing stress and discomfort.
2. Daily routine: It become essential to keep a tap on the activities that are carried out daily, for example, eating habits, work routine, exercise, leisure activities and sleep pattern. You might find it hard to manage these and can perhaps use a ‘habit tracker’ which keeps a record of a person’s engagement in the aforementioned activities. This can help you to manage your physical health which in turn will support mental health and recovery from the illness.
3. Recreational activity: Another way to wilfully help the self is by enrolling one-self in any fun activity(s) which evokes interest and passion in you. Depending on the age, this can range from port to dance, music, public meetings, volunteer work and walk in the parks. This freshens up a person and takes them away from the monotony of a fixed routine.
4. Support group: A support group is a group of people usually bound by the purpose of listening to and encouraging each other to help each person become more independent in handling their issues and focus on personal growth and openness in expression by involving active participation by all members. It can help you in tracking your thoughts, mindfully making and evaluating decisions made earlier and focus on future aspects for resolution. It can however sometimes serve just as a group of like-minded people who are there for each other in terms of any emotional need, providing support and care when required.
5. Expressing emotions: Being able to say out loud the emotions felt inside is another way of coping with the illness. In this way you will be able to express all the undisclosed feelings, doubts and worries that you may have regarding the illness which can then be resolved with external help. Hence, you feel there are people listening to your concerns and are ready to provide additional help if needed.
These are some of the ways in which you can work with depression and manage it in a more effective way. However, talking to a trusted friend or seeking professional help becomes essential and should be considered if you find yourself experiencing symptoms of depression.