8 Ways to Get Out of a Depression Slump

Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of a depression slump and explore some practical strategies on how to get out of it.

When you’re in a depression slump, it can impact every part of your life. You may feel like you can’t accomplish anything or no longer have the same passion for life. If you’re wondering how to get out of a slump, the right support and coping strategies can help you cope with depression and regain control of your life.

Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of a depression slump and explore some practical strategies on how to get out of it.

What Is a Depression Slump?

A depression slump refers to a period when you experience symptoms of depression. This may include:

  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that once brought you joy
  • Feelings of isolation or detachment from loved ones
  • Fatigue and trouble focusing on tasks
  • Changes in appetite and sleep habits
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Low self-esteem

To get out of a depression slump, you first need to acknowledge that you are in one. Depression is a common mental health condition that will affect one in eight Canadians at some point in their lives. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and it’s important to reach out to a mental health professional if your symptoms are interfering with your day-to-day life.

8 Ways to Get Out of a Slump

Here are a few other strategies that can be useful for coping with depression:

1. Set Specific Goals

Even simple tasks can seem daunting when your motivation is at an all-time low. Setting small, specific, achievable goals can help you tackle tasks and gain a sense of purpose. Focus on a single action you can achieve. The idea is to start building momentum so you can regain confidence. Remember to celebrate your success and then set your next goal when you meet your goal.

Tips to Get Started: 

  • When setting goals, no task is too small. Try setting goals for daily activities like getting out of bed or making yourself lunch.
  • A tidy environment can boost your mood, so consider setting a goal to complete one household chore, like wiping down the kitchen counter every day or vacuuming every week.

2. Make Self-Care a Priority

Taking time to relax, engage in hobbies, and connect with yourself or others can be the key to getting out of a slump. Permit yourself to do whatever self-care activity you need, whether reading a book or cooking a healthy recipe. Self-care looks different for everyone, so embrace the activities that bring peace and joy. 

Tips to Get Started: 

  • Creative activities can help relieve stress and boost your self-esteem. Try dancing, playing an instrument, painting, or other forms of creative expression. 
  • If you find that activities you once enjoyed no longer appeal to you, don’t be afraid to explore new activities, like stargazing, aromatherapy, or yoga.

3. Get Your Body Moving 

Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals that can leave you feeling energized and help you cope with depression. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activities per week. Explore different ways to move your body, whether going to the gym or walking around your neighbourhood. 

Tips to Get Started: 

  • Physical activity can happen anywhere, including around your home. Household activities like gardening, vacuuming, or washing your car can be a great way to get in some movement.
  • Spending time in nature can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Aim to get fresh air and movement by walking around your favourite park or doing errands on foot.

4. Focus on Getting Quality Sleep

Not getting enough rest can contribute to symptoms of depression. At the same time, depression can interfere with your normal sleep patterns. Try creating a sleep schedule and bedtime routine to help you combat this vicious cycle and get quality sleep. Wind down your mind and body by taking a warm bath or shower, dimming the lights, and reading a book. Aim to set a sleep schedule that gives you seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Tips to Get Started: 

  • Avoid using electronics before bed, as they can disrupt your sleep. Instead, opt for device-free activities like journaling, light stretching, or meditation.
  • Try to get sunlight or bright light when you wake up. This can help regulate your circadian rhythm and signal to your brain that it’s time to start the day.

5. Surround Yourself with a Support Network

While it may feel easier to avoid friends and family when you’re in a depressive slump, reaching out to loved ones can make a huge difference. Surround yourself with people you feel comfortable being vulnerable around and who will be supportive and understanding. Talking to a loved one about how you’re feeling can be a helpful way to process your emotions and cope with depression.

Tips to Get Started: 

  • Be honest about how you’re feeling. You may find that your friends and family have experienced depression themselves and can relate and offer their perspectives.
  • If you’re looking to build a support network, consider connecting with others through online communities or joining an in-person support group.

6. Reassess Your Routine

If you’re finding that your daily routine isn’t working to get out of a slump, it might be time to mix things up. Try doing something out of your comfort zone to gain new experiences and perspectives. This can add some novelty to your day and re-energize you as you work to get out of a depression slump.

Tips to Get Started: 

  • Learning a new skill can add some fun to your routine and help you find new areas that you may be passionate about. Consider trying out an online course or attending a workshop at a community centre.
  • Volunteering in your community is a great way to try something new while giving back. Look for local organizations that you are seeking volunteers, such as animal shelters or food banks.

7. Reflect on the Positives in Life

Depressive slumps can often leave you focusing on the negatives. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude can help shift your perspective. Mindfulness allows you to focus on being present in the moment, which can prevent your mind from wandering to worst-case scenarios. Challenge negative thoughts whenever they arise and try to counter them with positive affirmations.

Tips to Get Started: 

  • Writing can be a powerful tool for coping with depression. Keep a gratitude journal and write down three good things that happen every day.
  • Explore different mindfulness practices, like meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation. Start by doing a few minutes of these practices daily and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable.

8. Reach out to a Mental Health Professional

 

It’s normal to experience temporary periods of sadness, but persistent feelings require proper diagnosis, treatment, and support from a mental health professional. A therapist can help you understand what might be triggering your depression and what tools and strategies can help you get out of your slump. 

Tips to Get Started: 

  • If the thought of visiting a therapist in person is intimidating, look into options for online therapy. Both online and in-person therapy have benefits, so it is important to explore which is better suited for you. 
  • Counsellors often have unique areas of specialization and employ different therapeutic methods. Take some time to look into different forms of therapy so you can decide what type of therapy might be right for you.

Get Out of a Slump With Phare Counselling

Slumps can be complex and challenging to navigate, but they won’t last forever. To get out of a depression slump, be kind and patient with yourself, focus on taking things one day at a time, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

 

At Phare Counselling, our therapists provide a safe space for you to explore and understand your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours so you can lead a healthier, more balanced life. Find the right counsellor for you today.

Author Bio:

Wendy Chan is a writer and editor who is passionate about health, wellness, and self-care. She has worked in marketing and communications for nearly a decade, creating educational content for brands and companies across Canada. Since 2020, she has been a writer and researcher for Phare Counselling.

Wendy specializes in authoring informative and accessible content on mental health, wellbeing, higher education, and technology. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. You can find her in Vancouver or Toronto, depending on the weather.

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