Participating in Activities
Isolation loneliness and withdrawal from friends and family are all symptoms that you may experience as part of your depression. Participating in activities can seem like the last thing you want to do and even if the will is there, fatigue, sadness and fear may keep you from actually leaving your home. There are, however, some small steps you can take to encourage participation in activities.
People who suffer from depression may find they don't enjoy activities that were once a source of pleasure. By withdrawing, they lose out on the positive experiences and interaction involved in these activities. Various studies have suggested that by increasing participation in activities, individuals who are depressed can better manage their symptoms and may experience greater relief.
Find Activities You EnjoyFinding activities you enjoy may involve getting back into ones that used to be pleasurable, or discovering new ones. Some helpful things to do are:
- Write down all of the activities you used to enjoy and plan to try each one out again
- Plan and organize an activity schedule and do your best to keep on track with it
- Make a list of new activities to try and consider doing a new one each week
- Add activities in slowly, one at a time, so you don't become overwhelmed
If you don't enjoy an activity that was previously a source of pleasure, try not to fret and focus on newer ones. Be open to suggestions from friends and family and try to maintain an attitude of willingness and discovery.
The Boring StuffActivities aren't just hobbies and games. Some of the activities that you may need to do will involve household chores and home maintenance. Indeed, it can be difficult to muster up energy for tasks and activities that seem mundane and drab. If you find you're having a tough time getting dishes done and keeping your home in its usual form, consider ways to make the tasks more appealing. You might wish to:
- Listen to some favourite music while you perform chores
- Provide rewards for each task completed
- Invite friends over to enjoy your freshly cleaned home