What are some of the best strategies when trying to cope with anxious or depress moods?
Think about it, often when you are anxious or depressed, you feel bad about yourself, becoming worried or afraid. You may not even do the things you normally enjoy. Sleep and appetite may go up or down. Sometimes headaches or muscle tension can result. If anxiety or depression is not severe, you might try these strategies:
1) List activities you enjoy. Pick the best two of those activities to do for that day. One lady I know started knitting and making jewelry, to cope with her anxious mood about medical problems. She enjoyed these hobbies in her younger years, and found them helpful as a distraction from medical problems.
2) Identify a subject or an activity you would like to know more about. Explore information on the subject, or take a class or course to learn more about it. Local colleges and technical schools offer short courses on those subjects in your interest. Many older people take computer courses and find a new way of communicating with loved ones. I know grandparents who now put themselves on Facebook to learn more about what family members are doing.
3) Reward yourself when you have completed a project or activity that is a challenge for you. Go see a movie, watch a TV program, or take a brisk walk for reward, probably best not to eat though. Even getting rid of clutter or cleaning a room can be a challenge when you are anxious or depressed. Set a goal of working on it for an hour, or take on the challenge of a room at a time. Sometimes inviting others over can motivate you to complete projects. I know one lady who invested in hiring someone to help her get rid of clutter, and the result was a sense of accomplishment in reorganizing her house.
4) If you don’t want to do an activity alone, invite someone to participate with you. You may be more likely to exercise, if you have a friend to exercise with, or if you join a gym, to get encouragement from others. Walking with someone is a great way to exercise and develop a friendship at the same time.
5) Talking with a friend, family member, or counselor about your feelings is a great way of brainstorming ideas that may be helpful for you, in improving your mood. Just the act of verbalizing an idea can be uplifting. In support groups, members share with one another ideas that have helped them cope, and encourage one another in their distress.
6) Relaxation exercises can help to clear your mind, and help with anxiety. For some, it may be deep breathing, counting, or yoga. Some find fishing or playing games relaxing activities. Even a few stretches in the middle of the day, while you are working, can go a long way in reducing tension. Center yourself with some deep breathing, before facing a confrontation or difficult situation.
These are only a few ideas for coping with mood problems. You may find others more helpful. What strategies work for you?