Starting a new year with depressionThe start of a new year can be a difficult time, especially if you’re living with depression. Everyone around you seems to be reflecting on the past year, discussing their achievements and highlights, and making ambitious plans and resolutions for the coming twelve months.

Depression makes it difficult to think positively about the past or future. In fact, it can be difficult to think about the future at all, and New Year’s resolutions are often counterproductive because they can create unrealistic expectations and become a source of self-imposed stress. This needn’t be the case.

One of the counsellors at York Clinic, Suzanne Chamier, has recommended an article about dealing with depression. It sets out five key pointers for beginning to overcome depression – small and achievable steps that you can take to care for your mind and body. They don’t require stressful targets, dramatic resolutions or strict time-frames.

This is how the authors of the article introduce the situation:

“Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. But while overcoming depression isn’t quick or easy, it’s far from impossible. You can’t just will yourself to “snap out of it,” but you do have some control—even if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day.”

Here’s what they suggest:

1. Cultivate supportive relationships. There are number of ways of doing this. You could turn to friends and family members who make you feel loved and cared for, try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it, or join a support group for depression.

2. Get moving. Including exercise and activity in your daily life needn’t involve something as costly (and public) as joining a gym. You could park your car in the farthest space from the door each time you go to the supermarket, or dance around to some music at home for a few minutes.

3. Challenge negative thinking. Perhaps the most difficult for people living with depression. The key points are allowing yourself to be less than perfect and trying to spend time with positive people.

4. Do things that make you feel good. This might be something as simple as making time for 8 hours sleep a night, or you could revisit a hobby or activity: “While you can’t force yourself to have fun or experience pleasure, you can choose to do things that you used to enjoy.”

5. Eat well. “What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel.” Eating a balanced diet and eating regularly will help your brain and keep your moods more level.

You can read the whole article here.

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As well as trying these self-help tips, you might be interested in professional help. There are a number of suitable therapies available at York Clinic, including acupuncture and the ‘talking therapies’, such as counselling.*

To book an appointment at York Clinic, please phone 01904 709688 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays, or between 9am and 2pm on Saturdays. Alternatively, email us at email@yorkclinic.com, or use our contact form.  We will respond to you as quickly as possible.

For more information about the different talking therapies available at York Clinic, have a look at our website, read our blog poston the subject or have a look at Suzanne Chamier’s website. All treatment at York Clinic is confidential.

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*Research suggests that acupuncture or counselling could provide an alternative to antidepressant drugs for people with ongoing depression.