Tips for maintaining good mental health

A famous psychiatrist, Abraham Low, says that when people are depressed it’s therapeutic for them to go about their daily activities as close to normal as possible. This is liable to be slower than usual, but that’s all right.

Low also recommended simple motivation methods for helping people overcome their sense of helplessness. These methods have been shown to work for generations.

Therapist/researcher Stephen Ilardi says that activity – esp. physical activity, including light exercise – is therapeutic for depression.

Emma Seppala of Yale suggests conserving our energy by going back and forth between challenging tasks and easy ones.

I can tell you some self-help things but I’m not saying necessarily that these are all you need. Treating a serious case of depression with nothing but self-help is risky.

Being active is therapeutic in more ways than one. It gives you confidence. It stimulates your nervous system and makes your brain work.

Taking things in baby steps – very important. This is the key to motivation and motivation is the key to recovery.

Just 20 min of brisk walking a day can help, and you can add to that gradually so long as you don’t make yourself sick of exercise with too much.

If a task seems like it’s too big, think of it as a series of tasks that you can take on one at a time, and start with something really, really easy. Cleaning – start by cleaning for 3 or 4 min and take a 5 min break. Reading – start by previewing a chapter you’re going to read by looking at headings, sub-headings, etc.

You can even use the baby steps principle for having fun. If you’re not getting any enjoyment out of things, here’s something that people here have said is helpful with that problem. Look all over and do a complete inventory. You should be able to find at least one or two things you like, such as your favorite music or movie. If there’s just one movie you like, watch it once or twice. Then, find movies that are like it in some way – with similar story or the same actor. Keep adding to your entertainment supply to give it variety.