kept the flowers

Distractions and coping mechanisms for depression

on 03/28/2013

Depression is a parasite. It will settle in and suck you dry. I’m not sure if anyone has come up with a way to fight it off once it’s started. If they have, I’d love to know how.facewall

But just because we can’t totally get rid of it doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can do to at least help us along the way. Here are some things that I try and do to cope with depression:

  • Talk to people. Whether it’s getting up and talking to coworkers during the day, gchatting with a friend, or calling someone up, it can definitely help to lift my mood. Of course this is difficult because it’s the last thing I want to do when I’m depressed. But it definitely helps me to feel better if only for a little bit.
  • Exercise. I already frequent the gym, but of course when depression hits it’s just not what I feel like doing. Going home and crawling into bed or vegging out seems like a much more favorable activity. But I swear that I feel better after that zumba class.
  • Read a book. Silly as it might be, this can also seem like a difficult task since it feels like it takes more motivation to do than just sitting and watching TV. But I find that you can escape into a book in a way you can’t do with TV
    . True it’s just a distraction from how I’m feeling, but I’ll take it.
  • Laugh. I get onto my favorite websites/blogs and give myself a good laughing session or healthy dose of adorable animals. I personally love WhatShouldWeCallMe, HowDoIPutThisGently, icanhascheezburger, Maru, and damnyouautocorrect.
  • Do a worksheet to combat negative thought patterns. In his book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy,” David Burns lays out a way to record your negative thoughts and then write down why they’re exaggerated or incorrect. And I’ll be damned if that doesn’t help bring me back to reality and halt the negative cycle a bit. I would highly recommend giving this a try! Click here to check out my pretty little worksheet that I made to go along with this exercise.

Of course trying to distract yourself or cope with depression isn’t easy, and sometimes even the easiest activities that you know will help seem impossible. But at least having an arsenal of things to turn to can help.

If you have them, what are your ways of coping with/distracting yourself from depression?

Here is Maru – he is fantastic.

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5 responses to “Distractions and coping mechanisms for depression

  1. RaeAnn says:

    First I want to say that I am really liking your blog. Even though I would never wish these feelings on anyone, it is really nice to know I’m not the only one who has these feelings. Usually when I’m depressed (going through one now) I will talk to my best friend or veg out.

    Second, you mention a book about how to lay out your feelings. What is the name of this book and where do I find it?

    Thanks RaeAnn

  2. laurenemily says:

    Sorry to hear you’re going through a depressive bout now. Here’s the info on the book: It’s “Feeling Good: The new mood therapy” by David Burns. Here it is on amazon: http://goo.gl/R7icX. I highly recommend it!

  3. laurenemily says:

    ooh also in case it’s helpful, here is the thoughts worksheet that I made to do what is outlined in the book. (It will make more sense after you read it). https://kepttheflowers.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/thoughts-worksheet.docx

  4. (^: said while gleefully chortling, “stupid cat!” :^)

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