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A new year always feels like a fresh start. For many people, a new year means tackling a long list of resolutions. We all want to work toward being the best version of ourselves. Many people vow to regularly exercise or find a more fulfilling job. But improving your mental health should be at the top of your list.

If you have depression, it can be difficult to feel hopeful and motivated for the new year. By learning coping skills that help you address depressive emotional, cognitive and behavioral patterns, you can look forward to this new year, and many years to come. 

Read on to learn about the importance of coping skills for depression and the skills that you can work toward developing in the new year. You’ll also learn how psychotherapy can help.

The role of coping skills for depression

Depression refers to major depressive disorder. It’s a mental health disorder diagnosis that’s characterized by overwhelming negative emotions, such as sadness and hopelessness.

Depression can interfere with your overall quality of life. It can make it difficult to carry out your daily responsibilities, maintain healthy connections with those closest to you and plan for the future.

Coping skills refer to the thoughts and behavioral strategies that a person uses to manage and overcome difficult situations. Coping skills are vital for everyone. But they’re especially important for people who have been diagnosed with mental health disorders like depression. 

Coping skills for depression help you reduce your symptoms and improve your emotional regulation when you have depressive thoughts and feelings.

5 coping skills for depression that you can develop in the new year

There are a wide variety of skills and tools that can help you along your mental health journey, but it’s important to find the ones that are right for you. Everyone who is living with depression has different symptoms, resource accessibility and mental health goals. By learning about the different coping skills for depression that have been encouraged throughout the mental healthcare field, you can test them out and see what works best for you.

As you’re adding coping skill development for depression to your New Year’s resolutions, here are a few to consider:

  • Develop a routine — Depression symptoms can interfere with your ability to complete day-to-day activities. Increased fatigue and lack of energy can make it difficult to find the motivation to do tasks like wake up at a reasonable hour or meet a work deadline. By developing a routine that you can stick to, you can feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • Recognize your triggers — A trigger refers to an event or topic that causes your symptoms to worsen. Common triggers for depression are rejection, arguments with a loved one or reminders of a trauma. By learning about what your triggers are, you can recognize how they affect you and the best ways to navigate them in the future.
  • Find a creative outlet — Creativity can play a large role in mental health treatment. By finding a creative hobby, you can express your depressive emotions, process triggering experiences and feel a sense of purpose as you work on a project. Common creative outlets include drawing, dancing or writing poetry.
  • Seek comfort in a support system — It can be hard to talk about your feelings with others, especially when depression makes you want to isolate yourself away from those closest to you. But sharing how you feel with people you trust can be an effective way to cope with your depression symptoms. Not only can they provide you with comfort that you’re struggling to find in yourself, they can also encourage you to make positive changes.
  • Spend time in nature — Going outside and enjoying the nature in your area can have a positive effect on your mental health. It can bring you a sense of calmness and contentment that can reduce your depressive symptoms. The natural light from outdoors is especially helpful if you’re struggling with seasonal affective disorder, which is a type of depression that’s especially common in fall and winter. 

How psychotherapy can help you develop coping skills for depression in the new year

Not all coping mechanisms are healthy or effective. Many people with depression turn to unhealthy behaviors instead of facing their mental health distress, such as substance use. If you’re unsure about which coping skills are right for you, it’s time to turn to a licensed healthcare provider.

A therapist can not only help you find the coping skills that will be the most effective for your depression, but they will also guide you through the steps to developing them. They can help you set attainable goals for yourself so that you can gradually work toward healthy ways to cope with your symptoms.

Active Path Mental Health can help you develop coping skills for decreased depression

Coping skills can play a large role in your mental health journey, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. At Active Path Mental Health, our psychotherapy services can guide you toward depression coping mechanisms that you can be proud of in the new year.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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