You are depressed. You don’t have the energy to do what you used to do. Even if you did, you don’t even think it would be rewarding or pleasurable. If this is the case – you may be stuck in the loop of depression. This feeling can last for months or even years! Learning these 4 tools can start to get you unstuck by kicking depression long-term.

Can’t wait for “The Energy.”

You can’t sleep off depression. Depression lies to you and wants you to sleep it off. That’s a trick because a body at rest stays at rest. The less energy you have the more you’re likely to interpret that as part of your depression. Get your sleep routine as if you are not depressed and use that wake time to fight depression.

Target the Meaningful.

It is important to compile a short list of things that are actually important to you. Things that you “should” be doing because of your values, moral, goals, etc. For example: identifying tasks with your friends, work or school, or your family. Throughout the day it is important to take small steps toward spending some more time and energy on these tasks. Whether it is a text, a call, or 30 minutes of a project.

Target the Pleasurable.

Sure, not much seems like it would be pleasurable now, but avoiding things that “used to” or “should be” pleasurable will make things worse. You are probably vulnerable to this depression due in part from not balancing your pleasurable activities (too little or too much) and this is something that needs work.

Take your own advice for at least 5 minutes.

Don’t put yourself on an inverted pedestal. Could you seriously see yourself giving advice to your loved one such as, “Just stay in your bed, tool-around online, take lots of naps and avoid people till you feel all better.”

It takes the body and mind at least 5-15 minutes to get into a task – especially when you are depressed. So, follow through on the advice you would give a friend for at least 5 minutes. If you feel like continuing, go ahead and push through! If not – fine – that is still an accomplishment.

Kicking depression can be simple – but it is not easy.

For more advice, like how to build a more healthy relationship, sign up for our email newsletter. To schedule a consultation appointment with a cognitive behavioral therapist, call 800.317.8010.

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