We spoke about coping with depression in our last piece, and we’d like to further expand on this topic by giving you a few tips. Depression has definitely seen a spike in numbers in the past decade, with work-related stress becoming paramount. The feeling of lowness, the disinterest in usually interesting things; it can really take a toll on a person. With the increasing reliance on screens and cellulars, loneliness is also becoming a new trend. We tend to talk to the machine in a room rather than the person in the room quite often. All of these factors easily explain the emotional palette that we as a race have achieved over the recent years.

But, are there ways for us to reduce our chances of succumbing to the depression that many of our peers face on a daily basis? Well, let’s just say that we might have a few tips and tricks for you to feel better about yourself. Feeling more assured of what you’re doing can help you develop more positive evaluations of things that go on around you. This makes the things you face daily automatically more positive and ‘functional’. According to us, there’s three things that can help you cope with depression. These are: cutting down screen time, taking things one at a time, and not being in a hurry to watch your goals manifest.

Reducing Screen Time

Let’s take the first part of our trifecta. Cutting down screen time is something that has been proven to decrease impulsivity in children, and also promote better motor awareness during the initial developmental stages. It definitely has some benefits for fully grown adults too. Most of us are used to using our phones or tinkering on a tablet before sleeping. However, it is often suggested that one must keep away all screens at least an hour before sleep. Dim light exposure can reduce the amount of melatonin we produce, in turn, affecting our sleep cycle.

A study conducted by Ohio State University found correlations between dim-light exposure, melatonin and depression through a study conducted on mice. This pretty much shows that we should put away our screens when we’re going to sleep. If you keep burying into your phone screen even in a social situation, you might need something to curb yourself. An app called ‘Moment’ tracks your screen usage and notifies you if you exceed it. It even has a setting that spams your phone with alerts if you try to cheat!

Avoiding ‘Hurrying Up’

In any work related context, we’re all probably hassled with deadlines and things to be done. The fever pace at which corporate spaces, or even academic ones move today really makes us want to hurry up and finish our duties off quickly. This sometimes translates into our daily lives too, where we might hurry up and accelerate a relationship only to face rejection and heartbreak. Lao Tzu says:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

A simple but true saying that really makes us think. It almost seems mythical in our fast paced world. Today, we try to compete with our peers to see how busy we really are. If you’ve got more projects, it’s like your peers idolize you for your capabilities. If you’re sitting idle, you might just feel that you’re unproductive and lazy! But, is taking a breather really that much of a crime?

Thinking that there’s no time for a breather it probably what leads you to feel distress. Realizing that an easier, relaxed pace ends up more productive is the key! Get the most out of everything you do. Work on a project till you’re satisfied with it. Don’t blaze through it in a mere span of 2 hours! Does a book seem better when you speed read it? Or do you truly enjoy it when you savor every page? Does a song sound better if you skip through the best parts? Or do you have to listen to every note to truly enjoy it? The answers are self-explanatory. If you apply them to more stressful environments like work, you’ll probably end up enjoying yourself a lot more!

Chunking Our Goals

In our piece on Sports Psychology, we spoke about chunking goals. Just like athletes chunk their training milestones, it might be useful for a corporate or a student too! If we look at our goals as a straight long line, one failure might result in thinking, “Oh no, I’ve failed, I’m worthless!” But, if you’ve failed at one step, does it means your whole scheme has gone kaputt? It clearly doesn’t! If you’ve failed at gathering sources to write a research paper, that doesn’t mean your data is futile!

All you have to do is a better, more thorough search for references to make a powerful statement. Then, the rest of the steps automatically fall into place! If you chunk your goals int little tiny bits. It’s always more convenient. You become aware of whats in store for you at each level, and work towards attaining it more calmly! Feeling dejected about a failure can lead to depression over a long prod of time. If you are able to reassure yourself and believe, ‘one little mistake isn’t going to cost me my success’, you might be able to reach your objective smoothly.

There you have it. Those are just a few tips and tricks for you to figure out how to circumvent your distress. Better sleep, and a calmer outlook towards the daily events in your life are bound to help! Reframing the way we think about what we face daily does wonders for improving our overall moods! Why not try it out using these life hacks?

An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.