Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Talk with your doctor or therapist about improving your coping skills, and try these tips:

  • Simplify your life. Cut back on obligations when possible, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Give yourself permission to do less when you feel down.
  • Write in a journal. Journaling, as part of your treatment, may improve your mood by allowing you to express pain, anger, fear or other emotions.
  • Read reputable self-help books and websites. Your doctor or therapist may be able to recommend helpful resources.
  • Locate helpful groups. Many organizations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), offer education, support groups, counseling and other resources. Employee assistance programs and religious groups also may offer help for mental health concerns.
  • Don't become isolated. Try to participate in social activities, and get together with family or friends regularly. Support groups for people with depression can help you connect to others facing similar challenges and share experiences.
  • Learn ways to relax and manage your stress. Examples include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, yoga and tai chi.
  • Structure your time. Plan your day. You may find it helps to make a list of daily tasks, use sticky notes as reminders or use a planner to stay organized.
  • Don't make important decisions when you're down. Avoid decision-making when you're feeling depressed, since you may not be thinking clearly.
Sept. 17, 2015