Tips for coping with your depression

Reach out for help.

Seek help from a counsellor or social worker if you are at school or a tertiary institution.

Ask at your local clinic for a referral to a doctor or mental health professional (psychologist or psychiatrist).

Contact a mental health helpline (such as SADAG, Lifeline, your employee assistance programme, or university mental health programme ).

It’s not your fault.

Remind yourself that being depressed isn’t your fault and it doesn’t mean you’re weak or should feel ashamed.

Depression is an extremely common mental health condition.

Open up to someone you trust.

Speak to a trusted friend or family member about what you’re dealing with.
Remember, people can’t read your mind, so if you don’t say something, they won’t know something is wrong and that you need support.

Join a support group

In a support group you can share what you’re going through with those who understand and are non-judgmental.

Contact SADAG to find out about support groups you can join

Let your emotions out

Release your emotions, instead of bottling them up. Ways to do this include exercise, crying or screaming into a pillow.

Find a routine.

Depression impacts your energy levels, appetite, sleep and social connections. It will help to create a routine. Make sure you exercise, eat healthily, get enough sleep and spend time with friends and family on a regular basis.

Do something you enjoy.

Find time for yourself to do things you enjoy, find rewarding, relaxing and soothing. This could be watching TV, taking a walk or playing music.

Try relaxation exercises – such as breathing exercises or listening to guided meditations.

It takes time.

Try to be patient, gentle and kind towards yourself!

Tips for coping with depression