10 Self-Help Tips for Depression and Anxiety Disorders

As a counselor in San Diego, people often ask me if there’s anything they can do on their own at home to improve their Depression and/or Anxiety symptoms. While of course attending counseling for depression or anxiety is beneficial in itself, you may only be visiting my San Diego office once per week. So what can you do in the meantime to help alleviate the debilitating symptoms of Depression and Anxiety Disorders? I have compiled a list of ten suggestions of things you can try at home in between therapy sessions. While there are many self-help techniques out there, I find that these have been the most beneficial to my clients’ overall health and well-being. And if you practice them in between counseling sessions, you will likely find that by combining the two (counseling and self-help techniques), results will be noticeably improved at a much quicker pace.

Self-Help Tip #1: Engage in Relationships that are Supportive – Reach out to close friends and/or family members. You can choose whether or not you want to tell them about your struggles with Depression and Anxiety, but either way you will benefit from the company of another person. When we are left to our own thoughts, our minds can wander and this can quickly turn into experiencing unpleasant or anxiety-ridden thoughts and emotions. Having another person around may prevent this from happening, since your mind will be distracted and preoccupied with whatever you and your companion are doing. If you have Depression, it can be difficult to even think about reaching out to someone or making time to get together with them. However, if you force yourself to do so, you will find that your Depression symptoms will lift, even just a little bit, while you are engaging in an activity with another person. It is all too easy to stay at home alone and hide from the outside world. Push yourself! And if it helps, schedule a weekly get together with this person so that you can 1) have something to look forward to, and 2) be held accountable for the allotted date and time you set aside to socialize with this person. For people with Anxiety Disorders, this weekly “scheduling” may also help alleviate some of your anxiety symptoms, particularly if your anxiety is worsened by unpredictable events. By having something planned in advance, you know what’s to come in the near future and can prepare for it, which reduces your anxiety overall.  And remember, getting together with someone can be as simple as it sounds. You do not have to go out for dinner or do anything that requires a great deal of time or money every time you meet this person. For example, you could visit your friend at his/her place, have your friend over to your place, go out for a coffee, go to a movie, or take a walk around the block together. As long as you’re getting out of bed and doing something with another person, it does not matter which activity you choose to engage in.  Follow this link for the next page.

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