One aspect of recovery is that there is no definite beginning or end to it, and the road to recovery following depression may offer some challenges- even after you find yourself on the other side, there are still chances of relapsing back if you find yourself triggered by an event or situation that causes more emotional distress. Many do find themselves a lot stronger and able to tackle what may come their way.

The following are simple tips to help you during and after the recovery period. These tips are designed to support and benefit your mental and physical health by concentrating on positive activities whilst not completing pushing the negative thoughts and feelings aside but finding ways to face and tackle them head on:

1) Express yourself

Learn to communicate your feelings (good or difficult feelings) to people – even if it’s just that one person you feel comfortable around. The support of others can be an incredibly strong tool following depression as it can give you someone to offer help and understanding. Talking allows you to voice your emotions and recognise if you may be relapsing into the same emotional patterns. Expression doesn’t always need to be vocal: keep a diary, paint, write – whatever you feel most comfortable doing. Simply give a voice to what you feel and think.

2) Be healthy

Eating well and regular exercise not only benefits your physical health but your mental health too. Make time to work out, even just a little bit in the day – it lets you feel like you’ve achieved something and in turn you are likely to feel good throughout the day knowing you’ve successfully completed a task. Keep it simple, plan meals and healthy snacks and create a rough schedule so you know when you have time to workout.

3) Listen to and read positive things

In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with reports, adverts, shows – many giving us bad news or telling us that we need to be a certain way or insisting that the world is crumbling. The media can drastically affect your mood and emotions without you even realising how influential they really are.  Take a media break – read an inspirational/motivational book or listen to something that teaches positive messages and create an environment that focuses on the positive. Try to actively free yourself from the negative thoughts that come with depression.

 4) Wake up early

Give yourself a head start in the morning – more time means less stress. There’s no need to always be in a rush, that little extra time gives you a little breathing space to prepare just before you start your day.

5) Surround yourself with positive people

Its no secret that the people around you impact who you are, how you act and how you develop as a person, so naturally having people who think positively around creates a happier environment and eventually can lead to you feeling as genuinely happy as those around you do. When you’re around happier people, you may find yourself smiling and laughing more – and although these may seem like trivial things, they are essential to maintaining your mental wellbeing. 15 minutes of laughing for example is said to have the same benefits as 2 hours of sleep. So smile, laugh; let go once in a while.

6) Set goals

Get away from one-sided, depressive thoughts that tell you “You can’t do this!”. Everyday set yourself small goals to achieve, something to reach for. If you feel drawn, make your goals a little bigger but start off small and work your way up – the feelings of completing each one is likely to make you happier, stronger and more confident in yourself. It helps keeps you organised and gives you a purpose – something to strive for every day so you that you can recognise your own strength.

If you’d like to grow your confidence, enhance your well-being, feel empowered and be inspired, join one of retreat programmes.  Find out more here!

These suggestions have a track record of working for people in this situation. We recommend that you try these tips and see which ones are suitable for you. You may find that other approaches work for you too. Depending on your circumstances, a consultation with your GP may be advised.

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