5 Ways Women Can Cope with Depression
Whether you’re newly diagnosed with depression or have struggled with it for some time, you may be searching for coping methods. It’s important to remember that depression is treatable. There are many ways to address your symptoms, in addition to the role that therapy plays.
Therapists, researchers, and women diagnosed with depression have discovered certain things that help. Try to put some of these ideas in action and see how you feel.
1. Tend to Your Physical Health
Our bodies and brains are deeply interconnected. Because of this, taking care of your physical health can also help mend depression. Even if your energy is low, set small goals for exercise such as walking around the block. Spend time outdoors in the sunshine and paying attention to nature. Your body will release natural, mood-boosting endorphins in response to these activities.
Evaluate the types of food and drink you consume. Too much sugar, carbs, caffeine, and alcohol can have negative impacts on your mood. As with exercise, if changing your entire diet seems overwhelming, set small goals such as one salad a day.
If you haven’t seen a healthcare professional, this is another important element. They can run tests to rule out vitamin deficiencies, thyroid issues, and other biological factors that can cause depression.
Humans need regular interaction with others to maintain good mental health. If you have family and friends that you can spend time with, make sure to do so. Again, even if your energy levels make this something you don’t want to do, try to do it anyway.
Positive interactions with others can also boost hormones such as oxytocin. These help you feel calmer, more relaxed, and happier. And while you may feel hesitant to talk about your depression, doing so with a trusted person can also provide relief. Chances are that they have also experienced it or know others who have.
Also consider joining a depression support group. Your town may have one or more that meet in person, or there are also online options.
3. Understanding What’s Happening in Your Body
For better or worse, women often encounter depression because of the hormonal changes that occur in their bodies. In fact, these hormonal fluctuations make women twice as likely as men to have depression.
Taking the time to understand how this affects your mood is a helpful step. For women in childbearing ages, observe your menstrual cycle and how it can affect your mood. Many women do experience symptoms worse than normal PMS. This is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). If you find yourself feeling more depressed than usual at regular intervals, reach out to your doctor.
Likewise, always remember that the hormonal changes of pregnancy, the postpartum months, and menopause can contribute to depression. It’s important to seek medical help to address these times.
4. Thought Stopping
Depression often leads toward rumination or dwelling on negative thoughts. But learning how to push back against negative thoughts is deeply important in overcoming depression. Practice noticing your negative thoughts. Write them down and then write down statements that counter them with positive facts.
Do this regularly; practice and it will get easier. The human brain is remarkably good at establishing new neural pathways.
Seeking counseling for depression can be an empowering step toward healing. Therapists often have insight into what can be most effective in treating your situation. They can help you work through external factors contributing to depression in your life. These can include your childhood experiences, traumatic events in your life, or a struggling romantic relationship.
Whatever you do, don’t let your depression remain untreated. It doesn’t have to control your life. Please call our office at 203.800.9778 to learn more about how we can help you move forward.
Engage with us! What is one thing you will implement in your life?
Learn more about our Counseling Services at SMPsychotherapy & Counseling Services