Skimming articles on depression, I came across one from GoodRX.
The article listed its ten best coping skills for depression. I thought about what they had written and pictured how I would use each of these ten coping skills.
Here are my responses to GoodRX’s list of the best coping skills for depression.
1. Do one self-care activity – I am still working on this one. Not being 100% sure that I am doing self-care the way it is explained, it is hard for me to say, yes, I did one self-care activity today. My self-care is way different than bubble baths and I can’t explain it. Today, I went to the gym, went to the grocery store, and spent the afternoon doing a much-needed spring cleaning on the back deck. And I feel great about all I accomplished. So, for me, that was self-care.
2. Talk to your support network – I am so grateful that I have a support network. Before 5 East, I did not recognize that support was available to me. Now, I feel very blessed to know people are thinking about me. I feel bad when Rose calls me at work. Sometimes I can pick up, but very often I cannot. Still, when I get a chance to call Rose back, I feel great. Just having someone check in on me makes my day.
3. Get active – People tell me they have trouble keeping up with me. They feel I walk too fast. I do not think I am delinquent in this area. But, I am the guy who has trouble sitting through a 45-minute TV show. I want to be up and doing something. Sitting is for others. If I sit, am not doing all I can. But I know that this goes back to self-care and changing my attitude toward being active. I support being active.
4. Explore new snack options – At first, I thought, I haven’t done this. And then I remembered I just purchased a box of mangos at work. I have never bought fresh mangos. One of the FE supervisors said they were the best she had seen this season. So I have been peeling, then cutting off the mango. And it has been worth the time. They are sweet and juicy. I can get most of the mango off the seed, but I am being told I can get the pit looking completely clean. Maybe, but what I am getting from them has been enjoyable.
5. Journal your thoughts – Guess what I am doing right now. Since 5 East, I have written 531 blog posts or journal entries. These are my thoughts when I sit down to write, I may be thinking of something I could have or should have done. I write a lot about what I am learning about unhelpful thinking and coping skills for depression and anxiety. And I write to understand my relationship with depression. Journaling, and blogging, are my way of processing my life with depression. I am thankful I am finally facing it, not sweeping it under the rug as I did for over 45 years.
6. Tap into your senses. – Tap into my senses, hmmm. I need to be careful with this one. My thoughts can quickly go to unhelpful thinking, and I become a mind reader. I tap into not only my senses but someone else’s senses. Then I imagine what they will say, And then I take action without ever talking to the person. My senses tell me they would do this, so I do that and move on. Not actually speaking to someone and just doing whatever is easier than speaking to someone, getting their input, and then having all of the facts and others’ opinions before making the decision. I do not recommend this and I have been alert to when my depression wants me to do this. I do not always catch this right away, but I am getting better.
7. Have a laugh – I would really, really like to do this one. Recently, I have been wondering where the joy is in my life. Can I really let go and laugh? That would be so much fun, But to have fun, I must decide if I can have fun. If I do not change my attitude towards fun, then I will have a much harder time having fun. The whole thing seems funny. But that doesn’t mean I do not want fun. Joy is one emotion I am having trouble experiencing. It is so hard for me to let go and laugh. I must change my mind about this.
8. Start a gratitude journal – I did this for several years. Every morning, I would write ten things I was thankful for. I have a half dozen notebooks full of my daily gratitude. Some days, I was thankful for silly things, other days, I would think about my children, my wife, my mom, my brother, and my sisters. This would lead to other relations and finally to everyone I have met or will meet. Starting the day being thankful gave that day meaning. I attempted to start back again, but haven’t found the same drive to do this every day. Of course, it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so I may work on this again.
9. Encourage others – This is a big one. And while I do it all the time, I do not think, oh it’s time to encourage so and so. I just do it. And this encouragement is genuine, not forced or done with any thought of getting encouragement from others. I grew up learning that you should treat people like you want to be treated. This attitude has been a large factor in building relationships and managing employees. Giving encouragement has an added benefit. I get positive endorphins each time I speak to others.
10. Practice mindfulness or meditation – I spent years meditating and practicing mindfulness. I still use mindfulness in my daily life. Crossing my legs and sitting in the lotus position was not conducive to unlocking inner peace. But any type of mindfulness has been helpful. I can see a thought form in my mind. Then I visualize it on a leaf in a moving stream. It floats away and I do not give it power, because I do not engage with it. When suicidal thoughts have popped into my head in the past, I would use this technique to not engage it, but to just let it go. Thankfully, it has been years since I have had these thoughts.
So, these are my responses to their list of coping skills.
I would love to read your responses. We are all unique and see the world in our own light. This is one of the things that I love about life, is learning new things. In fact, “I love getting up in the morning because I learn something new every day.”
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE .”The 10 Most Effective Coping Skills for Depression – GoodRx