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Light On Anxiety Expert Perspectives: LOA in the News

Tips for When Deeply Depressed

By Debra Kissen

I won’t sugar coat it. You’re in a rough spot and you’re looking for help, desperately. You’re tired of feeling tired, and you’re in the sink hole that is depression. Whether it be a chronic issue, a wave, or you’re a concerned friend, here you’ll find a run down of my top tips that can help you or your friend through this fog.
Here’s an article that can help you determine whether you or your friend are depressed or really sad. 

If you are unfamiliar with the manifestation of symptoms of depressive episodes, it is really hard to suggest helpful strategies. Things not to say are:

  • Just try and be positive.
  • Get outside more, it’s good for you.
  • Can you be more like you were last weekend?
  • We all have these days, it’s just a bad day.

So, here I share what I have seen help during depressed states.  I hope you find refuge to assist in getting you back to feeling like you. In the meantime, we can all use a little push. These strategies are not to replace your daily functioning, but to make them more doable for periods of deep depression. You’d know it if you’ve been there. Read all the way through and I’ll reward you with helpful things you can say that are not the above ^ statements. 

  1. Order groceries. Mariano’s first delivery is free. The process of heading to the grocery store and choosing items can be extremely difficult for someone who is depressed. Your brain is more indecisive than usual, and so even knowing what you want to eat in 2 hours is a stressful and mind-frazzling task. Let alone a week from now. Tip: Make it a bigger order than you’d usually buy (if you can). This will last you longer and eliminate grocery shopping task for a little while.
  2. Meal prep. This sounds more complex than it needs to be. At the minimum, cook once in a slightly ok mood and make double as much as you need for that sitting. Boom, meal for later or tomorrow’s lunch, and food for the day is no longer a dilemma.
  3. If cooking isn’t going to happen, It’s an order delivery service that provides actually healthy meals. Sorry, Grubhub Mexican take-out.
  4. Invest in your health in some way. I don’t mean you need to make therapy happen, because it can be pricey for most. But do something that will make you feel good about investing in your mental or physical health. The mind and body need nourishment and it doesn’t happen on it’s own. In fact, most people sign up for gyms and health plans when they feel at their lowest and ready for a change, not when they are the most inspired and motivated. A one week free trial at a gym is a good start. Exercise for 30 minutes, 3x a week can be the best thing you do with 90 minutes for your mental health in the entire week. Buying the 4.99 app upgrade for the meditation app that you know has helped you in the past free-trial version is another good and low cost start. 
  5. Drink water. Order a cooler, new water bottle from Amazon or walk to your closest Target for one. Make yourself want to do this one, very important suggestion that our doctor keeps reminding us of. Your body, and attached mind, will thank you.
  6. Sleep, but don’t over do it. 8 hrs in a day is plenty. This is the hardest thing on this list for some of you to attempt. No matter, try a little more each day. Organize small plans (walk dog at 12pm, hot chocolate at 1pm) to keep you going throughout the day without collapsing on a bed for a 3pm-9pm stretch.

As basic as these sound, (really, eat drink and sleep?)- they are indeed, the recipe for your mental wellness. Engage in therapy if you can. Journal. You’re on to better days, we just got to get through these ones to get there. 

To reiterate, these tips are best used in short periods and as a “plan of attack” when at your lowest. Getting back to the grocery store and your normal routine is always the goal.

As promised, helpful statements to friends and loved ones: 

  • Do as much as you can today, even if it’s one thing. 
  • Remember that time when we [insert funny/positive memory]. 
  • This isn’t coming between us, so take some space and I’ll check in with you [in 48 hour period].


  • I’m not going anywhere. We don’t have to talk, I’ll just be right here. 
  • You Matter– when you’re like this included.
  • Focus on just getting through today and the rest will follow. 
  • Even when it’s not obvious, I know you’re fighting this thing and you’re doing a great job. Truly.

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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