Taking good care of yourself as you recover from depression is very important. In time, your symptoms will fade as your treatment takes affect and you will feel much better. So, do not give up. Instead focus your energy on feeling better, taking good care of yourself as well as engaging in activities that help improve your mood.
1. Set Boundaries: It’s perfectly okay to set boundaries. You can set some limitations and if you’ve been over doing it with volunteering extra hours at work or at your child’s school it is perfectly okay to say no. This is a time when it’s important to take care of you.
2. Large Tasks: Large tasks can feel overwhelming when you are feeling depressed, so break the task down into smaller more doable steps that you can handle. Just focus on doing what you can and know this is just temporary. Once you are feeling better you will be able to take on more if you so choose.
3. Stay Active: Get outside, take a walk, go for a swim, a bike ride or another light exercise. Try to make it a part of your day. Exercise can really help with depression and improve your mood. Listening to music that is upbeat can also help or just enjoy the quiet of nature. It’s your choice.
4. Do Things You Enjoy: What activities do you typically love to do? Maybe you can ask a friend or loved one to go to the movies, have a picnic, read a book, or even go to a local ball game. Again, staying active and incorporating actives that you find pleasure in can ease your symptoms.
5. Take Care of You: Eat a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein. If you’ve lost your appetite than you can eat smaller sized portions throughout the day. You also want to get a good nights sleep. This means keeping your room dark after 5pm, don’t drink any caffeine after 5pm and create a sleep schedule routine.
6. Avoid Alcohol or Illegal Drugs. Do not take medicines that have not been prescribed to you. They may interfere with the medications your doctor has prescribed or they may even make your depression worse. If you feel tempted instead reach out to your doctor or a friend for help and support.
7. Making Decisions: Hold off on making any major decisions while you are recovering from depression. If you have plans that will have a major impact on your life, such as marriage, divorce, or a job change, try to wait a bit. Talk to friends and loved ones you can trust and confide in, and talk to that person. This may also be a good time to begin psychotherapy or talk therapy to work through any emotions or upcoming decisions you need to make.
8. Be Patient and Gentle on Yourself: Take it easy and be kind to yourself. Remember that depression is not your fault and is not something you can overcome with willpower alone. Feeling better takes time, and your mood will improve little by little.
When should you call for help right away?
You or someone you know feels like hurting themselves or someone else.
You or someone you know is about to attempt or is attempting suicide.
You or someone you know starts spending a lot of time alone.
You or someone you know acts very aggressively or suddenly appears calm.
You hear voices.
You do not get better as expected.
If we can help answer any questions for you or if you need to schedule an appointment please contact us. We have same-day urgent appointments available everyday and we have a no-wait policy, meaning you do not have to wait hours to see a doctor at the time of your appointment. You are seen at the exact time your appointment is scheduled.
Our office is cares deeply about our patient’s experience with us and we are here to serve you in anyway we can.
Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill