situational depression coping skills
Simplify Your Health (mental too)

Coping with Situational Depression

Any time someone has a loss they can experience Situational Depression.  For some people it’s a brief period of sadness and/or mourning, but for others it can last longer and go much deeper.  It’s different than Clinical Depression, because the person experiencing it definitely knows what’s causing it and can (hopefully) work on moving through it and possibly learning from the experience.

But what about now, when the world has gone wonky?

What about Situational Depression when you can’t change the situation?

I wrote about Living with Situational Depression a few years ago, but felt like I should update my suggestions for the times we’re living in now.

Feel your feelings

We’re only human.  We have feelings.  That’s okay.  Whatever you’re feeling right now is okay to feel.  Process it.  Move through it.  Learn from it.

Talk about it

In person conversations might be a little tough for you right now, but there are a lot of other ways to communicate.  If you’re struggling with everything going on don’t put on a brave face.  Let someone know.

Physical activity

I hate most kinds of exercise with the fire of a thousand suns, but I know when I’m feeling anxious that burning off that energy always makes me feel better.  Get up and move even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

Mental activity

Distraction can be a wonderful thing.  Use your brain to stay active.  Read, do a puzzle, download a word search app, write something, do a crossword puzzle, etc.  Now might be the perfect time for you to learn something new.  I love learning new things and am most content when I have some goals to work on. 

Take care of something

I’m not saying you should adopt a pet out of boredom.  That’s a really bad idea.  BUT there are other living things you can take care of like plants.  Having plants in the house clears the air and just makes things more pleasant.  Get one.  Or two.  Talk to them.  Water them. Name them.  Take care of them. 

Help someone

Check in on your friends and family.  Even in a world of texting and messaging, phones still work.  Call them.  Voice to voice conversations are so much more meaningful than a text. 

Self-care and Self-soothe

Learn the difference between self-care and self-soothe.  Self-care is things that help the future you like exercising, eating healthy foods, taking a break from your phone, paying your bills on time, cleaning your house, etc.  Self-soothe is when we comfort ourselves in the present moment like watching a Hallmark movie, taking a bubble bath, getting a manicure, etc.  Self-soothing makes us feel better while self-care really is better for us.  You have to learn the balance. 

We may call it self-care when we binge watch shows while drinking boxed wine and eating cupcakes, but we know that’s really not helping our future self, it’s making our current self feel better (temporarily).  Yes, there are times when we NEED to self-soothe, but they have to be balanced with things that really are better for us mentally, physically, and emotionally.

As with most things in life YOU have to decide how much YOU can change and control about a situation.  If you can’t control the outcome then you also have to find ways to cope with what’s going on. 

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