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  • Everything is hopeless - nothing can change

  • I'm useless, worthless

  • It's all my fault

  • The world is a terrible place - everything goes wrong

We can dwell on these thoughts repeatedly, mulling over things, asking ourselves why, thinking regretful things about the past, what we should or shouldn't have done. We may feel:

  • Tiredness, fatigue, lethargy

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering

  • Sleep changes (sleep more or less)

  • Eating changes (eat more or less)

  • Lose interest in hobbies, activities, sex

Because of the tiredness, difficulty sleeping and eating, and negative style of thinking, we tend to do less and less. We stop doing the things we used to do and enjoy. It could get so bad that we can't even go to work, or do things at home. We want to stay in bed, or stay at home doing very little. We might isolate ourselves from friends and family.

If lack of activity and tiredness is helping to maintain our negative thinking, and therefore keeping us depressed, then doing more (in spite of feeling tired and depressed) will help us feel better. Why not try:

  • Mindfulness - learn Mindful Breathing

  • Focus your attention fully on another activity 

  • Relaxation techniques - try lots and find one that works for you

  • Put on some music - sing and dance along, or just listen attentively (use music that is likely to help you feel your desired emotion - avoid sad songs if you're depressed)

  • Help others

  • Be with others - contact a friend, visit family

  • Talk to someone

  • Grounding techniques - look around you, what do you see, hear, smell, sense?  Hold a comforting object.

  • Physical exercise - walk, swim, go to the gym, cycle

  • Engage in a hobby or other interest - if you don't have one, find one!  What have you enjoyed in the past?  What have you sometimes thought about doing but not got around to?

  • Write down your thoughts and feelings - get them out of your head

  • Just take one step at a time - don't plan too far ahead

  • Pamper yourself - do something you really enjoy, or do something relaxing

  • Positive self-talk - encourage yourself, tell yourself:  I can do this, I am strong and capable - find an affirmation that works for you (even if you don't believe it at first!).  Write it down and memorise it for when you need it.  See Affirmations

  • Do something creative - make a box of items that remind you to use the techniques that help, or put photos on paper, or write and decorate a list

  • Use Safe Place Imagery

  • Tell yourself:  "This will pass, it's only temporary".  "I've got through this before, I can do it now".  When we're going through a tunnel and become fearful of being trapped, there's no point in stopping - we just have to carry on in order to reach the end of the tunnel.  That light is there, and waiting!

  • Visualise yourself doing the things you used to enjoy doing, or would like to enjoy doing, and successfully doing what you need to do.

There are lots of helpful resources on my Free Resources page.

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