Depression and anxiety can happen in all of us. Throughout my time as a therapist, I have learned and developed tools that I provide my clients to help them combat depression and anxiety. One of my most used tools would be the five step plan! The steps are as followed:
1) Do a fun activity that you enjoy for an hour
During days when we are experiencing depression/anxiety, it is best to take some time off and have some self care. Love videogames? Turn on your PC/Game Console and get some game time in! Love cooking? Try making a new dish that you never had before! Enjoy singing and dancing? Make a playlist of your favorite songs that give you positive energy and sing/dance to the playlist! Like exercising? Give yourself some gym time! Once the hour is done, take a moment to evaluate how you are feeling in the moment. If you are feeling well, you can stop right there! If not, there are four more steps to help you out.
2) Do another fun activity different from the first for an hour
Similar to step one, but this time you are changing the activity. Once you are done, evaluate how you are feeling! Feeling good? Great! We can stop there.
3) Have 3 to 5 people that you can call and trust
When we talk to the people we feel comfortable with and can trust, it helps us destress and makes us feel less anxious. I always recommend having a conversation with the people you are close to for a minimum of 15 minutes. The conversation can be about anything! You can stop after the first call or you can call all of your supporters. At the end, remember to evaluate how you are feeling.
4) Speak to your therapist
Let’s say the depressive feelings and anxiety continues. Schedule some time with your therapist to process these feelings. Therapists are there for objective assistance to clients in the therapeutic session. They can help you with connecting your depression and anxiety to the environment around you and even your past as well.
This is the final step in the five step process. As stated in the previous blog, depression and anxiety can be biochemical. Talking to your therapist about seeking psychiatric help can be beneficial. Some people have difficulty producing serotonin and there is medication that can help. Is it the end all be all? I disagree. I believe that seeing a psychiatrist while seeing a therapist can be beneficial with coping and combating depression and anxiety.
On multiple occasions, I have given clients this five step plan in order to help them cope with their anxiety and depression. With the continued attendance of therapy and following the plan, many of them stated that it has helped them combat depression and anxiety. If there is a will to fight depression and anxiety, then there is a way.
– Arbin Memishi, therapist at The Lighthouse