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  • Angela Sillas-Green

I'm feeling depressed: Helpful suggestions to managing your mood.

Persistent sadness, hopelessness, lack of interest, and negative thoughts are some symptoms or concerns associated with depression. You will probably encounter these symptoms from time to time throughout your life, perhaps after a loss or other major change. It can be a mild experience or it can be more severe, and you may need help to handle it. Regardless of your situation, it is very treatable. To help you try to control your depressive feelings, I've included some helpful suggestions.

First of all, I have discovered that when someone is feeling depressed, they may often be dealing with fatigue. When you are tired, it can impact your mood. There is a lot of research that connects our physical and mental health together. I suggest exploring more of what you're feeling. You can do this by sitting with your feelings to see where they are coming from. Then explore the following: Is it because you're tired? Is it something from your past or a situation you don't feel like you can solve?" When you know the cause and have more awareness, you have more options on how to address it.

Then, as the next step, I suggest that you take care of the essentials—eating, sleeping, drinking, and exercising—as an initial way to address these feelings. Again, addressing your physical health helps fill your emotional tank and helps you better manage the challenge of hard feelings. I know that when I'm not meeting these basic needs, I'm more likely to engage in conflict with someone, make a mistake, or feel out of control. Furthermore, I know it can be difficult to do these things when you don't feel well enough to keep up with it all, so if you're significantly depressed right now, adjust according to how you feel. Be gracious, and don't push yourself too hard to keep up with your usual routine.

As a final suggestion, I recommend activities like reading or listening to something that can improve your mood. Consider an inspirational podcast, a funny video, or a helpful book. For example, I recommend watching cute animal videos or readings by Pema Chödrön, which discuss sitting with uncomfortable feelings.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful, but if you can't manage these symptoms alone, be sure to seek more support and counseling. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need that support.

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