The Bottom Line On Managing Depression And Anxiety
If youre experiencing any of these signs of depression or anxiety, know youre not alone and youre not stuck.
Discover more mental health resources that have your back top of mind.
And when youre ready to connect with a mental health professional, you may want to begin with an online psychiatry evaluation to secure personalized advice, counseling and if relevant and recommended, medication.
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How To Manage Stress And Anxiety
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Theres no clinical evidence as to why anxiety and depression co-exist according to the ADAA . Handling stress effectively requires a combination of efforts from your mind and body.
In this article, we discuss many ways to manage and overcome problems such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
Practice These Coping Skills Every Day
I recommend doing many if not all of the following coping skills and techniques once a day when experiencing depression. Its important to know you probably wont be motivated to do any of them at first because depression frequently saps motivation. In other words, know that its normal to feel unmotivated until youre halfway done.
The patients I work with who frequently practice these coping skills get better.The seven techniques can be memorized with the acronym MY PEERS.
1. Meaning: Find small ways to be of service to others.
Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesnt have to be big to count. Consider this, Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued it must ensue as the unintended side effect of ones personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. Viktor E. Frankl, Mans Search for Meaning
2. Your goals: Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.
Most people feel guilty when talking about goals because they set unreasonable or unworkable goals. A goal is workable if its:
If something goes wrong with your goal, adopt a what can I learn from this? attitude . Also, be careful when comparing your progress with others. We usually compare our biggest weakness with another persons biggest strength. This is unfair .
3. Pleasant Events: Schedule pleasant activities or events.
4. Engagement: Stay in the present.
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Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
Getting Help For Teenage Anxiety
If anxiety has started to interfere with your childs everyday activities, your child might have an anxiety problem or disorder. These problems can be treated, and the earlier theyre treated the less theyll affect your childs development.
Your child will need professional support.
Options for professional support include:
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Perceived Stress Scale *
How stressful do you perceive events in your life to be? This scale helps to answer this. For example, people with higher scores on the PSS might be more vulnerable to symptoms of depression from stressful life events.
* You may take the test as many times as you like. The data is used to score your results and CAMH will not be able to link the results back to you in any way. CAMH stores results from all tests and may use the anonymous aggregate data from results to look at general trends in use of the test, general trends in overall results over time, average scores, and other similar patterns.
Practice Spiritual Disciplines If You Find Strength From God
I realize not everyone has the same beliefs as I do, and that some have no desire or interest in spiritual matters, but for me, I cannot speak enough of the help I have received by reaching out to God through reading the Bible and praying.
I start with this because I find strength and comfort in God. It’s a good way to start the day. It gives me a better perspective, keeps my awareness of God’s love fresh, and often sustains me in difficult moments. I find that when I neglect this time with God, my perspective and attitude become skewed.
Having said this, there are times when I have no sense of God’s presence, and concentration in prayer and devotional reading is challengingsometimes nearly impossible. I like to read the Bible, so when it’s hard to absorb an entire passage, I find one verse and meditate on that. When I say meditate, I don’t mean emptying myself I mean filling up with God. Sometimes I go to the library and find a CD or audiotape of someone reading the Bible. It’s so soothing.
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How To Deal With Anxiety Depression And Stress
Managing anxiety is an important life skill, which you can help teenagers develop.
One of the most important ways to help your child develop this skill is by talking with them about their worries. By talking openly about anxiety, you send the message that your child can come to you when they need to. And even if your child doesnt always want to talk, theyll know youre there to support them.
Here are other key ways to help your child learn to manage everyday anxiety.
Helping your child face anxiety
Helping your child explore and understand feelings
- Tell your child about your own worries as a teenager. Remind your child that many teenagers feel anxious and that feeling anxious is normal.
- Help your child understand that its normal to go through a big range of emotions and that sometimes these can be strong emotions.
- Talk with your child about their other emotions for example, You seem really excited about the swimming carnival. This sends the message that all emotions, positive and negative, come and go.
- Listen actively to your child. Let your child explain their feelings in their own words and dont rush to reassure them or solve problems for them. This lets your child know that you understand how theyre feeling. It can also help your child identify their thoughts and feelings, which is a good first step to managing them.
Giving your child love and support
Thinking about your family life and routine
Lifestyle Changes To Help With Managing Anxiety Or Depression
Many of us have been there before youre in a stressful situation and can feel your heart racing or a sudden feeling of being overwhelmed. Anxiety is kicking in. Its the bodys natural response to stress but these days, it may feel more prevalent or prolonged than usual.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the occurrence of anxiety symptoms reported in June was three times higher than the year prior.
In the beginning, we thought this was short-term. Now that we look at it months later, its taken a mental toll on individuals, said Dr. Monika Roots, psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Sanvello. We are in an emotional burnout.
For some people, that mental toll may lead to pervasive anxiety or even depression. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, a good starting point may be to consider how your lifestyle choices may be playing a role on your mental health.
While changing these habits may not treat a mental health disorder completely, they may be an essential tool to help manage your symptoms. Dr. Roots shares some of the lifestyle changes she recommends:
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How To Cope With Anxiety And Depression
This article was co-authored by Rebecca Ward, LMFT, SEP, PCC, MA. Rebecca A. Ward, LMFT, SEP, PCC is the Founder of the Iris Institute, a San Francisco, California-based business focusing on using somatic expertise to teach individuals and groups the skills to deal with dilemmas using interventions, including her own Original Blueprint® method. Ms. Ward specializes in treating stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist , a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner , and a Professional Certified Coach accredited by the International Coach Federation . Rebecca holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University and an MA in Organizational Leadership from The George Washington University.There are 26 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 122,464 times.
Depression and anxiety usually go hand-in-hand. Everybody deals with these conditions to some degree throughout their lives. However, if your symptoms are severe enough to be interfering with your ability to function normally on a daily basis, then it’s important that you find a treatment. If your anxiety and depression are intense enough that you have to alter your daily activities a great deal, you should seek professional help. If your anxiety and depression are milder, there are many things you can do to learn to cope with anxiety and depression.
Do The Opposite Of What The Depression Voice Suggests
The negative, irrational voice in your head may talk you out of self-help. However, if you can learn to recognize it, you can learn to replace it. Use logic as a weapon. Address each thought individually as it occurs.
If you believe an event wont be fun or worth your time, say to yourself, You might be right, but itll be better than just sitting here another night. You may soon see the negative isnt always realistic.
A lengthy to-do list may be so weighty that youd rather do nothing. Instead of compiling a long list of tasks, consider setting one or two smaller goals.
- Dont clean the house take the trash out.
- Dont do all the laundry thats piled up just sort the piles by color.
- Dont clear out your entire email inbox just address any time-sensitive messages.
When youve done a small thing, set your eyes on another small thing, and then another. This way, you have a list of tangible achievements and not an untouched to-do list.
All goals are worthy of recognition, and all successes are worthy of celebration. When you achieve a goal, do your best to recognize it.
You may not feel like celebrating with a cake and confetti, but recognizing your own successes can be a very powerful weapon against depressions negative weight.
The memory of a job well-done may be especially powerful against negative talk and overgeneralization.
Focus on times when you feel the most disorganized or scattered.
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Sleeping Patterns And Depression
Depression can disrupt sleep patterns. Its essential to try to restore a regular sleep pattern to make a full recovery. Some tips for restoring a regular sleep pattern include:
- Try to go to sleep and get up at about the same time each day.
- If youre worrying about things during the night, set aside some time for problem solving during the day.
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 4 pm and try not to drink more than two cups of caffeine-type drinks each day.
- Avoid using alcohol to help you sleep. As the alcohol is broken down in your body, it causes you to sleep less deeply and to wake more frequently.
- Allow yourself time to wind down before going to bed. If you are working or studying, stop at least 30 minutes before bedtime and do something relaxing.
- Give your mind a break from online activity such as social media for an hour before bedtime, and consider putting your phone in a separate room from your bedroom at night time.
Be Sure To Frame Expectations Appropriately When Initiating An Antidepressant Medication
Appropriate education for patients starting medication should include:
potential side effects
expected time frame for observing improvement
the necessity of consistent daily dosing
the minimum duration of treatment .
This instruction is crucial because non-adherence often occurs if the patient has unrealistic expectations and does not experience immediate relief, has uncomfortable initial side effects, or has resolution of symptoms early on and feels medication is no longer needed. A focused, brief education about these topics can enhance adherence and improve outcomes.
For patients who experience agitation or increased anxiety upon starting an antidepressant, options include reducing the dose by half, adding a low dose benzodiazepine during the initial adjustment period or switching the patient to an alternative treatment. Any patients who report this kind of activation side effect should have a safety assessment as their risk for suicidal ideation is increased.
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What Is A Smart Goal
SMART goals use 5 criteria to help guide the process of setting an effective goal. These criteria include: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The idea is that if you create a goal that fits into all of these categories, it’s almost impossible to not achieve it.
First introduced 40 years ago, this concept was created to help businesses make goals that were useful in helping them keep up with changing business trends and maintaining the best staff possible. SMART goals are now used by individuals to help us grow, learn, and develop into the people we want to be.
You can use this goal-setting tool to set yourself up for success in any area of your life, including your mental health. Lets look at what each of these criteria mean.
So what does this look like? We will see in a minute, but first, let’s look at some mistakes you will want to be on the lookout for to avoid.
Lets look at some quick tips for setting SMART goals for depression and anxiety before getting into some examples.