10 Tips for Managing Depression

  1. Do not expect too much too soon.
    This will only accentuate feelings of failure. And avoid setting difficult goals, or taking on ambitious new responsibilities, until a structured treatment process has begun.
  2. Break large tasks into small ones.
    Set some priorities. Do what can be done—when it can be done.
  3. Recognize patterns in mood.
    Like many people with depression, the worst part of the day may be the morning. Try to arrange the schedule accordingly so that the demands are the least in the morning. For example, shift meetings to midday or the afternoon.
  4. Participate in activities that may make one feel better.
    Try exercising, going to a movie, watching a ball game, and participating in church or social activities. At a minimum, such activities may distract someone from the way they feel and allow the day to pass more quickly.
  5. A person who is depressed may feel like spending all day in bed, but they should not.
    While a change in the duration, quality, and timing of sleep is a core feature of depression, a reversal in sleep patterns can prolong recovery. A depressed person should give others permission to wake them up in the morning; waiting until the morning to decide what someone will be doing ensures they will do nothing.
  6. A depressed person should not get upset if their mood is not greatly improved right away.
    Feeling better takes time. If it takes a while to get better,
    someone who is depressed should not feel crushed. Sometimes the road to recovery is like a roller coaster ride.
  7. People around someone who is depressed may notice improvements in them before they do.
    They may still feel just as depressed inside, but some of the outward manifestations of depression may be receding.
  8. Someone who is depressed should not make major life decisions.
    For example, they should be careful about changing jobs or getting married or divorced. In addition, they should consult with others who know them well, as well as someone who has a more objective view of their situation.
  9. Do not expect a depressed person to snap out of their depression on their own by an exercise of willpower.
    This rarely happens. Many churches and communities have depression support groups. Someone who is depressed should connect with people who understand depression and the recovery process.
  10. A person who struggles with depression should remind themselves that their negative thinking is part of the depression.
    It will lessen through treatment.

If depression has become debilitating, seek professional help. Contact 800-NEW-LIFE for more resources or to find a licensed Christian counselor.