Overcoming Depression: 14 Effective Ways to Start Feeling Better

Reviewed by Rashonda Douthit, LCSW

Published 06/24/2022

Overcoming Depression

Combating depression takes patience, persistence, and courage. While it is more than just feeling sad, it makes daily living a challenge, from getting tasks done to communicate with family and friends. Combating depression includes being creative and willing to try new things and adopt new habits to improve your living quality. It is essential to develop a plan that will help you stay motivated with the right mindset to manage your symptoms. To inspire your plan, here are suggestions others found helpful when dealing with depression.

  1. Establish Your Support Network

A vital component of battling depression is a reliable support network. Having people to rely on to help you cope is significant. It would help if you had people you want to talk to support doing what is best for you. Choose people you feel to have a genuine interest in your health and wellbeing. They should help cheer you up when you feel sad. They should keep you motivated and encouraged when you need a boost. They should help you be accountable for your actions. You may find in-person and online depression support groups useful for connecting with new people and sharing ideas on how to cope.

  1. Improve Your Living Habits

Many want to know how to overcome deep depression and change their lifestyle by adopting new habits. Sleep and food have intricate links to your mental health. Lack of enough rest leaves you feeling cranky and tired. When you don’t eat a proper diet, you can feel sluggish, and some even get moody. Some with nutritional deficiencies could be at risk for developing depressive symptoms.

Making changes to your lifestyle shows you are serious about managing your depression symptoms. You take control of what you can change. Make plans to get to bed earlier and look into ways to fall asleep if you need help. Consider dietary supplements like vitamins to take daily. Look for ways to incorporate healthier foods into your diet. Also, consider ways to improve your daily routines to encourage more beneficial actions. If you smoke, learn how to quit. Keep alcohol to a minimum.

  1. Create Routines You Can Stick With

When considering easy ways to overcome depression, it is essential to consider actions you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you stay focused. Sometimes depression makes doing daily responsibilities challenging, especially if you lack motivation or energy. It is essential to maintain a habit to keep yourself active, but consider things you can do when you feel less motivated. You could have a friend help you get tasks done. Perhaps, have a plan on how to take smaller steps to get something done. Make changes to your routines involving house chores and personal hygiene to keep things interesting and maintain the habit. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your routine to ensure responsibilities are done by the end of the day.

  1. Make A List Of “Feel Good” Activities And Resources

Many have referenced go-to activities for getting out of depression when they need to improve their mood. When your mood goes south, what is your plan to boost it up again? Create a wellness toolbox or a list of activities you can turn to when you need an emotional lift. When you feel sad, upset, or hurt, this should be your form of comfort. It can be anything you want that helps improve your mood.

You could have a list of songs, poems, books, articles, or games you enjoy the most. Perhaps you can create a box to put favorite items such as tea, healthy snacks, or bubble bath. Many have found this helpful when prepped in advance. When a rough patch happens, you have activities to choose from without delay.

  1. Learn How To Stop Procrastinating

When considering how to avoid depression, it helps to stop putting off tasks until the last minute. It is easy to procrastinate when suffering from depression symptoms like difficulty concentrating and fatigue. It gets harder to get something done when you don’t have the energy or the drive to try. Unfortunately, putting things only adds to your depression and bring on more unwanted feelings like stress, guilt, and worries. Learn time management techniques to help you meet the deadline. Set goals to help get tasks done. Start small and work toward larger goals. Set priorities to determine what should get done first and how to structure your time. You break the habit of procrastination as you complete tasks.

  1. Confront Negative Thoughts

Dealing with hurtful feelings is a crucial element to getting over depression. Changing negative thought patterns can improve your mood while helping you focus on more on being positive. Many with depression feel bad, and having negative thoughts only makes things more challenging. The key is learning strategies to break the habit of negative thinking. There are self-help books available where you can study methods whenever you want. You can also work with a therapist who uses cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to improve thinking patterns and address cognitive distortions.

  1. Learn How To Manage And Reduce Stress

If you want to know how to get out of depression, consider ways to manage and relieve stress. Keeping tabs on what causes your stress to minimize the risk of depressive symptoms. Managing your stress includes knowing your triggers and effective techniques that you stay in control when under pressure. Such approaches take time to implement and get used to, but they are vital to helping you get through different situations when you feel overwhelmed or burned out. Keeping stress levels down includes a combination of actions such as eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, and practicing ways to calm down, such as deep breathing and exercise.

  1. Practice Relaxation Techniques Like Mindfulness And Meditation

Practicing ways to help your body relax has helped many understand how to recover from depression. Helping yourself relax, puts your mind in a good place. You’re more likely to have positive thoughts more often. As you practice relaxation techniques, you reduce anxieties and worries and learn to be in the moment. Mindfulness helps with focusing your mind and what matters the most. Meditation encourages positive thoughts and energy. Knowing ways to relax helps manage depression symptoms such as irritability and restlessness.

  1. Keep Yourself Productively Distracted

You can learn how to beat depression and loneliness by knowing how to keep yourself busy. Keeping yourself productive encourages the body to produce positive energy. It keeps negative thoughts at bay, and your mind is distracted by doing something that matters. Sometimes depression leaves a person feeling empty or worthless. When you stay busy, it is a reminder that your energy and being is essential to others. The way you choose to be productive also gives you control to do the activities you enjoy most.

  1. Keep A Journal

You can keep track of your progress, thoughts, feelings, and anything related to your journey through writing. As you write down your thoughts and review your progress, you’ll begin to see how to come out of depression building on your strengths. People like to write about their fears and write about why they are grateful. What you write says a lot about how you feel, and putting on paper is a form of release. You can write about what you enjoyed most about your day or consider how to meet future goals. Journal writing is a positive example of how to keep yourself productive by doing something calming and therapeutic.

  1. Participate In Therapy Sessions

Talking to a licensed therapist or counselor may provide insight into your thoughts and behavior. You’ll explore thoughts and feelings related to your depression and learn methods to combat these feelings you can use to help you move forward. Use therapy sessions to learn ways to think positively and productively. Therapy is useful for combating depression feelings while learning about how events from your past affect how you move forward into the future.

  1. Stay On Track With Your Depression Treatment Plan

It is important to stay on track with your course of treatment. It is essential to stay focused on your treatment. Any doctor or therapy appointments should be kept and followed through. Use your time with your doctor or therapist to ask questions and review concerns. Take your medication as prescribed and avoid stopping your medications abruptly until you get approval from your doctor. Mention side effects or problems related to your medication or treatment plan. You should sustain clear, comfortable communication with medical professionals part of your treatment.

  1. Learn Forgiveness

Understanding elements of forgiveness, including self-forgiveness, may help you see things from another perspective. It may help you see how not to be depressed and why it’s better to let things go. Sometimes people feel guilty or hurt because they hold a grudge against someone for something they did. Perhaps you feel bad about something you did, and you haven’t come to terms with it. You have to learn how to let things go so others don’t have power over you. As we are imperfect humans, learning to forgive yourself may help you see value and purpose in your life.

  1. Don’t Give Up On Yourself

Depressive symptoms may not be easy to manage until you are willing to do what is necessary to see improvements. You may feel like hiding in a corner or staying in bed all day. It is okay to spend some time to yourself for reflection, but do so in a way that encourages productivity and positivity. Learning to manage your depression is a journey, and there will be bumps along the way. How you handle the process depends on your self-confidence and what you are willing to do.


Overcoming depressive symptoms includes knowing how to manage them. There are many actions you can take to stay in control of your symptoms. Depression doesn’t define who you are as long as you remain faithful to doing activities that will keep you going in the right direction. To find out if you may be suffering from depression, take our quick online test.