5 Ways to Deal with Short-Term Depression
Dealing with short-term depression can seem devastating in the moment. I don’t suffer from it chronically, but it comes about as often as the common cold. Like the cold, treating it properly helps me overcome it and builds immunity.
The medical term is situational depression, and it’s often caused by traumatic events in one’s life — although not necessarily.
Besides a general sadness, the hopelessness it brings causes a lack of appetite for normally-enjoyable activities and food. Life itself can seem useless and a bore.
Here are five steps I find help me get through these feelings when they rear their ugly head.
Anytime I feel a wave of sudden depression, the first thing I check is whether I’m well-rested. For me, lack of adequate sleep is the most common cause of short-term depression. Most of the time, catching up on sleep or taking a break from unnecessary stressful activities gives me the shot of energy I need to leave it behind.
If you know you suffer from situational depression, the last thing you should do is stay up late regularly. Most people need about eight to nine hours of sleep daily, but it varies by person. Know how much you need and make sure you’re schedule accommodates it. You’ll enjoy life more and be much more fun to be around if you do.
If a lack of rest isn’t the culprit, or if I can’t get the sleep I need right away, my favorite coping mechanism is writing. It doesn’t have to be anything profound or even a draft of something I plan to publish right away. But wildly throwing my thoughts in a Word document is the best destresser and de-depresser I’ve found.
Human beings are incredibly creative. We have a desire to explore, expand, and improve. If we’re feeling down, a lot of times it’s just because we can’t find an outlet to release our creativity.
If you’re a writer, write when this happens. If you’re a painter, paint. If you’re a bodybuilder, hit the gym and work the depression out. Whatever you’re passionate about, even if you’ve lost the appetite for it, force yourself to do it furiously until your situational depression hits the road.