Dealing with anxiety and depression can be a challenge, especially if you’re dealing with both at the same time. Furthermore, if you’re unable to take time away from daily routines, figuring out how to balance your mental health needs with the requirements of daily life can make the road in front of you seem overwhelming.
If this sounds like something you’ve been dealing with, don’t worry. While it will be a challenge, it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable one. Here are 6 ways to properly deal with anxiety and depression.
Address Your Thoughts
One of the biggest challenges that people with anxiety face is their thought patterns. It’s easy to catastrophize and fall into a negative thought process – and this only makes your anxiety worse. Instead, challenge these thoughts as they come into your mind, or yourself if the thought is realistic.
Challenge negative thoughts actively, look for other explanations and consider what advice you’d give a friend in a similar position. This can help you break free of the negative thought process.
Identify and Address Your Triggers
Work to discover what thoughts and situations increase your feelings of anxiety and depression. This is best done with the help of a qualified therapist, who can help you discover less obvious triggers.
When choosing a therapist, make sure to choose one located near you who can help you with your preferred style of therapy. For example, if you prefer face-to-face interactions and live in South Denver, choose a South Denver therapist who offers in-person sessions. Once you have a therapist that you’re comfortable speaking with, work with them to figure out what situations worsen your anxiety and depression.
Identifying your triggers is only the first step. The next step is to look for ways to manage your triggers. Your therapist may recommend exposure therapy, or you may simply have to avoid physical triggers. If you can’t completely avoid the problem, speak to your therapist to figure out coping strategies that will help mitigate their impact.
Maintain a Routine
A routine will give you structure and control over your life, which can help with both anxiety and depression. At the same time, make sure you have coping techniques you can use in the case of an emergency or other event that disrupts your routine.
Socialisation can help in a number of ways. It can help you manage your anxiety, and research shows it can help decrease loneliness, which is connected to depression. Social connections can help you become more resilient to stress over time, which may help decrease the severity of your anxiety and depression.
If you suffer from social anxiety, check in with a therapist and look for ways to socialize without triggering your anxiety. This may include socializing in smaller, more intimate groups or socializing with close friends and family before growing your circle further.
Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Too much and too little sleep can affect your well-being and mood and even contribute to depression and anxiety. Ideally, adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you find falling asleep to be a challenge, look for ways to increase your sleep health, including:
- Turning off all the lights
- Creating a sleep schedule – that is, going to bed at the same time each night
- Turning off your gadgets at least an hour before bed
- Using a red light therapy bed – that is, making use of a red light therapy bed as part of your sleep routine may help you fall asleep faster and enjoy more restful sleep.
If you have insomnia or another sleep disorder, speak to your doctor for help.
Ask Your Doctor About Medication
While some people are able to manage anxiety and depression without medication, others need the medical help these tools offer. If you think you’re part of the latter group, speak to your therapist about the possibility. If they agree that this is an avenue you should look into further, discuss the next steps you should take.
Depending on your symptoms, your path forward will be different from that of another person. Your therapist will be able to guide you with personalized help.
Mental health can be a challenging subject, and managing a mental illness is a daunting task. Unlike a physical illness, there’s often no clear timeline, and everyone’s path is unique to them. This challenge is further compounded when you’re dealing with multiple mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, at once.
However, with the right coping strategies and help from your therapist, it is possible to address and deal with your anxiety and depression. These steps are only some options available to you – make sure to speak to your mental health professional about alternatives that may help.