What to do if you are feeling down..
We should start off with small goals
If a person does not have much energy, then large goals can seem too much, so small goals can be a good starting point.
This may be something simple like – sending an email to a friend, phoning a relative, popping to the shops. It is about taking things one thing at a time.
If you set a small goal, such as walking round the block every morning, try and stick to it.
Try to develop and maintain relationships
Depression and other mental health conditions can sometimes make it hard to want to maintain relationships with friends and family, but isolation can make mental health problems worse, so make the effort to stay in contact and see friends and family. Try to develop new relationships if you can.
Try to keep social activities
Even if there are times you do not feel like it. How many times have you dreaded meeting up with friends for coffee or a drink only to find you had a really nice time?
Join support groups
These may be face to face or even online. You can see that you are not alone in how you are feeling and may get tips and support on how to deal with how you feel.
Try to challenge your negative thinking
It is not so easy to just think “happy thoughts”, but try to replace the negative thoughts with more rational and balanced thoughts.
Try not to be so hard on yourself.
Try to think of others and how they may feel
Try not to be perfect
Socialise with others
Try to look on the bright side.
Keep a log of negative thoughts. Whenever you experience negative thoughts, write it down, think about what happened just before the negative thoughts. Were they justified? For example, you are taking your children to school and see Lorraine on the playground. You know her as an acquaintance and say hello. She barely glances your way. You start to think she is ignoring you or you have done something wrong. You see her later and it turns out that she had lost her glasses and couldn’t see people properly that morning and had a terrible headache. It is too easy to assume everything is your fault when you are feeling down.
Take care of yourself
Get enough exercise
Get some sunshine or fresh air every day
Aim for eight hours sleep a day
Use relaxation techniques
Care for someone else or a pet.
Do things you enjoy
Take a bath.
Get regular exercise
It doesn’t have to be rigorous exercise.
If you work in a sedentary job get up every now and then and walk around.
Park your car in the farthest car park at the shopping centre, so you have further to walk. Take the stairs, not the lift.
For decades we have been warned of the dangers of fatty foods. In recent years sugar was added to the list of things to avoid. Now added salt is regarded as a major problem, particularly in processed food. The key is to limit the amount of processed food in your diet and eat moderate amounts of food high in sugar including fruits. If you do eat fruit, whole fruits are better than juice. If in doubt, seek the advice of a nutritionist.
Get help when needed
Finally, know when you need to get help. Sometimes we find that things are just not improving and we may need to seek additional help. There’s no shame in seeking help and there are plenty of people out there whose job is to help you.
Read more about how negative emotions can affect your health with our ebook The Psychology of Health.