5 Ways To Cope With High Functioning Depression
This is part two of the series on High Functioning Depression. If you missed the first part, 7 Signs That You Are Living With High Functioning Depression, click here to check it out.
The first thing you need to know is that silence or suffering this alone is dangerous. And while, it’s noble for us to want to protect the people we love from our pain, it’s not safe and we end up shutting them out in the process.
So, I urge you to give these coping skills your utmost attention.
As I mentioned in last week’s blog, you don’t necessarily need to exhibit all of the symptoms, you don’t need to even experience the symptoms in the severity or complexity listed in order for these suggestions to help you get back on a much more even keel.
If you have ever even felt a little bit blue, sad, desperate, depressed please keep reading this blog.
Pick one or two of these suggestions, and try them out.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me and let me know how these suggestion were beneficial, or even if you would like some additional suggestions. (The 15-min Solution Chat is perfect for this, by the way.)
My favorite ways for decreasing high functioning depression, include:
Reach Out: Often times when in times of depression, it can seem as if the phone weighs 5 trillion pounds.
Send a text, send an email, make a phone call, meet a supportive friend for lunch, etc.
Create supportive positive connections because part of healing from depression and sadness is developing a positive support system with your friends, family, colleagues, or even a licensed therapist or coach. But depression lies to us, it tells us we are a burden and need to handle this all on our own. And having regularly committed interactions with supportive people can be so helpful for those of us who tend to keep this stuff quiet.
Last year, every thursday night I spent time with one of my close friends, even when I didn’t want to or feel like it because of my high functioning depression. But it turned out to be amazing support for me.
Set Healthy Boundaries: Boundaries are super crucial when we have a limited amount of energy or ability to engage with everyone and everything.
When looking at establishing boundaries some of my biggest recommendations include: not saying yes in the moment, sticking to a schedule, and not over committing. Many of my clients suffer from the overcommitment problem. You know the one. Where you say yes to everyone else and only use no for yourself. Practice saying no to other people, and being saying yes to yourself! (You might even find it feels rather empowering ;) )
Minimize Clutter: There’s an old philosophy that talks about how the way your living space looks is an indicator of how your mental health is.
This is typically fairly accurate. When the clutter begins to collect on the dresser or the kitchen table, those old depression cobwebs start collecting in the brain.
And you may find it’s sometimes difficult to identify which is the chicken and which is the egg. However, you have complete control over not keeping clutter around you. And you’ll find that when youhen minimize your clutter it increases your risk for relaxation, peace and joy. It’s a small thing to engage in that helps you manage your sense of overwhelm and it’s a super effective strategy for high functioning depression.
Positive Distraction: This is a specifically powerful suggestion if you have difficulty shutting your mind off.
My typical recommendations include: coloring, painting, drawing, baking, cleaning, word puzzles, crosswords, find a game on your cell phone, etc.
The concept is designed to allow yourself to have a focus other than jobs, tasks, obligations and things you need to do.
It’s important to have a way to allow your brain to decompress instead of constantly being “on”. Play a game of solitaire, read a book, watch something mindless on netflix. Do something to just allow your brain to have some down time.
Don’t Go Down The Rabbit Hole: Let’s be honest, we all have our own person rabbit hole, right?
For some of us it’s all of the mistakes we’ve made throughout the past year, for others of us it’s all the ways that we didn’t or don’t deliver for other people, and for others it’s more about the ways in which we’ve disappointed ourselves or someone else.
The rabbit hole always leads us to a desperate and destitute place of negativity which just breeds more depression. It’s important for us to develop the habit of not engaging in morbid and self deprecating thoughts.
These are just a few of the typical suggestions I give the clients I work with who live with high functioning depression. My biggest suggestion to you is to personalize your own list of coping skills. If you’d like some more personalized suggestions feel free to sign up for my free 15 minute solution chat here.