Next to anxiety, depression is the most common clinical presentation we see in the Counseling Center. The following is from an article that I have found helpful and want to pass it along to you. I vouch for the information and tips provided. The full article’s link can be accessed below:
“A common response to identifying lifestyle changes that might make a depressed person feel better is, “Easier said than done.” Someone coping with depression may get what she’s supposed to do, but the question is how? After all, depression kills motivation, energy, interest, and focus.
Once you give the engine a jump, it often becomes easier, but until then, how do you connect the jumper cables you need to make a spark?
1. Set the bar LOW.
When you’re depressed, you’re not functioning at your usual 70-90%. Rather, you’re sitting somewhere closer to 20%. If you set the same expectations for yourself that you had when you weren’t feeling depressed (which is sometimes just getting dressed), you’re going to feel anxious and overwhelmed, and probably won’t do the task you expected from yourself (and thus will feel defeated and ashamed).
Set SMALL AND SPECIFIC GOALS. Seriously. Unload the dishwasher. Heck, unload three glasses. Task completed and still itching for more? You can always raise the bar if you’re feeling particularly motivated. Take note that if you feel highly overwhelmed while tackling your goal, chances are it’s too high and you need to lower it to something more realistic or specific.
2. Practice self-compassion.
Self-criticism is depression’s BFF. Want to read more?