A Therapist Shares 10 Things To Do At The First Twinge Of Depression

When you are armed with a plan and the tools to execute it, the hopelessness is easier to manage.

woman feeling depressed, taking steps for self care JLco - Julia Amaral, shisuka | Canva

If you feel like you may be slipping into depression, it's crucial to take proactive steps to address your mental health.

Often, the best thing you can do is take things one step at a time. For instance, if you are lying in bed, the first step is to get up.

From there, you can plan accordingly. But remember that you likely can't do anything until you get up and start moving. So start there. 

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Beyond that, you may need to take multiple steps to try to find your way through what feels like an emerging depression. 

10 things you can do as soon as you feel depression creeping in

1. Seek professional help

If your depression feels immediately serious, or if the steps below do not ease your symptoms, reach out to a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor. They can provide guidance, support, and treatment options tailored to your needs.

2. Talk to someone you trust

Share your feelings with a trusted friend or family member. Sometimes, just talking about what you're going through can provide relief and emotional support.


3. Prioritize self-care

Prioritizing self-care offers a variety of physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Self-care activities such as meditation, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Engaging in self-care can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, and enhance overall mental well-being.

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep contribute to better physical health, increased energy levels, and a stronger immune system. When you take care of yourself, you're better equipped to give and receive love, support, and understanding in your relationships. Prioritizing self-care can improve focus, creativity, and productivity by reducing burnout and increasing motivation.

Self-care contributes to a greater sense of happiness and contentment. It allows you to focus on your needs and what brings you joy. Self-care is an investment in your physical and mental health. It can positively impact various aspects of your life. It's not a selfish act. It is a necessary act to ensure you are at your best, both for yourself and those around you.

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4. Establish a routine

It can be challenging, but you must create a daily routine with structured activities and responsibilities. A sense of purpose and structure can help combat feelings of hopelessness.

Establishing a routine can bring about several benefits in various aspects of your life: Routines help you allocate time efficiently, ensuring that important tasks and activities are given priority. While we are more than our jobs and productivity, having a structured routine can boost productivity by eliminating decision fatigue and providing a clear plan.

Additionally, routines promote consistency in your actions and behaviors to make good habits and break bad ones easier. Knowing what to expect in your day can reduce anxiety and stress because it provides a sense of control and predictability.

A bedtime routine can signal to your body that it's time to sleep, helping you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your rest. Routines contribute to a greater sense of well-being, stability, and satisfaction in life.


5. Avoid isolation

Try not to withdraw from social interactions. Isolating yourself can worsen depressive feelings. Make an effort to maintain connections with others.

6. Limit stressors

Identify and reduce sources of stress in your life. This might involve setting boundaries, saying no when necessary, and avoiding overwhelming situations.

7. Consider medication

If recommended by a mental health professional, consider medication as part of your treatment plan. Antidepressants can be effective in managing depression.

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8. Keep an objective eye on your thoughts

Be aware of your negative thought patterns and cognitive distortions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques can help you reframe negative thinking. Keeping a thought journal is one of the most effective ways to monitor your thoughts.


Write down your thoughts and the emotions associated with them. This helps you identify recurring thought patterns and can help in monitoring your progress.

9. Seek out community and support groups

Consider joining support groups or communities of people who have experienced depression. Sharing experiences can be both comforting and educational.

10. Stay informed

Learn more about depression and its treatment options. Education can empower you to make informed decisions about your care.


Remember that depression is a treatable condition, and you don't have to go through it alone. It's vital to reach out for professional help when needed. And to build a support network around you. Your mental health is a priority, and seeking assistance is a sign of strength, not weakness.

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Miki Anderson is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in North Carolina with in-depth knowledge of anxiety, depression, trauma, ethical non-monogamy, and kink lifestyles.