Navigating the Shadows: Practical Tips for Managing Depression

by Mar 4, 2024

Living with depression can be challenging and lead to an uphill battle. There are practical steps you can take to navigate the ongoing challenges and find moments of light through the darkness of depression. Together, we will explore practical coping tools that will help you manage symptoms and live a fulfilling life.

Daily Routine:

Establishing a consistent daily routine can have a huge impact on how your day turns out when you’re dealing with feelings of sadness and depression. Setting a regular time for waking up, eating three meals, exercising, and going to bed can significantly affect how you navigate your day-to-day.

Physical Activity:

It might be challenging to get up and do anything if you are suffering from depression, but engaging in some form of physical activity can boost your mental health. It doesn’t have to be a full-on workout; even a short walk can help. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters and can reduce symptoms of depression naturally.

Healthy Eating:

Maintaining a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins is equally important. Avoid excessive amounts of processed foods, sugar, and caffeine, as these can lead to mood swings and energy crashes. According to Harvard, the Healthy Eating Plate is a prime example of how you can build a healthy and balanced diet for yourself.

Sleep Hygiene:

Ensuring you get good sleep is crucial for feeling rested in the morning. This could involve creating a bedtime routine, avoiding screens before bed, and ensuring your sleep environment is comfortable.


Keeping a journal to express your thoughts and feelings has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression. Writing engages the logical side of your brain, providing a therapeutic outlet for processing emotions and gaining insight into your mental health. Working with a therapist can further guide you in processing these thoughts and feelings.

Social Support:

Reaching out to family and friends can activate the social engagement system in your brain, supporting the ability to connect with others and form healthy relationships. Sharing your feelings with trusted support can provide validation and encouragement to heal from depression.

Limit stress:

Identifying sources of stress and taking practical steps to minimize them can reduce depression. It’s crucial to delegate tasks that are difficult for you during this time, set boundaries with loved ones when it feels overwhelming, and practice saying no to protect your mental health.

Set realistic goals:

When feeling depressed, goals may seem nearly impossible to complete. It’s okay; you can break down tasks into smaller, manageable goals to accomplish them. Celebrate your accomplishments and be compassionate with yourself to prevent depression setbacks.

Creative outlets:

 Engaging in creative activities that bring you joy is essential. If something doesn’t bring you joy, avoid it. When feeling depressed, allow yourself to create space and time for activities like painting, writing, gardening, playing music, or anything that brings you joy. Consider creativity as self-care to find some light at the end of the tunnel.

Professional Help:

Seeking support from a therapist or counselor can be transformative. Therapy provides valuable tools, coping strategies, and emotional support. At Niyama Center, we meet with our clients weekly to help them heal quickly and effectively. We teach you how to be your own therapist and provide the correct tools to heal your depression, offering various therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

An evidence-based therapeutic approach for depression that helps challenge irrational thought patterns and create new patterns of change.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT):

Proven to effectively manage depression, it emphasizes skills training in emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and mindfulness, providing practical tools to navigate challenging emotions and interpersonal difficulties.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR):

Primarily known for its effectiveness in treating trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), EMDR is also utilized for depression. It can be useful in addressing depression associated with past traumatic experiences by reframing memories. EMDR targets and reprocesses negative core beliefs, replacing them with more positive and adaptive thoughts, shifting how you perceive and your overall outlook.

Next Steps

Managing depression is an ongoing process, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the progress you make along the way. Remember, seeking support is a courageous step towards a brighter future. You are not alone in this journey. Reach out now to set up an intake appointment.

Click here for more information on Depression therapy.