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20 Tips – How to Cope with Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety go hand in hand quite often. After all, anxiety is a symptom of depression and depression is a symptom of anxiety.

I will give you some tips and advice in this article that has helped me immensely during my battle with both depression and anxiety. Just remember, there is always hope and depression and anxiety is always treatable.


Best Tips on How to Cope with Depression and Anxiety

  1. Think in the present.
    • If you struggle with both depression and anxiety, you may find yourself constantly playing back events, conversations, or interactions in your head that have recently occurred. You may wonder if something went wrong during this interaction or if you could have said something better or maybe you think this person thinks of you in a negative manner. Well the truth is they don’t. They honestly do not have time in their day to think about you and what you said. The interaction most likely happened and they moved on instantly. Truth is, they don’t care to keep thinking about this. Nor should you. Move on. Yet, those with depression and anxiety may be replaying the same event that happened days or weeks ago, thinking about what could’ve made it better. 
    • Just move on and do not linger in the past. The past is in the past for the reason. Yes, we all have made mistakes and have regrets, but we can’t go back in time so there is no point in lingering there. Focus on the present and let the future come. You will feel that much better, trust me. So next time, you have any type of interaction with someone or a group of people even your family, you might start to replay this. Just stop. Beat this. Say to yourself, “No, nothing happened, no one cares, and I am moving on. Today is today. Tomorrow is tomorrow. The past is in the past.”
  2. Socialize more.
    • This one is kind of ironic when compared to the first point I made. But this is also true and actually will help with getting rid of those negative replays in your head. Be yourself and speak your mind if it is in a positive manner of course. You will feel better this way by engaging with people you like and will actually develop a friend-base. You will also notice that by socializing more with good people, these people actually respect you and think positive of you. There is no room for negativity.
    • Make sure you surround yourself with good people however. People like your friends, family, or people who share the same interests as you. These people truly have your best interest at heart and would love to see you be happy and successful. Engage with this people. Ask them to do things with you like see a movie, go out to eat etc. They appreciate these things. I find with depression and anxiety, you may find yourself never being the one to ask first to hangout or do something and are always waiting for other people to ask you. Well change this. Social atmospheres are a two-way street. If they are busy or can’t, don’t take it personal. At least you asked and they will remember this.
  3. Get rid of toxic people.
    • This one is definitely related to socializing more. Like I said, surround yourself with good people. People who respect you for who you are and appreciate you for who you are. Do not change for people. You should never have to. That being said, if you have toxic people in your life, get rid of them. There is no room and they are only bringing you down. People who seem to talk about other people in a negative manner in-front of you. It only makes you wonder, what they say about you and ruins any kind of trust. These people are toxic. Also, stay away from people who constantly put themselves in negative or dangerous situations such as abuse or drugs. 
    • Toxic people overall can affect your mood and mental state. If you have depression and anxiety, these people are only making it worse and I strongly advise you to get rid of them. You will be doing yourself a huge favor.
  4. Be helpful to others even strangers.
    • Do you ever think very unsatisfactory of yourself? Maybe you feel unappreciated or no one cares about you or you don’t even appreciate yourself? This hurts and is very common among depression and anxiety patients. My advice would be to do a favor for someone. This could be your family member, friend, or a complete stranger. Buy them a coffee, make them dinner, smile at them, offer to help with their bags, or ask to do something with them. This is a great method on how to deal with depression and anxiety. Why? Because you will feel that much better about yourself by seeing their appreciation. And even if it something like sending a card in the mail or buying the person a coffee behind you in the drive-thru and you can’t see their appreciation, you will know you made their day. That will make you feel better and give you the satisfaction you need. Always be kind and helpful. I wish more people would. How good would the world be if we could just all get along?
  5. Do things you enjoy.
    • This may be difficult because I find with depression and anxiety, it’s hard to find joy in the things you once found joyful. But this needs to change. If you liked it before, deep down you still do. So do it. Get around and about and don’t care what people think. You are out for your own leisure and pleasure. You want to enjoy yourself. No one is watching you and no one cares what you are doing. Whatever it may be like skating, hiking, going to the theater, shopping, going out to eat, just do it. You are there for you and you are there to enjoy yourself, remember that. 
    • I personally like to go on small trips here and there or even vacations. It’s always a new experience and I just focus on enjoying myself. Eating good food, surrounding myself with good people, drinking good drinks, swimming, going to the beach, going to concerts, camping etc. I like to get out. It’s a great distraction and elevates your mood. This leads me to my next point.
  6. Try something new.
    • Remember when you were a kid and you constantly tried different things because you were either curious or maybe you would enjoy it. Well make that happen again. Expand your mind and try new things. You never know what sorts of stuff are out there that you had no idea you would enjoy. Anything is possible to try. Make sure it is safe and appropriate however. Things like dancing, cooking, traveling, dating, reading, getting into a t.v show, learning etc. The list is endless and it is up to you to try these things. Just go with it. If you didn’t like it, well hey, at least you tried something different and won’t do it again.
    • Trying something new will expand your horizon and increase your emotional well-being. You are giving your mind different things to adjust with and adapt to, allowing your brain to appreciate new things. This will also boost your confidence levels. I find confidence is often low with those who struggle with anxiety, so try something new!



  7. Appreciate yourself.
    • Look how far you have come. Life is unfair, unpredictable, and scary. But you have made it this far. What have you done in your life that has made you feel good about yourself? Anything? It could be the smallest thing that has made you appreciate why you exist in life. Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it. Whether it be graduating high school, getting a job, going to college, making your family dinner, taking care of your family, completing your chores, acing that test, helping your friends out. Anything really. When I think back, I have many things to appreciate myself for. Life would be so much different if my family and friends didn’t have me and honestly, the same goes for you. 
    • If you can’t think of anything that you appreciate yourself for, think deeper. There has to be something. Sleep on it. If you still can’t think of something, then know that your existence is enough. People appreciate you and your existence and so should you. You have a full life ahead of you to do what you want and make life how you want to make it. By the end of it, you’ll have a book of thinks to appreciate yourself for.
  8. Don’t care too much.
    • This is a strong tip I find how to cope with depression and anxiety. With people who struggle with these mental illnesses, you may find yourself in situations where you care too much. This could be a certain outcome from an event or a conversation. This could be your boss or teacher getting mad at you. This could be your friend getting upset with you. This could be your sibling throwing a fight with you. This could be failing a test. This could be performing poorly at whatever. Whatever the case, don’t worry about it. Move on. Apologize if you have something to apologize for and forget about it. Like I said, tomorrow is a new day to rekindle relationships, start over, and try again. One action, one conversation, or one mistake does not define the rest of your life. It defines nothing.
    • So do not linger on these things. That is your anxiety winning the battle and preparing the depression to come. Just move on, seriously. You will feel that much better just forgetting about things or outcomes you did not enjoy. Just wait for the next good one to come.
  9. Eat Healthy.
    • Practice good eating habits and you will find your mental state that much better. Your body is very closely linked to your mind, so what you put down your body has an affect on your mind. You are what you eat, both physically and mentally. Read my article here that discusses the importance of healthy eating when dealing with depression. 
    • Healthy foods are full of essential nutrients like anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants that help to put your mind and bodies back into healthy states. Many diseases both physically and mentally such as depression can be attributed to inflammation and oxidation, which are a result of unhealthy eating habits. Eating properly and healthy is truly a good way on how to deal with depression and anxiety.
  10. Exercise.
    • Just like healthy eating, exercise is just as important. In fact, exercising releases endorphins which are feel-good chemicals that allow you to gain full satisfaction and also elevate your mood and increase your emotional well-being. You will no doubt feel good during and after you exercise. This feeling can last a while but you know how? Make exercising a pattern! Make it a goal. Do it 3-4 times a week. Even if it just going for a jog or even a walk around your neighborhood, that still counts.
    • I love to exercise and find it one of the best natural remedies to combat depression and anxiety. I go to the gym around 3 times a week and really focus on having a good workout that makes my body and mind healthier. I feel that much better. Please give it a try. This one is major. Exercise is key! Read my article here that explains why exercise is so important for mental health and the best exercises to combat depression.
  11. Consume Natural Supplements.
    • This is one of my favorite ones. Why? Because natural supplements do work and as good as antidepressants, but without the side effects! You may know from scientific research or the word of mouth that antidepressants come with a vast range of side effects and may take weeks or months to start working. That is why I prefer supplements. Read my article here that discusses the side effects of antidepressants. 
    • Natural supplements can elevate your mood, increase your emotional well-being, increase brain function, and relieve anxiety just like antidepressants. But they do with all natural and pure ingredients. Of course, there are different ones with different characteristics. My favorite is 5-HTP in which I take everyday. 5-HTP works by increasing serotonin (happy chemical) in the brain, so it immensely elevates your mood quickly. Read my full review here that discusses everything you need to know about 5-HTP and the best 5-HTP supplement you can get and the one I take!
  12. Take Responsibilities. 
    • With depression and anxiety, you may find yourself in a position where it is difficult to get out and about and be a productive member of society. You may find it difficult to go to work or go to school. That is okay. But, taking these kinds of responsibilities are for you, your progress, and your health. Look at it that way. Don’t think about anyone else. If you have a bad co-worker or a person at school that you find is very negative, then ignore them. Who cares about them. Do this for you. You will feel better. These kinds of responsibilities are great distractions and serve to give you satisfaction, knowing that you do have a job or you are getting an education.
    • If that is too much, then start small. Do you chores during the day. Take the dog for a walk. Make your bed. As time goes by you can advance and then maybe start with a part-time job. Integrating yourself back into society is the main goal here as much of a bad thing society is, we all are apart of it. Let’s try to make it better this way.
  13. Listen to your favorite music.
    • I find this helps immensely with depression and anxiety. Whenever you are having an off-day, put in your headphones, zone everyone out, and listen to your favorite songs. This boosts your mood and gives you confidence. I find also listening to my favorite music puts me in a mood to do productive things like cleaning my room. If you are alone in your house or wherever you live and you have a speaker – crank that stuff up, trust me it helps! 
    • We all like some sort of music. Music speaks to us on a level regular conversation can’t. Create a favorite playlist of yours that puts you into a good mood. Listen to it whenever you want.
  14. Write about your mental health.
    • When we struggle with mental illness, it may be very difficult to open up to anyone about it. Why? A couple reasons. The stigma may play a role where those with mental health problems are perceived as not normal or undeserving. You may also think you are a burden and don’t want to complicate people with your mental problems. Or maybe, you think no one would understand. Well, truth is, you are not alone. Millions suffer with depression and anxiety. Yet, many of those millions will not open up about it. I do encourage opening up. It does truly help understand your illness better and makes you understand what steps you need to take to conquer it. Still, it’s hard to talk about it. I do prefer for you to open up about it though compared to writing about it. But for those who can’t seem to get at that stage yet, then write about it.
    • Get a journal or a diary. Create a daily log. Write how you felt that day, your ups and downs. The time frames. What triggered you. What made you feel better. By doing this, you will understand more clearly how your depression and/or anxiety controls you. By knowing this, you can take measures to combat it. For example, a certain topic or conversation you had with someone triggered you in an unhealthy way or an activity you participated in increased your anxiety levels. Well, don’t talk about or do those things again until you feel you are ready. I would also like to encourage you to read my article by clicking here that discusses how to explain your depression.



  15. Make room for yourself.
    • If you are on the other spectrum of your illness where your day is filled with interaction and you are constantly busy and this feels overwhelming, think about your health first. Give yourself some alone time and space. If this means taking a day off of school or work to better your mental health, then so what.
    • Mental illness is the same as physical illness as such they are both illnesses and deserve the same value. Take a day off.
    • Even if you aren’t busy during your day and just don’t feel like having any human interaction, then don’t. It’s okay to be by yourself as long as you fill this time with positivism. Relax and ease your mind. Or be productive, you choose. Let the day be yours, and only yours. You will feel better this way and then tomorrow maybe you’ll be ready to get out and about. But if not, then that is okay. Take all the time you need. But work towards getting into human interaction if you find this very difficult. Take baby steps. Each day that comes, do something more that puts you out there.
  16. Meditate.
    • This one also really helps. Practice mediation 3 times a week. Mediation serves to relax, distract, and sooth the brain – destroying any negativity in the mind. I find putting in my headphones, listening to some relaxing music, and finding an open quiet place such as my bedroom or an open field and then just sitting there meditating really helps. Relaxation for the brain is so important. With depression and anxiety, you may find these negative impulses just taking over your head. Meditation will combat this if you let it. Sit there and zone out of any thought. Blank your mind or better yet fill it with positive impulses such as thinking about your happy place, your pet, or your favorite moment in life.
  17. Take risks.
    • This may also be a very difficult task to do. With depression and anxiety you may find you constantly want to do things that you know you are comfortable with. You don’t want to do anything you are unsure of or not sure how people would react to. You don’t want to step out of your comfort zone. But deep down, you know it would make you happy or make you feel better. Then just do it. You may find things you actually do enjoy or things that change your whole perspective. 
    • Next thing you find you have an urge to do because you want to or know it would give you some positivism, then just go with it. Whether it be signing up for a new club, buying something, getting a tattoo, going on a trip, or even moving, go with your gut. This will not only make you feel better, but it will also increase your confidence majorly. You are finally doing you and not caring what other people say or think. Do what’s going to make you feel better.
  18. Use cognitive approaches.
    • This treatment focuses on personal coping strategies that help you change unhelpful patterns that affect your mental state such as negative behavior, thought, or attitude. Find effective ways to combat this negativity such as everything here that I have listed. Realize what upsets you or increases your anxiety or depression. Combat this with effective ways that overrule them. Try to filter out negative thoughts with positivism and stay away from toxic people and situations. Find out what motivates you and gives you satisfaction. Find remedies that put your mind to ease. Find your own ways how to cope with depression and anxiety. Experiment. When you know exactly what elevates you, you can fill your days with these things, swaying you away from any negativity.
  19. Realize it is okay not to be okay.
    • Your mental illness does not define you. Just like cancer does not define the patient. Depression does not define you. Anxiety does not define you. You are you. It is okay to have a mental illness. Many suffer with them. But it is important to realize you must take measures to combat these illnesses. Sitting and doing nothing will only make them worse. Mental illnesses are always treatable. Know that. 
    • Help end the stigma. Who cares what other people think. Express your feelings and express how your depression and anxiety is making you feel. Join a forum, talk to a counselor, or to your best-friend or family member. You will realize you are not alone in this. Talking with like-minded people will also make you feel better, knowing that there are others going through what you are going through. And maybe together, you can help to make each other feel better.
  20. There is always hope.
    • Realize this. It is never the end. We know depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses are diseases. Diseases that do in fact kill. Suicide should never be the option. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you can’t see it right now, you will trust me. Life gets better. Take the measures to get better. You will find happiness.
    • If you have hit rock bottom and are experiencing your darkest days, know that it is only going up from there. You have your full life ahead of you to make a difference, help others, appreciate others, and have others appreciate you. Treatment is always available. Never for a second, think this is the end. Beat your mental illness. You can do it. Mental illness is not cured over night. It takes time, but it is definitely possible. I have first hand experience with this.

I hope these tips have helped on how to deal with depression and anxiety. If you have any questions, comments, or even just want to talk then comment below. I would be more than happy to respond.

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Robert Sherwood

21 Comments

  1. Love this list, I think you covered pretty much everything! Speaking for myself personally, if I blow off healthy eating, supplements, and let toxic relationships take root, that’s when I tank fast into depression. Pizza everyday may be delicious but it’s a one-way ticket to feeling like garbage. Thanks for all of the good ideas and helping people dealing with these lifelong struggles.

    • Thank you for your input Penelope. I agree 100%. Slacking from healthy habits such as healthy eating, exercising, and getting into bad relationships will just put you back into that negative state. It is imperative to stay consistent with these. Glad I could help!

  2. Hi Rob,
    Thanks for the very informative post. I can identify with what you’re saying as I do go through depression. I just shared the article on Facebook and Twitter.

    • Hi Kez. Thank you. This information needs to be shared. It truly is beneficial for EVERYONE.

  3. These are so simple really when you think about it, but so many people struggle with this. I did myself and still do in some way. I think the most effective one for me to help with depression or anxiety is exercise. A good run or weight lifting workout really gets me calm and focused again. I think anything you can do to take your mind of things for a while is a great way to go! Thanks for your page!

    • Exactly Bruce. These are simple but those with mental illness struggle deeply in the mind, that it is difficult to actually do these things when the negative impulses are always there. That is why it is imperative to try. It will make these people feel better! Thank you for sharing your story. Glad I could help!

  4. Wow, this really was an in depth article. With all of these options available, if I ever feel down or anything like that, I will just refer to this article. This was really thorough. Thank you for sharing.

    -Alex

  5. Wow! I bookmarked this page for my daughter to look at, as she suffers from Major Depressive Disorder. She finds it tough to get out of bed most days, and her schoolwork suffers from this… She tends to get in her own head, and can’t even enjoy the things she loves (music, art, writing). However, she has begun a daily motivational jar, where she writes things she loves about herself on a small piece of paper, or she writes down quotes that mean something to her. She has even had friends add to this jar for her. When she is feeling really low, she pulls one out, and reads it. It helps to remind her that no matter how rotten she feels that day, these positive things still exist within her. It’s hard to understand how she feels, but thankfully there are people out there like you, who lay it all out on the line to help others (and in doing so, help yourself). You are a bright light, keep shining!!! 💖

    • Hi Janice. Thank you for sharing your story about your daughter. I love that idea of the motivational jar. That is so uplifting! Thank you for your compliment. I live to help people suffering from depression and other mental illnesses as I have been down that road and am still currently in my journey. It is not easy but I truly believe if we push to get better, we will get better!

  6. Awesome article! Being someone who’s suffered from depression I can say that for me exercise, music and taking control of my life by doing things I wanted, really helped me get out of my situation and feel confident in myself again.

    Mental health isn’t easy to combat, I know I had to build up the courage to talk to someone like my parents or friends in order to progressively feel better. The main point is to keep trying and you provide some great tips!

    Will definitely read more here in the future. Thank you.

    • Thanks Jeremy! Good to hear. Taking control of our lives in ways we desire that are positive are essential. Do the things we enjoy, be ourselves, and don’t care what others think is the way to go on with life. This will not only boosts our moods but also give us major confidence. Glad you have also opened up about your mental illness. It is not easy but important to do so.

  7. As someone who often suffers from depression and anxiety I think these are some great tips. I think step 3,4, and 5 are my faves. I recently removed several toxic people from my life by switching jobs , and I couldn’t be happier. Being helpful to others is certainly a good way to replace negative thoughts with good ones, and doing things I enjoy is always uplifting.

    • Gad to hear I could help Ricky. I live to help people who have struggled with mental illness like depression and anxiety.

  8. Hi Rob,

    All the points that you made are very relevant to me. I sometimes find myself thinking about the past, how I could’ve done or said things differently. You’re right. We should think and live in the present because we can’t change the past. I also do not want toxic people. In fact, I’m very good at burning bridges with them. Lol. I tend to care too much about what others think or say about me. I find that keeping myself busy will eventually make me forget about them.

    • Glad I could be informative Yvonne. Good to hear you are implementing some of these tips into your life as I have. They really help!

  9. Hi Rob,
    I love the site of yours and it is very informative on how to deal with depression and anxiety. I use to very depress when I’m a teenager and I have no confident in doing thing. Now I can handle my depression and anxiety but if I could read your site during the age of 18, i think i could solve my problem sooner. I will keep myself update on your site. A great job you had and keep it up.

    Regards
    Jaden

    • Hi Jaden, very happy I could help. Depression and anxiety are severe and need more respect, awareness, and attention. If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  10. wow thank you so much for this amazing article i’m really inspired ans I must say I love this website so much

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