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8 ways to cope with a depressive state of mind.

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Do you often find yourself in a low mood? Perhaps sometimes you don't want to get out of bed, you feel very moody and you really can't place your finger on why you feel this way. These 8 tips explore different ways to help you get out of this state of mind.

Tip 1: Get out of your comfort zone

Do something that you have never done before. To hear Mena's story of how she stepped out of her comfort zone, head to the podcast now. The presence of life stresses and anxiety in our lives is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. Step outside of your comfort zone, step out in faith and do something you have never done before.

Tip 2: Writing

"People who keep journals have life twice"

You don't have to be a creative or a writer to put your thoughts down on paper. The very act of writing is therapeutic and a great way to bring you peace of mind. Record your thoughts, feelings or worries, or simply recount moments from your day, and enjoy a moment of quiet reflection.

Tip 3: Find out what your creative outlet is

We all have a creative outlet. This could be going on long walks, going to the gym or putting on your favourite playlist on Spotify. Whatever it is, find it. Research has shown this to be a really good way to let out endorphins which help boost pleasure, resulting in a feeling of greater wellbeing.

Tip 4: Get physically active

I know, don't switch off now- hear me out! Moving your body in some shape or form matters. Personally, this is how I started to get better-- deciding that 'today you are going to get out of bed and do something'. Being physically active does not necessarily mean going to the gym or so, it just means doing some form of physical activity. This could be meditation, yoga, cycling, walking or baking-- yes. Baking.

Tip 5: Know your triggers

This involves a great deal of self-awareness and self-reflection. What sets you off into a downward spiral or, low mood? Being aware of your triggers allows you to start responding to circumstances and situations around you rather than reacting to them.

Tip 6: Focus on what you can control

Your mind will always trick you. My nan always used to tell me "don't waste your beautiful mind on ugly thoughts". Not only is it important to focus your mind on the things that are in your control, and what you can do about them; it is also equally important to remind yourself the things you are/can be grateful for. Spend some time each morning thinking about and writing down everything you have to be grateful for in the day ahead. It could be as simple as the sunshine, the fact that you have a job to go to, the food in your refrigerator or the wi-fi that means you can speak to your friends and family in lockdown or on the other side of the world.

Tip 7: Be Intentional

In my conversation with Mena, founder of Late bloomers, she mentioned how every day you can decide to choose joy or to choose to stay in a place that harbours negativity and a downward spiral. So far, all the tips mentioned require you to be intentional with it. Choosing to say 'today I will look for or I will have, something to be grateful for', 'today I will get out of bed and go for a long walk in the park', takes a great deal of intentionality.

Tip 8: It’s all about balance

With all being said, it is important to find the balance. Don't be too hard on yourself, the important thing is trying to be better than you were yesterday. Take one step at a time. The key is progression, not perfection. And above all else, show up for yourself.

Watch or listen to the full episode 'Coping with Depression: Mena's story' here.

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