Staying Social with Depression

Rachel's Tips for Maintaining Relationships

Staying Social with Depression

By aleahk Published at June 16, 2014 Views 6,853 Comments 4 Likes 4

Depression can cause us to isolate ourselves from others. Some days getting out of bed is a struggle – let alone mustering the energy to plan or attend social events with friends and family. But did you know that staying social is an important part of coping with and overcoming depression? 

Keeping yourself engaged with your friends throughout your depression can ensure they will be there for you when you come out of your depression. Your depression isn’t going to last forever; you will recover from it. So it’s important not to alienate your loved ones in the meantime. 

Plus, maintaining relationships with friends and family can help you deal with your depression symptoms. You may feel like you want to be alone, but isolation can make you feel even more depressed. Even if making your self stay involved is a challenge, simply being around others, feeling their energy and moving around can be helpful.

Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to combat isolation and keep in touch with loved ones during a depressive episode. Here are some great ways to start:

  • Join a social network or online support group. The anonymity of these groups can help you talk to others without the anxiety that usually accompanies social interaction when in a depressive episode. This is also a great first step in becoming more comfortable with social interactions.
  • Create a schedule and stick to it. Make a list of everything you need to do in a day and schedule it out including at least one errand that forces you to get out of the house and interact with people. Also, make sure you swap between errands with strangers and outings with friends and family. By planning events and outings, you can avoiding making the last minute decision that usually causes more stress and anxiety and the eventuality of just staying home.
  • Make achievable goals. Do you want to be able to enjoy your friend’s play in six months? Would you love to be able to say yes to anything your friends invite you to? Start today by making a dinner date with your friend for next week. Or taking a community art class. These will help you reach your goals and keep connections with loved ones.
  • Take a class. Most community centers offer free or low cost classes. The benefit of these classes is that they do not grade you so you don’t need to feel uncomfortable about failing. They also are full of people simply trying to expand their range, just like you are. Taking a class can help you learn a new skill, practice your social skills and achieve your goals.

Depression doesn’t mean you have to shut out the world. You will get better; staying social can help.

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