When a loved one is coping with depression, knowing how to deal with them in a way that makes things better and not worse can be exceptionally challenging. You cannot fight depression for them--however much you might want to--but you can give them the tools to fight it themselves by following a few critical pointers.
1. Don't give up.
First and foremost, if someone for whom you care is feeling depressed that means they have given up on themselves and you, therefore, absolutely must not. Because they have lost their own faith, they will be in critical need of yours.
It is equally important to be patient and gentle by taking the time to listen and hear them out. You cannot force someone out of depression but you can draw them out of their shell by offering a listening ear. Human connection is what, in so many ways, makes life worth living. You can remind them of that by validating the meaningful connection they have with you.
3. Show them what lies beyond depression.
When someone is stuck in depression, it is all they see. If they are going to find their way out of it, you must find ways to show them that their depression is not everything. You can remind them that their current state is emotional and not permanent.
Imagine that depression is like being trapped in a cave under the ground: if you have been there long enough, it is easy to be encompassed by your current surroundings and forget that the open sky is right above you. Just as fresh air and freedom are just out of reach when you are trapped below ground and therefore start to become illusory, so the idea of being happy can seem like a pipe dream when you are trapped in depression. However, if you can show someone the reality beyond their current state, it may give them the hope and motivation they need to fight their way out and overcome their feelings of being overwhelmed, click here to learn more tips about helping others cope with depression.
4. Take them outside.
In addition to showing someone what lies beyond their depressed state, you can quite literally show your loved one what is right outside their door.
If they have stopped showing up to social events, go to their house and insist on going out for a walk together; simply breathing fresh air and getting some physical exercise will do them wonders.
Staying isolated and indoors will only cause an increase in stress and depression, which will quickly spiral into a negative cycle, so getting outside is critical for stress management. Albeit, a depressed person may not feel capable of handling many social situations but you can still get them out by offering your time to engage them in an activity on a one-on-one basis, If you can find ways to reduce stress for partner then you should definitely do what you to help them cope and manage their mental health.
5. Help them develop healthy habits.
Have they stopped eating regular meals or turned to snacks and junk food because they can no longer be bothered to cook for themselves? You can show up a hearty soup, a healthy casserole, or a fresh salad that they can keep in their fridge.
A change as simple as eating nutritious food can improve someone's state of mind and reduce mood swings. Protein, vitamins, and fiber, in particular, have all been shown to enhance mood.
Helping your depressed loved one adopt a healthy lifestyle may be one of the most valuable acts you can do for them and their wellbeing.